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Premier League

  • 31 December 2011
  • • 15:00
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 26406

Norwich City 1-1 Fulham: Simeon Jackson hits dramatic late equaliser to deny Martin Jol's men a priceless away win

Norwich City 1-1 Fulham: Simeon Jackson hits dramatic late equaliser to deny Martin Jol's men a priceless away win

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Paul Lambert's side struck late on to cancel out Orlando Sa's early opener in an entertaining stalemate at Carrow Road, as the Canaries bounced back from Spurs defeat

After a fast-paced, all-action display at Carrow Road on Saturday, Norwich City claimed a point in the final moments against Fulham to secure a 1-1 draw.

Portuguese striker Orlanda Sa scored the opening goal of the game in the early on after great work from Moussa Dembele for Martin Jol's side, but the hosts eventually responded.

Paul Lambert’s team had more than their fair share of chances, but were left to rue poor finishing, until Simeon Jackson headed in injury time to secure a point.

After the disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Tottenham in midweek, Lambert made four changes to his team, opting for a different formation as well.

In defence, former Liverpool and Sevilla man Daniel Ayala made only his second Premier League start for the Canaries, replacing the injured Ritchie De Laet, while Kyle Naughton returned to the starting XI after being ineligible for the visit of Spurs.

In midfield, Bradley Johnson replaced Andrew Crofts and Anthony Pilkington came in for Grant Holt to make a five-man midfield.

Fulham, however, made no changes at all from the team that drew 1-1 at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea on Boxing Day, with Damien Duff replacing Matthew Briggs on the bench.

The match started with a quick tempo amid a good atmosphere created by the home crowd, but Fulham soon gave their own fans something to shout about as Martin Jol’s side took the lead inside five minutes.

Dembele eased past Johnson in the midfield before slipping a good ball through to Sa, with goalkeeper John Ruddy given no chance to stop the striker's effort from the edge of the box.

The visitors almost doubled their lead a matter of moments later, this time Sa cutting in from the left, but his effort was cleared off the line brilliantly by Naughton.

Norwich soon began make home advantage count, however, feeding off the energy from the stands and creating a number of opportunities.

The first to have a chance was Johnson, arriving at the penalty area late and side-footing Andrew Surman’s cut-back just wide, but a deflection gave them a corner, the first of four in quick succession.

                  Last-gasp Canaries | Jackson's late leveller secured a point for Norwich

From the second of the following corners, Zak Whitbread went close as he saw his header tipped on to the crossbar, and soon after, Steve Morison had two great opportunities, first heading directly at Stockdale before poking the rebound straight at the goalkeeper again.

As the first-half drew to a close, Fulham probably should have got their second as a ricochet in the area saw the ball drop kindly for Clint Dempsey, but his header came back off the bar.

The visitors managed to keep a hold of the lead into the second half as Norwich continued to waste their chances, but then Holt's introduction in place of David Fox brought a renewed sense of optimism to Carrow Road.

The first chance of the second half came after 10 minutes and Norwich could’ve equalised, but for a great John Arne Riise block.

Morison did brilliantly to get on the end of a pass in behind Stephen Kelly before flicking the ball to Wes Hoolahan in the centre, but despite being tackled, the ball fell for Pilkington, yet the winger’s attempt was put behind by the Norwegian left-back.

Moments later, Norwich went even closer, but the crossbar denied them as Naughton cut inside Kelly, before shooting from a tight angle.

The Norwich fans began to show their frustration, as their side continued to be loose in possession, particularly when Surman's half-volley brushed just wide of Stockdale's left-hand post with 20 minutes remaining.

After a raft of substitutions, Norwich felt they should have had a penalty as Jackson went down under pressure from Brede Hangeland, and it could easily have been given, but Howard Webb waived away any claims.

Soon after, Jackson went close from left side of the area as the attacker looked to find the top-far corner, but Stockdale did well to parry away.

Norwich continued to pile on the pressure in the final 10 minutes and the next to go close was Whitbread, but Stockdale matched his header.

With just two minutes left of normal time, fan-favourite Holt should have equalised, getting on the end of Elliott Bennett's cross from the right, but his header went well over from five yards.

The Canaries eventually got their goal in injury time as Bennett's brilliant cross from the right was headed in by Jackson, sending the home fans into frenzy as their joy was matched by late relief.

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