Aviva Junior Journalist Mason Hannant’s verdict as Norwich City are held by Bolton
Aviva Junior Journalist 2018 competition winner Mason Hannant reports from Carrow Road, as Norwich City are held by Bolton in the EFL Championship.
Canaries supporters and budding reporters Mason and Gracie Bamber were the two winners of this year’s Aviva Junior Journalist competition, after submitting their own match report for City’s 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at the start of February.
And their prize was to do the same for Norwich’s Championship visit from Bolton – only this time, from the Carrow Road press box.
The pair of junior reporters also got to take in a tour of Carrow Road, all the big-game build-up and post-match reaction from the press conferences, as well as visiting Colney ahead of the weekend to meet some of their heroes.
They even got to grill City head coach Daniel Farke themselves – in the boss’ office.
So remember the names – and you can read Mason’s match report from Saturday in full below, alongside some of their photos from two days behind the scenes at City.
• Norwich City 0-0 Bolton Wanderers – by MASON HANNANT
Norwich played out a frustrating 0-0 draw with relegation strugglers Bolton.
Bolton had two bans to contend with, Karl Henry and Mark Little both in their penultimate game of suspension.
Josh Vela and Craig Noone both had long term injuries but on the plus side for Bolton, Darren Pratley and Will Buckley had shaken off knocks to return to the squad – Buckley on the bench and Pratley in the team.
Norwich had won all their last three league games versus Bolton at Carrow Road and hadn’t lost to them since November 2000.
Norwich had only lost one of their last 10 championship games and Bolton had only won once on their travels this season (drawing 5 and losing 10). James Maddison was Norwich’s top scorer with nine goals, five more than Bolton’s top scorer Sammy Ameobi.
After having a good start to the season, Nelson Oliveira has only scored once since the New Year.
In the last 19 years Norwich had only lost to Bolton three times with Norwich winning the other six.
Norwich had the best of the opening periods with Josh Murphy dragging a shot wide and Maddison hitting the post with an exquisite right-foot curler. Maddison then turned provider for Grant Hanley to head just wide.
Norwich then had two free-kicks. One hit the wall and the other was played short and eventually punched away by Ben Alnwick.
Adam Le Fondre had Bolton’s first chance, a flick header just wide. Straight after Onel Hernandez was judged to be offside after a through ball.
Olivera then played a lovely dink ball into Harrison Reed, who was caught offside.
Oliveira carved open the Bolton defence with a sublime flick through to Moritz Leitner. One on one with the goalkeeper, Leitner shot wide when he looked certain to score.
Oliveira was in the thick of it again, wasting a glorious chance when he got tackled in the box. The ball fell to Maddison whose shot was blocked then the rebound fell to Oliveira, who miscued it wide.
For all of Norwich’s first-half efforts, there was nothing to celebrate at half-time for their fans, although Hernandez had impressed me with his physicality and pace on his full home debut.
Leitner and Christoph Zimmermann had also put a shift in considering they had played three games in six days.
After the break Norwich kept the same intensity with Maddison fizzing a cross-shot across the face of the goal, and also curling a shot straight at Alnwick.
However, Bolton seemed more up for it, getting a few early free-kicks and then fizzing another cross-shot in only for Angus Gunn to collect it comfortably.
Olivera then had another chance to score with the keeper fumbling a straightforward cross, but he couldn’t sort his feet out.
Bolton then made a double substitution with Le Fondre, who had done a lot of hard work up front, coming off for Aaron Wilbraham, and Jon Flanagan coming on for David Wheater.
Norwich turned up the heat again, with Leitner showing his considerable quality with a sumptuous outside of the right-foot pass into Jamal Lewis’ path, but the keeper got to it first.
Bolton then had a five-minute spell of pressure which included a shot that got blocked by Hanley and the eventual corner that was hacked away Zimmermann.
It was now Norwich’s turn to make a substitution, Hernandez who had a bright first half didn’t have as much of an impact second half and Dennis Srbeny came on to try and snatch a win for the Canaries.
Leitner was the latest player to block a shot, although unfortunately for Norwich fans it was for Bolton after Harrison Reed fired in.
Now it was a return for Wes Hoolahan who was greeted by the loudest applause of the day by Norwich, coming on for Alex Tettey. Bolton also made a sub with Beece Burke off and Derik Osede on.
The fourth official indicated six minutes of ‘Farke Time’ (added on time). The home faithful were hoping for another late goal like they had in their previous two games.
Norwich grew frustrated, not only their players but their head coach Daniel Farke, who is known for his calm head. He got sent to the changing rooms for the first time in his managerial career in the dying embers of the game, after the linesman gave a foul throw against Leitner. Farke was dismissed for kicking the ball away in frustration.
After the game, Phil Parkinson praised his team for their work off the ball and said it was a proper team performance and was “delighted to frustrate Norwich”.
Farke was also delighted with the performance but he was less delighted with his “heavy touch” that made him kick the ball away.
It was yet another disappointing result at Carrow Road. Bolton were there for the taking in the first half, but defended better in the second half. The away team, with no shots on target, set themselves up for a draw and that’s what they took home.
The Canaries need to be more clinical for the remainder of the season if they want to make a late play-off push.
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