Norwich earn first win
Canaries hope win is the springboard for the rest of the term
Last Updated: September 17, 2011 10:56pm
Pilkington: Celebrating the first goal of the game in Norwich's first win of the season
Norwich secured their first Premier League away in 17 years as they held on to beat 10-man Bolton at the Reebok Stadium.
Two goals in five minutes sealed the win for the Canaries as Anthony Pilkington notched the first before Bradley Johnson glided in a header two minutes before the interval.
Things went from bad to worse for Bolton when Ivan Klasnic was dismissed for a coming together of heads with Steve Morison in first half injury time.
After the interval Bolton improved significantly and Martin Petrov gave them hope after Leon Barnett had brought down substitute David Ngog.
With both sides smarting from tough losses the previous weekend it was no surprise the opening half hour was a tame affair which the Canaries' sharpness just about shaded.
Norwich boss Paul Lambert had made six changes to the side humbled at home by West Bromwich Albion while Owen Coyle remained more loyal to the side beaten out of sight by Manchester United.
Elliott Bennett forced Jussi Jaaskelainen to palm his long-range effort over the bar on six minutes while the home side's story was one of misplaced passes and flat-footed defending.
Morison outjumped both Gary Cahill and the gangly Zat Knight to flash an eighth-minute header just wide after referee Howard Webb had appeared to over-rule the linesman's flag.
Kyle Naughton blocked Bolton's first chance from Dedryck Boyata on 14 minutes but it was the visitors, largely through the fleeting Bennett down the right, who held the upper hand.
The home side showed more purpose on 35 minutes when Nigel Reo-Coker's clever ball released Kevin Davies down the left and his dangerous in-swinging cross was palmed out by John Ruddy.
The visitors were good value for their 38th-minute lead which came when Leon Barnett headed down a David Fox corner to Morison, who squared for Pilkington to squeeze the ball home off the post.
And six minutes later the Canaries grabbed their second when Fox's free-kick from deep on the right found the head of Johnson who powered the ball past Jaaskelainen.
Just when it seemed it could not get any worse for Bolton, Klasnic was needlessly sent off on the stroke of half-time for an apparent head-butt on Morison.
Norwich dominated the opening stages of the second period and more goals looked on the cards, with Pilkington almost taking advantage of Boyata's stumble when clearing a Morison cross.
But new boy Ngog, hauled on at half-time as a replacement for the lacklustre Davies, lent his side more attacking intent and it paid off with a 63rd-minute lifeline.
Ngog started the move which ended in Boyata being tripped in the box by Barnett, and after Webb pointed to the spot Martin Petrov stepped up to drill a low spot-kick past Ruddy.
The goal belatedly breathed life into Coyle's men who continued to storm forward, Boyata finding substitute Ngog whose shot was deflected out for a corner.
Inevitably, Bolton's push for an equaliser left spaces at the back but the Canaries were failing to exploit them with substitute Grant Holt in particular failing to find a way through.
Boosted by the busy Ngog, Coyle's men began to look much more threatening and City began to show signs of nerves as they moved closer to their away-win milestone.
Bennett headed a dangerous Paul Robinson cross behind for a corner in the final minute then in injury time Ngog came agonisingly close to handing Bolton redemption.
|Bolton Wanderers||Team Statistics||Norwich City|
|0||1st Half Goals||2|
|4||Shots on Target||6|
|1||Shots off Target||6|
Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|