Norwich 1, Hull 1
DAVID CUFFLEY A goal two minutes into stoppage time from Hull defender Michael Turner cost Norwich City two vital points at Carrow Road. Turner hooked a bouncing ball into the net from close range following a cross by Stuart Elliott just when it seemed the Canaries were set for their fifth 1-0 win under manager Peter Grant.
A goal two minutes into stoppage time from Hull defender Michael Turner cost Norwich City two vital points at Carrow Road this afternoon. Turner hooked a bouncing ball into the net from close range following a cross by Stuart Elliott just when it seemed the Canaries were set for their fifth 1-0 win under manager Peter Grant.
Robert Earnshaw had given Norwich the lead after 71 minutes with a neat flick over Hull keeper Boaz Myhill after substitute Peter Thorne and Paul McVeigh had helped on a free-kick from Jason Shackell.
Darren Huckerby and Earnshaw both had opportunities before the break for Norwich, but Hull had generally enjoyed the better of the first half and though the Canaries improved after the interval, the visitors were well worth their point.
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That late goal was a major blow for Norwich, who had been hoping for maximum points from two home games, with Leicester heading to Carrow Road on Tuesday night.
Norwich City boss Peter Grant made three changes to the side beaten 3-1 by Ipswich in Sunday's East Anglian derby.
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Missing through injury were new signing Luke Chadwick, out for four to six weeks with a gashed knee which needed an operation, and defender Gary Doherty, who suffered a knock on his ankle at Portman Road. In addition, midfielder Andy Hughes was relegated to the substitutes' bench. Back in the defence was 37-year-old Dion Dublin, while Paul McVeigh and Robert Eagle were recalled to the starting line-up.
Hull manager Phil Parkinson, made two changes to the team beaten 2-0 at home by Stoke last Saturday. Skipper Ian Ashbee and midfielder David Livermore returned at the expense of Andy Dawson and former Norwich midfielder Jason Jarrett. Also included in the Hull line-up was Dean Marney, the former Tottenham midfielder who played 15 times for the Canaries during a loan spell last season.
Hull, wearing a change strip of pale blue shirts and white shorts, were defending the River End of the ground and within a minute they had won a free-kick 10-yards into the Norwich half after a foul by Eagle on Marney.
Dublin managed to get his head to the dead ball kick taken by Ricketts and Livermore was unable to control the loose ball giving Norwich a goal kick.
Elliott tried to set Hull going again as he sprinted down the left side but was adjudged to have fouled Huckerby.
It was a busy opening by the visitors and a teasing cross from Elliott looked dangerous before Gallacher came out to claim it with both hands.
Dublin then made a timely interception when Forster made a smart break for Hull.
As Hull attacked again down the right, it was Shackell in the right place this time, intercepting the centre from Fagan at the expense of a throw.
The Canaries mounted their first real attack after six minutes and it almost produced the breakthrough. Earnshaw did well to hold the ball up before picking out Eagle on the left and the youngster produced a splendid diagonal ball towards Huckerby, who met it on the volley with a right-foot shot, which Myhill tipped round the post for a corner. McVeigh's flag kick was a poor one, though, and Hull easily cleared their lines.
Forster was looking quite lively for Hull and let fly with a right-foot drive, which took a deflection and went for a corner.
Norwich were operating with Eagle on the left and Huckerby playing wide on the right but his first real run at the opposition was halted by an excellent Livermore tackle.
Hull were certainly enjoying the better of things and forced another corner on the right, with Livermore's in-swinging kick punched away by Gallacher under pressure.
Colin headed clear from a Fagan cross as the visitors pushed forward again, and when a Huckerby pass went astray, the groans from the home crowd suggested they were becoming a little impatient with Norwich's slow start.
Gallacher needed attention to his left ankle after a three-man collision between the goalkeeper, Shackell and Forster just as Shackell headed clear from the striker. Physio Neal Reynolds inspected the damage and after a couple of minutes, Gallacher was able to continue, though clearly hobbling.
Hull won another free-kick on the left when Huckerby was penalised, but Marney's kick, aimed towards the far post, was an easy catch for Gallacher.
There were appeals for handball when a cross from Eagle was cut out by Delaney, but these were a little half-hearted and the referee was unimpressed.
Livermore tested Norwich again with a left-foot volley when he latched onto a headed clearance by Dublin and there was a moment's alarm in the six-yard box before Forster was crowded out.
Midway through the half, Delaney was only just off target with a header from a Marney free-kick after Huckerby had been penalised again.
Apart from that early Huckerby effort, Norwich had largely been pegged in their own half.
There was further alarm when a Fagan cross eluded everyone in the six-yard box and Colin had to concede a corner. The corner was punched clear by Gallacher but Hull soon won another and this time Etuhu came to the rescue with a headed clearance.
Ricketts fired over the top as Norwich continued to struggle to clear their lines.
There were more groans from the home fans when Etuhu tried to find McVeigh on the left and the ball ran into touch.
Etuhu's next attempt was to find Earnshaw in the Hull area but this one was too strong for the striker and ran out for a goal kick.
Play was held up again on the half-hour when Elliott needed attention for a bang on the right leg and his team-mates took the opportunity to grab a drink, while Huckerby received instructions from Grant on the halfway line.
There was animated conversation between the Norwich players as they waited for play to restart.
There were appeals for handball as Forster controlled a through ball and he burst away from Dublin to test Gallacher with a left-foot drive, which the keeper turned round the post for Hull's sixth corner. They in fact won two corners in quick succession but once again failed to cash in as Norwich cleared their lines.
Ricketts earned the first yellow card of the afternoon 10 minutes before the break with a foul on Drury. From the resulting free-kick, McVeigh tried to find Earnshaw but the striker was crowded out at the near post.
Huckerby and Grant were far from happy when a potentially promising attack was halted by the offside flag as Huckerby raced clear onto a pass from Robinson. The home fans certainly shared the manager's annoyance at that decision.
Referee Sutton had a quick word with McVeigh after he had a brief altercation with Marney when the Hull man blocked his path.
Earnshaw was next to fall victim of the offside flag as Norwich pressed forward again.
A short ball from Dublin almost landed Gallacher in trouble and he had to be quick to hammer the ball clear as Forster threatened.
Norwich had their second real opening of the game three minutes before the break and Earnshaw might have done better than produce a fairly tame side-foot effort into Myhill's arms from an excellent centre by Eagle.
Eagle tried his luck with a right-footed cross from the same position a minute later but this time it was easily caught by Myhill.
A fine ball from Dublin left McVeigh in the clear in the Hull area as the first half went into stoppage time, but McVeigh deliberated a second too long and his shot was blocked.
As play switched to the other end, there was a narrow escape for Norwich when Drury's clearance struck the boot of Fagan and rebounded onto the post before bouncing to safety. It rather summed up Norwich's half as they struggled at times to stay on terms.
There were no changes to either side after the break and Hull were the first to show when Fagan curled in a centre from the right, which was headed clear by Dublin.
One or two decisions had annoyed the home crowd and there was another three minutes into the second half when Huckerby was adjudged to have fouled Elliott, who seemed merely to stumble.
Norwich threatened briefly when Huckerby tried to find Earnshaw inside the Hull area. Ashbee intercepted and Norwich were penalised when McVeigh appeared to shove the Hull captain.
Thorne, given only a handful of appearances this season, had begun to warm up on the touchline as Norwich continued to struggle to make any impact in front of a rather quiet home crowd.
Another Norwich move broke down when Earnshaw was caught in possession by Marney but as Hull broke quickly, Dublin showed excellent control to tidy up at the back.
Ten minutes into the half, Marney twice got into the action, first when his low cross was cut out by Shackell and then with a 30-yard drive which narrowly cleared the bar.
A neat move involving Etuhu, McVeigh and Earnshaw carved an opening in the Hull rearguard but in the end, Earnshaw's cross was a disappointing one.
After 57 minutes, Grant made his first change by sending Thorne on in place of Eagle. Thorne immediately went into attack alongside Earnshaw with Huckerby switching to his normal position on the left and McVeigh operating on the right.
Marney had not got his shooting boots on and another long range effort flew into the crowd behind Gallacher's goal in Hull's next attack.
Earnshaw sent Huckerby away on the left as Norwich hit back but Huckerby's cross was headed clear by Coles with Earnshaw hovering and as Hull switched to the attack, Marney sent Fagan clear on the right, but his woeful cross also finished up in the crowd.
Colin was similarly wasteful at the other end when his centre fell behind the goal after Robinson had picked him out on the right.
A foul by Ricketts on Huckerby gave Norwich a free-kick on the left touchline and although they wasted it, another foul presented them with a second dead ball situation in the same position. To add to Norwich's frustration, Huckerby's kick was a poor one, curled low towards the penalty area and was easily cut out.
There was almost an opening for Norwich when McVeigh played a short ball towards Huckerby inside the Hull area but a splendid tackle by Turner robbed the Norwich man and the visitors could breathe again.
At last, Norwich gave their fans something to shout about when Earnshaw put them ahead after 71 minutes.
Shackell's free-kick towards the far post was headed downwards by Thorne and then nodded back towards the six-yard box by McVeigh, where Earnshaw flicked it over the keeper for his 12th goal of the season.
Immediately Grant made his second change by replacing McVeigh with Hughes, who took up a position wide on the right.
Hull now began warming up their substitutes and appeared to be considering changes of their own in a bid to get back on terms. Forster, who had been quieter since the break, tried his luck from the edge of the area but was well off target, hindered by a challenge by Shackell at just the right time.
Shackell, like Dublin, had performed well at the back and a timely challenge by Forster further illustrated the point. Forster felt he should have had a corner and was booked for dissent.
Hull made their first change with 12 minutes left when France came on in place of Livermore.
Norwich had livened up after the goal and a cross from Huckerby looked threatening as Earnshaw jumped with Turner. It appeared the Hull man had touched it over the bar but the referee decided Earnshaw had made the final touch.
With just eight minutes left, Hull missed an excellent chance to level the score when Marney curled in a free-kick from the left touchline and Elliott was at the front of the queue but sent his glancing header wide of the target.
Hull made their second substitution when Barmby replaced Forster.
Still the visitors looked lively and a powerful drive from Elliott brushed the side netting as Gallacher leapt to his right.
With less than three minutes to go Norwich won a free-kick on the left side of the area when Earnshaw was fouled and there was a brief exchange of comment between Huckerby and Ashbee.
The free-kick came to nothing but some trickery from Huckerby earned a corner when his back heel came off Ashbee and the Hull skipper rather petulantly threw the ball in Huckerby's direction.
It was something of a surprise when the fourth official showed the board with four minutes time to be added on and Norwich had that little bit longer to try to hold on for a single-goal victory.
Norwich couldn't manage it, however, and two minutes into stoppage time Hull equalised through Turner. Elliott's ball into the box was nodded on by Barmby and defender Turner hooked it gleefully into the net.
As the seconds ticked away Hull boss Parkinson was sent into the stand after the fourth official consulted the referee.