City Defeat Rovers
Norwich City`s match against Doncaster Rovers in the 3rd round of the League Cup offered the Canaries the chance to progress to the last 16 of the competition for the first time since 95/96. It also gave Chris Hughton the chance to blood some of his new signings.
The manager started with a completely different eleven to that which started at Newcastle last Sunday.
At the back, Mark Bunn made his debut between the sticks while Marc Tierney, Ryan Bennett and Elliot Ward as well as Elliot Bennett (as a stand in right back) made up the defence.
In midfield Alex Tettey and Jacob Butterfield made their debuts alongside David Fox and Chris Martin while up front, Harry Kane partnered skipper Grant Holt.
Before kick off, the 14,000 strong crowd stood as a mark of respect for the ex-City manager, John Bond and players from both teams wore black arm bands.
The Canaries started brightly and had by far the best of a lively first half which ended with a 60-40 percentage split in City`s favour.
Several half chances came and went with Kane, Tettey and Holt all having opportunities.
Kane should`ve scored in the 15th minute when his shot was blocked on the line with Woods beaten.
But it was new man Tettey who scored what turned out to be the only goal of the game in the 26th minute.
And what a goal it was. Holt was instrumental as he disposed Robbie Blake and gave the ball to Tettey who hit a cracker of a shot from 25 yards that went in off a post.
Tettey turned and ran to towards the dugout as Hughton applauded a very nice goal.
This lad looks like he may well be a real player for us when he`s fully match fit.
Another new boy, Jacob Butterfield worked the Rovers keeper on several occasions with long shots as City proved they are not shot shy at all.
Just before the end of the half, Elliot Ward thought he`d scored when a David Fox free kick was cleared from just under the bar and fell to Ward. His free header was somehow volleyed off the line.
And that was half time. City had done more than enough to deserve the lead and despite a few half chances from Rovers, it was Gary Woods who was the busier keeper.
They had their moments but Bunn was equal to all that was asked of him.
The second half was just five minutes old when Hughton was forced into his first change.
Kane went down in the Doncaster area and ended up having to be stretchered off, he was quickly replaced by Jackson.
Woods was called into action soon after when he beat out Holt`s strong drive. The rebound fell to Jackson but Woods was there again.
With 57 minutes on the clock, ex-City striker Chris Brown appeared, on for everyone`s fave veteran (not mine though) Robbie Blake.
Brown never cut the mustard at Carrow Road but is Rovers` top scorer this season with four goals - more than he managed in his whole spell with City!
The second half fizzled out a bit but it was City that finished the stronger.
Woods made several decent saves, in particular a great one handed effort from a Holt header. He also foiled Butterfield twice as the clock ran right down.
The victory here has seen City drawn at home again in the last 16 - this time to Tottenham, an appetising home game with a chance to reach the quarter finals.
Norwich were well worth their win but we still only scored once, although we created plenty of chances and Holt will be wondering what he has to do to get on the score sheet.
Tettey and Butterfield look good acquisitions and both will be eyeing a place on Saturday`s bench for the visit of Liverpool.
Another positive is that the squad is clearly stronger than when Paul Lambert left. We now have enough players to field two good strong teams - which can only be a very good thing.
Competition for places is healthy and gives the manager a nice problem when he comes to selecting his Premier League teams.
All in all, I`d give this a 7/10 mark with the promise of more to come. Now, I know the lack of goals has been a concern but I`d settle for a clean sheet and just the one goal on Saturday…