Farke sent off as Canaries are frustrated by Bolton to draw yet again at Carrow Road
PUBLISHED: 23:59 24 February 2018 | UPDATED: 10:26 25 February 2018
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Norwich City have been held to their seventh home draw of the season, after Bolton successfully thwarted the Canaries to continue their plucky battle against relegation.
Although City are unbeaten in six in the Championship the last four of those games have all finished in draws and home form continues to hold them back, having taken 22 from a possible 51 points at Carrow Road.
James Maddison hit the post and Moritz Leitner fired inexplicably wide from close range as the hosts dominated the first half but Wanderers earned their point with a much better display after the break, with City head coach Daniel Farke sent to the stands in injury-time.
Both sides made four changes, City looking to build on a 2-2 draw at leaders Wolves and Bolton on a 1-0 home win over fellow strugglers Sunderland in midweek.
Cuban winger Onel Hernandez was handed his full debut as head coach Daniel Farke switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation, dropping his three-at-the-back system due to Timm Klose’s hamstring strain.
Portuguese striker Nelson Oliveira returned to the starting line-up after his late equaliser at Wolves in place of Dennis Srbeny and Alex Tettey and Josh Murphy also returned, with Mario Vrancic and Marley Watkins dropping to the bench.
The visitors clearly came with the intention of sitting deep, barely even challenging City’s passing early on, with birthday boy Josh Murphy firing wide from the edge of the box early on.
James Maddison was denied by the right-hand post in the ninth minute after good strength to allow him to shoot from 20 yards, in the best chance of the half for the hosts – but far from the last.
Grant Hanley headed just wide in the 13th minute and former Canaries loanee Ben Alnwick palmed away a thumping Maddison shot 10 minutes later as City continued to probe.
Adam Le Fondre headed tamely wide from a long ball for the Trotters midway through the half but visiting skipper David Wheater was needed to make a goal-saving block from Murphy in his box on the half-hour.
Maddison threaded Oliveira through three minutes later but Alnwick turned the shot behind for a corner. Moritz Leitner should have put Norwich in front in the 37th minute after Oliveira turned a Harrison Reed pass on to him, but the former Borussia Dortmund man got his close-range finish all wrong to fire just wide.
Jamal Lewis needed to make an important block from a Darren Pratley shot in the City box as half-time approach and Hernandez teed up another Maddison shot in the 42nd minute, which blasted against Bolton defender Filipe Morais.
Wanderers picked up their game after the break though and largely dictated the opening 15 minutes of the second half, with Angus Gunn getting down well to clock a low cross from the left from Antonee Robinson.
The ball just wouldn’t drop for Murphy or Oliveira after Alnwick fumbled a Reed cross from the right in the 64th minute and Jamal Lewis just couldn’t reach a wonderful through-ball from Leitner five minutes later.
Carrow Road was growing restless and Dennis Srbeny replaced Hernandez in attack in the 77th minute, with Reed firing a shot against the legs of Leitner soon after.
There was a huge cheer for Canaries legend Wes Hoolahan as he came on for the final 10 minutes, replacing Tettey, for his first game in a month – tasked with trying to unpick the lock.
Shola Ameobi’s fine flick allowed Aaron Wilbraham to play fellow substitute Jon Flanagan down the right in the 85th minute, Murphy had seemingly snuffed out the danger, only to be robbed by Flanagan, who crossed but saw former City striker Wilbraham curl a weak shot overt the bar.
Flanagan was booked for slicing down Murphy on the left in the third of six added minutes, Hoolahan floated it in but Leitner couldn’t knock the ball back across at the back post, sparking groans around the stadium.
The most memorable moment of injury-time came when Farke was sent to the stands after kicking the ball away in frustration as it came towards him in front of the home dug-out, adding to another frustrating home match for the German and his team.
The Canaries return to action next Saturday with a trip to another of the division’s struggling teams, Barnsley.
Norwich: Gunn; Reed, Hanley, Zimmermann, Lewis; Tettey (C – Hoolahan 80); Hernandez (Srbeny 77), Leitner, Maddison, Murphy; Oliveira. Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Raggett, Pinto, Vrancic, Watkins
Booked: Zimmermann (foul on Karacan, 54), Lewis (foul on Pratley, 90+4)
Bolton: Alnwick; Morais, Dervite, Wheater (C – Flanagan 67), Beevers, Robinson; Pratley (C), Burke (Osede 80), Karacan; Ameobi, Le Fondre (Wilbraham 67). Subs: Howard (GK), Taylor, Buckley, Clough
Booked: Pratley (foul on Reed, 37), Morais (time wasting, 72), Burke (foul on Maddison, 76), Ameobi (foul on Hoolahan, 83), Flanagan (foul on Murphy (90+2)
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)