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Thursday 18 September K.O. 20:05



Carrow Road | 23rd February 2013 15:00

Norwich City v Everton

For the second time this season, Everton fell to a late Norwich smash and grab raid as two goals in the final six minutes saw the Canaries come from behind to inflict a painful defeat at Carrow Road.

Back in November, Sebastien Bassong had struck in injury time at Goodison Park to force an unlikely 1-1 draw.

Here Everton again led - this time through Leon Osman's first-half header - but left East Anglia with nothing after goals from substitute Kei Kamara and talisman Grant Holt snatched all three points.

It was an undeserving way for Tim Howard to celebrate his 300th Everton appearance and harsh too on Sylvain Distin, who had marshalled his defence so effectively for 84 minutes on his 400th Premier League outing.

It means David Moyes' men remain six points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham, who face a London derby against West Ham United on Monday.

Osman Goal NorwichEverton celebrate Leon Osman's opener.

Moyes made two changes for the trip south, bringing back the fit-again Seamus Coleman for veteran Phil Neville and replacing the injured Victor Anichebe with Steven Naismith.

Following a cagey opening, it was Robert Snodgrass who had the game's first real opportunity, though after latching on to a forward pass, the former Leeds United man saw his shot loop off the lunging Distin - the first overseas outfield player to rack up a quadruple tonne of top-flight run outs - and come crashing down on the roof of the net.

Back in April last year, Nikica Jelavic had been the Canaries' chief tormentor in a 2-2 draw by the River Wensum, bagging a clinical brace. It was no surprise when the visitors' opening chance fell his way 10 months on but the Croatian found goalkeeper Mark Bunn - a deputy for long-term injury victim and former Blue John Ruddy - equal to his smart close-range volley.

Jonny Howson then skipped past Leighton Baines only to see his driven shot slap against the back of Holt as the sides exchanged momentum.

The Blues' next attack saw Jelavic head the ball down for Marouane Fellaini on the edge of the box but the Belgian's firm thump was bravely blocked by Michael Turner.

Jelavic NorwichNikica Jelavic jumps for the ball.

Five minutes later Fellaini found himself in a similar position again, this time having been fed by Naismith, but after pivoting on the spot his improvised toe poke rocketed high into the stand behind Bunn.

In Holt, Norwich had a notable physical figurehead of their own. The striker, back after a fortnight on the sidelines, found a gap in Everton's back four on 35 minutes, charged through it but saw his measured shot well saved by the sprawling Howard.

With so much brawn on display, it was somewhat ironic that one of the most dimunitive players on the pitch eventually opened the scoring seven minutes before the break - with his head.

That said, eight yards out, Osman could hardly miss, such was the quality of the delivery from Baines.

Typically, Fellaini was involved, picking out Pienaar, who in turned pushed the ball on for the waiting left-back. His crisp first-time centre came laden with the sumptuous precision that has been his trademark in recent seasons, though in truth it came near the end of a half in which he had at times looked uncharacteristically shy of his best. He got it right here, Osman capitalised and the Blues took a 1-0 lead with them as they trotted off down the tunnel.

Ahead, Everton had the bitter East Anglian wind in their sails early in the second half but first Jelavic, then Pienaar, saw threatening crosses float through the danger area and frustratingly away to safety.

The latest of Fellaini's long-range rockets then fizzed high over the bar, though the metronomic rythym of the visitors' attacks was enough to force Canaries boss Chris Hughton into a change.

Norwich v EvertonDavid Moyes looks on from the dugout.

Kamara, a loan signing from MLS outfit Sporting Kansas City, came on for another January arrival, Luciano Becchio, and almost immediately tested Howard with an acrobatic volley the American custodian was gratefully able to gather. The Sierra Leone international then fired a second warning, getting between Phil Jagielka and Coleman, only to head wide from six yards out.
Darron Gibson, who prior to kick off had admitted his frustration at going an entire year without a goal - his only Everton strike remains his winner against Manchester City in January 2012 - went close with a curled effort that swirled inches adrift of the angle.

Moyes also freshened things up by sending on Kevin Mirallas for the fading Jelavic but it was another subsitute, Kamara, who would land a signficant blow.

When the beanpole forward again found himself in front of goal with six minutes to go, he made up for his earlier miss, giving Howard no chance with a thunderous header.

Deep into injury-time, Distin threw himself heroically to deny Holt when he looked certain to fire a winner, the Frenchman probably certain he'd earned his side a point.

As it was, there was time for one more attack. Russell Martin's cross caused havoc in a crowded box and when the ball was headed on by Bassong, there was Holt, perfectly positioned to chest it down and stab home.

Time for Everton to dust themselves off. Next up, Oldham.

By Adam Clark at Carrow Road



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