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Norwich City 2 Wolves 1 - match report

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Battling Wolves put in an improved performance but still crashed to their fourth successive defeat to trail the safety line by four points at Norwich today.

Battling Wolves put in an improved performance but still crashed to their fourth successive defeat to trail the safety line by four points at Norwich today.

Matt Jarvis' 25th- minute opener put Wolves ahead for the first time since Tottenham away on January 14.

But Norwich equalised through Grant Holt within a minute then the Canaries striker put his side ahead from the spot following Eggert Jonsson's handball in first-half injury-time.

Holt was then sent off with five minutes left for a lunge on Michael Kightly.

Wolves have taken just one point from 15 under new boss Terry Connor and this latest defeat left next week's home clash against Bolton a must-win if they are to survive.

Connor made three changes to the line-up thrashed 5-0 by Manchester United six days ago.

The big talking point was the return of Roger Johnson for the first time under Connor, and with the skipper's armband.

Johnson, Michael Kightly and Eggert Jonsson came in for the suspended Ronald Zubar, Kevin Foley and the injured David Davis.

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And with eight players missing – Karl Henry, Jody Craddock, Stephen Hunt, Anthony Forde and Emmanuel Frimpong are also out - Connor fielded academy graduates John Gorman and Jack Price on the bench for the first time in a threadbare-looking Wolves 18.

Wolves, wearing their all-black change kit, looked bright throughout the first half even though they trailed at the break.

Roared on by a 1,300-following, the visitors forced the first chance inside the opening two minutes when Kevin Doyle's glancing header from Kightly's free kick forced a diving save from John Ruddy, the keeper gathering at the second attempt ahead of Johnson.

In an fast, open encounter, Norwich hit back with an angled shot from Simeon Jackson that Wayne Hennessey blocked with his legs.

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Norwich went closer to taking the lead in the 12th minute when a powerful header from Zak Whitbread was nodded off the line by Kightly, although it looked as if it may have been going wide.

But if Norwich thought they were building up a head of steam, it was Wolves who surprised them by taking the lead.

Jarvis swept home from near the penalty spot after Doyle was squeezed out in his attempts to get in a shot from Kightly's cross and laid it back into his path.

But within a minute, Norwich were level when Holt finished superbly, heading into an empty net after lobbing Hennessey when Jackson split the Wolves defence and Sebastien Bassong played him onside.

Norwich took the lead in the first minute of time added on at the end of the first half through Holt's penalty driven through the middle after Eggert Jonsson handled Wes Hoolahan's fierce shot.

Norwich started the second half more brightly as Holt chased his hat-trick.

But it was Wolves who missed the chance to equalise when Steven Fletcher missed an albeit difficult chest-high volley from Jarvis' cross was deflected.

Holt was prevented from completing his treble on the hour when Bassong made a vital headed interception at the far post from Russell Martin's cross.

As the game wore, it looked as if any more goals from an always open game were going to come from the home side.

Jonny Howson saw a curling shot palmed away by Hennessey on 81 minutes after Norwich tried to walk the ball in.

But Wolves were given fresh hope in the 85th minute when Holt was sent off for a lunge on Kightly, which was apparently his second bookable offence after referee Mark Clattenburg showed a yellow card then red.

But it was a mystery to many when Holt's first bookable offence actually occurred.

Try as they might, Wolves couldn't force the equaliser as Norwich's defensive blocked a free kick by substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake then the follow-up by fellow sub Nenad Milijas.

By Tim Nash

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