Canaries swoop past Hornets
Norwich secure deserved win to lift them out of bottom-three
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: April 13, 2009 5:28pm
Gunn: Out of bottom three
Norwich City are out of the relegation-zone after beating Watford 2-0 at Carrow Road.
Gary Doherty's late strike confirmed Monday's home win to lift the Canaries out of the drop zone after Danny Rose scored a first-half own-goal.
Bryan Gunn's charges had slipped back into the relegation zone on Saturday after their 2-1 defeat at Swansea but after a dominant display they held on to leapfrog Barnsley and Nottingham Forest on goal difference.
The Canaries needed to make a bright start and came close to scoring inside the opening 30 seconds.
Jon Otsemobor found David Mooney inside the area and he burst through a challenge from Jay DeMerit to lash in a shot at the near post but Scott Loach beat it away.
The hosts then forced a flurry of corners but Watford defended well and almost snatched the lead themselves when Rose started a quick break but was challenged brilliantly by Otsemobor as he bore down on goal.
Mooney then forced Loach into another save with a powerful shot from 25 yards before Norwich grabbed the lead in the 15th minute in bizarre circumstances.
David Carney played a fine ball behind the Watford defence for the galloping Otsemobor and on-loan Tottenham winger Rose slid in to block the full-back's shot but succeeded only in sending the ball over Loach and into the back of the net.
Midfielders Sammy Clingan and Darel Russell both went close with long-range efforts as Norwich piled forward in search of a second but Will Hoskins came within inches of a spectacular equaliser for Brendan Rodgers' side.
Hoskins picked up a pass 25 yards from goal and arrowed in a swerving shot which David Marshall in the Norwich net tipped onto the crossbar.
Rose was replaced at half-time by on-loan Chelsea midfielder Jack Cork and the Hornets had the first sight of goal in the second period buut top scorer Tommy Smith fired over from a good position after Hoskins had released him with a clever backheel.
Russell then sent Alan Gow clear down the left and he dragged his shot across the face of goal before Clingan sent a speculative volley a foot wide from 25 yards.
Gunn's side were desperately searching a goal to ease the tension and Alan Lee came even closer with 19 minutes remaining.
Another fine passing move saw Lee played in on the left hand side of the penalty area and his thunderous drive flashed across Loach but came back off the inside of the post.
Jason Shackell then saw a header from a corner hacked off the line by Jon Harley as the Canaries did everything but score - until they made the game safe with five minutes remaining.
Shackell was again at the heart of it and his header from a Clingan corner bounced into the turf and hit the crossbar but Doherty was alert to get to the loose ball first and head into the net.
Sky Bet Championship
Mon 13th Apr
Barnsley1 - 3Swansea
Sheff Utd0 - 0N Forest
Birmingham1 - 1Plymouth
Norwich2 - 0Watford
Southampton1 - 0C Palace
QPR3 - 2Sheff Wed
Doncaster0 - 2Preston
Bristol C1 - 1Ipswich
Derby2 - 3Wolves
Cardiff3 - 1Burnley
Blackpool2 - 2Reading
Coventry0 - 0Charlton
Sky Bet Championship
|2||Queens Park Rangers||18||38|
|11||Brighton and Hove Albion||18||25|