Maddison’s record-breaking hat-trick wasted as Canaries throw away lead in crazy seven-goal thriller at Hull
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
James Maddison's record-breaking hat-trick was not enough for Norwich City to win away at relegation-threatened Hull – throwing away a 3-1 lead in one of the most ridiculously dramatic encounters of the Championship season.
Star man Maddison wiped out Jackson Irvine's early opener with the first ever hat-trick in the first half of an away game by a Canaries player, two of them coming from the penalty spot.
It was the first hat-trick in a first half since Ted MacDougall in a 4-2 home win over Everton in the in September 1975 and the first away league hat-trick since Efan Ekoku in 5-1 win at Everton in September 1993.
But it was all for nothing, as the England Under-21 international taking his goal tally to 13 for the season proved in vain, as City's seven-match unbeaten run came to an end.
Norwich head coach Daniel Farke made two changes to his team, replacing Josh Murphy and Dennis Srbeny in attack with Marley Watkins and Nelson Oliveira.
The KCom Stadium then witnessed one of the most eventful halves of football most supporters are ever likely to see, featuring five goals and three penalties.
The hosts flew out of the traps and should have been 4-0 up, Markus Henriksen shooting and Abel Hernandez heading straight at Angus Gunn in the opening four minutes.
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Right-back Ola Aina skinned Timm Klose in the fifth minute but was stopped by a crunching tackle by Grant Hanley, before the Tigers claimed the lead they deserved when Jackson Irvine fired under Gunn after a fine through-ball from lively Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson.
Defender Ondrej Mazuuch headed wide from a Seb Larsson corner in the 15th minute as the Canaries continued to look a complete shambles.
However, football is a funny old game sometimes.
Former City keeper David Marshall unnecessarily cleaned out Oliveira in the 17th minute to concede a penalty just inside his area, which Maddison coolly rolled home for the equaliser.
Within a minute City had the lead, Maddison leaving two Hull defenders on their backsides with a fine turn before lashing a low shot under Marshall from 10 yards.
Hanley was fortunate to see penalty appeals waved away in the 26th minute after barging over Tigers striker Hernandez and Moritz Leitner limped off four minutes later, with Norwich captain Ivo Pinto coming on to make his injury return and Harrison Reed moving into midfield.
Pinto was soon booked for a late tackle on Wilson and relieved to see Dawson head wide the resulting Larsson cross from the free-kick on the right.
Larsson also curled a free-kick straight at Gunn before Maddison completed his hat-trick in the 39th minute, after Mazuch chopped Onel Hernandez down to concede a penalty, which the City star squeezed through the gloves of Marshall to complete his first ever senior treble.
There was still time to squeeze in another goal yet though, with Jamal Lewis bundling over Jarrod Bowen to allow the hosts to reduce the deficit to 3-2 four minutes before the break, Hernandez rolling home a penalty this time.
The whole stadium chuckled as five minutes of added time were signalled before half-time – but the drama was far from over.
Less than three minutes into the second half referee Tim Robinson awarded his fourth penalty of the game, becoming the first referee to do so within the top four tiers of English football since October 2014. Why was unclear, with no calls for a penalty from anyone in the stadium but Hanley apparently targeted for shirt pulling.
Hernandez made no mistake from the spot, blasting into the roof of the next for his third goal in two games since returning from an August Achilles injury, levelling the scores at 3-3.
Gunn was in the thick of the action soon after the hour mark, spilling a Bowen shot but blocking the follow-up from substitute Fraizer Campbell in the 62nd minute, before saving a Bowen shot at his near post three minutes later.
Onel Hernandez linked wonderfully with Maddison and just had the keeper to beat in the 69th minute, only for a poor first touch to see the Cuban fire well wide.
It proved a big miss, Reed slipping as the Tigers countered and City losing their shape completely as Bowen and Aina attacked on the right, before the excellent Wilson weaved his way into the box unchallenged and fired a shot through the gloves of Gunn into the top-left corner for a 4-3 lead.
From 1-0 down, to 3-1 up, then 4-3 down – the punters were certainly getting value for money.
Gunn denied Campbell's shot in the 82nd minute after a poor header from Lewis and then made a fine double save from the striker less than a minute later to keep the visitors in the game, with Josh Murphy and Wes Hoolahan coming on for Hernandez and Reed a few minutes earlier.
Watkins went close for the Canaries in the 90th minute as he rose to meet a Pinto cross from the right but could only head straight at Marshall from close range, as Hull hung on for a crucial three points in their battle to avoid the drop.
Norwich are on their travels again on Tuesday when they travel to another team below them in the table, Barnsley.
Norwich: Gunn; Reed (Hoolahan 78), Hanley, Klose, Lewis; Tettey, Leitner (Pinto 30); Hernandez (Murphy 78), Maddison, Watkins; Oliveira. Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Husband, Vrancic, Srbeny
Booked: Watkins (20), Pinto (foul on Wilson, 31), Tettey (dissent, 49)
Goals: Maddison (18 pen, 19, 39 pen)
Hull: Marshall; Aina, Dawson, Mazuch, Clark; Larsson, Henriksen; Bowen (Toral 88), Irvine, Wilson (Hector 90+1); Hernandez (Campbell 61). Unused subs: Burton (GK), Grosicki, Dicko, Tomori
Booked: Larsson (foul on Maddison, 56), Clark (foul on Hoolahan, 87)
Goals: Irvine (6), Hernandez (pen 41, pen 48), Wilson 71
Referee: Tim Robinson (West Sussex)
Attendance: 15,120 (1,282 away)