Photo Gallery: Norwich City suffer taste of their own medicine

Norwich City 1, Stoke City 1: Now we know how it feels. The choice is endless. Pick any number of late, late shows served up by Paul Lambert's squad during their march to consecutive Football League promotions.

Who would ever forget Simeon Jackson's stoppage time winner against Derby last Easter Monday which produced a seismic shift in the race for that second automatic promotion spot from the Championship.

Cardiff were above the waterline with games and time rapidly running out until the Canadian stooped to bundle home a precious winner which shook Carrow Road to its very foundations.

Jackson was on the pitch again yesterday. A late arrival for Chris Martin from the substitute's bench. But this time it was another frontman similarly from the other side of the world thrusting himself centre stage.

Kenwyne Jones has all the physical attributes needed to terrorise Premier League defences. A heavyweight boxer in a football shirt. Nature has bestowed on him aerial gifts. Like one-time Norwich loanee Peter Crouch he uses every inch of his towering frame to its fullest.


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The Trinidad and Tobago international horribly sliced Ryan Shotton's inviting cut back many rows into the Lower Barclay in the closing stages of normal time.

Placed in an almost identical situation deep into stoppage time he made no mistake when Glenn Whelan's floated centre arrowed towards his head.

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John Ruddy would have needed the almost superhuman agility of Stoke's most famous custodian to foil Jones from point blank range.

Gordon Banks's successful duel with Pele at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico is the sort of moment that comes around once in a millennium. Ruddy had already denied Jon Walters from the spot along with a series of pressure-relieving takes in the frantic final few moments.

City's newest signing Dani Ayala looked skywards as Jones wheeled away. Kyle Naughton punched the ball in pure frustration in the final act of the contest barely another minute or so after Norwich had restarted play. It was a sickening sensation.

One all too rare under Lambert's stewardship – when City have collectively got their metaphorical blow in first. Or perhaps last as the case should be.

Norwich's fans responded magnificently in the immediate aftermath of Jones' equaliser. Vocal waves of support rippled around the stadium. It was another collective show of defiance.

The pre-match chatter had suggested Stoke offer the perfect role model for Norwich or any of the other promoted sides. If you accept the Potters are indeed the benchmark for upwardly mobile clubs, Lambert and his playing collective now know they can hold their own.

Stoke's best spell of concerted pressure came only when Norwich had been reduced to 10. For the second week in a row, Ruddy had to face down an opponent taking dead aim from 12 yards.

Leon Barnett was deceived by Jones' initial flick. Walters needed no second invitation to muscle his way goal side. The first contact came clearly outside the home penalty box. Walters defied gravity long enough to fall inside it.

It was Ritchie De Laet versus Franco Di Santo again. Same part of the pitch, same outcome. To a point. Ruddy flung himself to his right to parry Walters' driven spot kick.

Norwich had prevailed in what is likely to be a rare East Anglia duel of sorts this season. Or next, perhaps, given the current trajectories of both clubs. In the ensuing bedlam it was almost possible to forget Barnett had exited the scene. Referee Swarbrick produced a straight red card. In his place came Ayala for his senior debut to partner De Laet in surely one of the youngest central defensive pairings of recent times for the Canaries.

Ayala's Liverpool debut had also come against Stoke. A handsome 4-0 win for the Reds. Only the delusional thought history was likely to repeat itself here. Pulis withdrew Jonathan Woodgate. No need for the heavy artillery at the back now. It was Norwich who needed to batten down the hatches.

Twice Walters' produced near post flicks which bisected a posse of players swarming around Ruddy's goal. The big man momentarily lost the flight of Ryan Shotton's cross but parried behind. Jones then carved Shotton's cross over. The force was with Norwich. Whelan moved into space on the edge of the box but his attempted curler sailed over.

Three of the five additional minutes had elapsed when Matthew Etherington shovelled it on to Whelan again. The Republic of Ireland international was able to advance into more of the space afforded to a team with a one-man advantage.

Suitably chastened after his previous wayward effort, Whelan elected to look up this time before crafting a ball onto Jones' forehead.

Stoke's travelling support found their voices – the previously limp versions of Delilah carried little of the ferocity that reverberates around the Britannia. De Laet would know only too well the passion in the Potteries. Albeit second hand. The Belgian spent a year and a half there on his arrival in this country from Antwerp without playing a first team game before moving on to Man United.

The 20-year-old must have relished his first competitive goal in Norwich colours – displaying the awareness of a striker when he peeled off his marker to glance Bradley Johnson's free kick past Asmir Begovic.

The Brazilian Ronaldo clearly influencing his celebration as he raced away with both arms outstretched towards the Jarrold.

Redemption was swift in coming after his role in Wigan's opener the previous week. A commanding second half at the DW Stadium was matched and raised here.

In a starting line up showing six changes from City's league bow against the Latics, De Laet already has the look of a permanent fixture.

Wes Hoolahan and David Fox had to settle for a watching brief.

Lambert has talked about the need for flexibility. In personnel and in system. If anyone remained in any doubt the omission of City's diamond boys underlined the point.

Fox would have relished the chance to play against the side of his father. A Stoke goalkeeper who appeared more times for the club than even the great Banks.

City's midfield quarterback instead had to content himself with a touchline reunion alongside fellow opposition substitute Danny Pugh. This was a day and a shift for the likes of Johnson, Elliott Bennett and Anthony Pilkington.

The former Huddersfield wide player looked a man comfortable in his rarefied surroundings situated on the wide left. Atherton Collieries seems a long way from a full house at Carrow Road and the hype surrounding the best league in the world.

Pilkington took it in his cultured stride. Enticing Robert Huth to venture into unfamiliar wide areas before just failing to pick out Chris Martin with a cross delivered on his left.

Then cutting inside on to the right foot to try his luck from range.

Ryan Shawcross's brave block surely denied Pilkington a Premier League goal to cherish when he deflected his swinging half volley behind from Grant Holt's cutback. Stoke are nothing if not resilient. The Potters are a side moulded in Tony Pulis's image. Tough, uncompromising.

But they can also play. Etherington offers devilment a plenty. Kyle Naughton was squared up before Tottenham old skipped past Tottenham new. Ruddy beat away the angled strike.

Etherington tried again on the restart. A dipping 20-yard free kick destined for the top corner before Ruddy threw up an arm to divert.

Jermaine Pennant's recurring calf problem robbed Stoke of his services on the opposite flank. The Potters have productive supply lines in wide areas.

The summer arrivals of Pilkington and Elliott Bennett equip City likewise. Lambert's men past and present already possess the character and collective spirit forged on their way to the Premier League. All they lack is top flight nous. But the signs are encouraging.

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