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Fulham beaten at Norwich ~ Ch. Match Report MD46

last updated Saturday 02nd May 2015, 4:41 PM

Match Report

Norwich (2) 4 -2 (0) Fulham

Championship ~ Match Day 46 at Carrow Road

Saturday 2nd May     KO: 12:15

Fulham striker Matt Smith
Matt Smith
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Norwich will play arch-rivals Ipswich in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs after recording a 4-2 victory over Fulham at Carrow Road.

Goals late in the first half from player of the season Bradley Johnson and Nathan Redmond put the Canaries in control, with Graham Dorrans making it three near the end of the match.

Matt Smith pulled a goal back for Fulham with seven minutes to go but Johnson doubled his tally to make it 4-1 before he got on the scoresheet for a third time, only on this occasion it was through an own goal.

The win saw Norwich finish third - and set up a mouthwatering play-off semi-final encounter with East Anglian neighbours Ipswich.

With a place in the play-offs already assured there was a lack of intensity in Norwich's early play and they had to wait until the 17th minute for their first clear sight of goal.

A sweeping move down the right ended with Johnson taking aim from just inside the box but a good chance went begging as he dragged his shot wide.

Match Stats Norwich Fulham
Goals (2) 4 2 (0)
Scorers Johnson 37 Smith 83
Redmond 39 Johnson og 91
Dorrans 81
Johnson 91  
Goal attempts 19 8
On target 8 4
Shooting Accuracy 42% 50%
Possession 57% 43%
Corners 4 3
Offsides 0 1
Passes 563 426
Pass Success 84% 81%
Crosses 15 14
Crosses Success 7% 0%
Tackles 18 10
Tackles Success 83% 100%
Saves 3 4
Fouls 10 8
Yellows 2 1
Reds 0 0
source: Soccernet/Fulham FC
Fulham, who went into the game with a 16-match unbeaten run against Norwich stretching back to 1986, were also struggling to create chances as passes went astray on a regular basis.

A disjointed, scrappy match was crying out for a goal and it arrived out of the blue in the 36th minute when Wes Hoolahan picked out Gary Hooper's well-timed run behind the visitors' defence. The striker got to the byline and had all the time in the world to pick out an unmarked Johnson who gleefully slotted home his 14th of the season

Three minutes later it was 2-0 as more poor Fulham defending was punished. This time the visitors were guilty of standing back as Redmond moved into the box and the England Under-21 star curled a superb shot into the far corner to double Norwich's advantage.

Fulham should have pulled one back just before the break when Hugo Rodallega broke clean through but with just John Ruddy to beat he lobbed carelessly over the bar.

The Cottagers' front man did a lot better just after the break as he got in a shot on goal from a tight angle, but an alert Ruddy was well placed to save.

It was a far better game now and the lively Redmond forced Marcus Bettinelli into his first genuine save of the game when he let fly from 20 yards.

The flow of the game was not helped by four substitutions, two for each side, but Norwich continued to have the better of it, with Bettinelli having to be alert to grab a Gary O'Neil free-kick that was heading into the bottom corner.

Fulham were also much better than they were in the first half and nearly pulled one back 15 minutes from time when Shaun Hutchinson's goal-bound effort was blocked by O'Neil.

Hooper then saw his deflected shot on the turn clip the upright as the Canaries attempted to finish their regular season with a flourish.

City duly made it 3-0 in the 81st minute when Redmond danced into the area from the left before squaring to Dorrans for the simplest of finishes but Fulham got a deserved consolation almost immediately.

A poor defensive header fell nicely for substitute Smith who volleyed clinically past Ruddy.

There was still time for Johnson to make it 4-1 with a powerful low strike from distance - and then head an inswinging free-kick into his own net to complete the scoring.

Norwich City: Ruddy; Elliott Bennett, Martin, Bassong (Ryan Bennett 86'), Olsson; O'Neil, Jonny Howson (Dorrans 61'); Redmond, Hoolahan (Odjidja-Ofoe 61'), Johnson; Hooper
Unused substitutes: Rudd, Cuéllar, Andreu, Loza

Scorers: Johnson 36, Redmond 39, Dorrans 81, Johnson 91,

Bookings: Johnson 23, Olsson 75

Fulham: Bettinelli; Hoogland (Bodurov 12'), Hutchinson, Burn, Richards; Guthrie; Tunnicliffe, Kavanagh (Roberts 62'); Ruiz; Rodallega (Matt Smith 61'), McCormack
Unused substitutes: Kiraly, Fofana, Woodrow, Dembele

Smith 83 (left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.),
Johnson og 92 (free-kick which McCormack delivered and Johnson turned it into his own net.)

Bookings: Guthrie (90,f)

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 26,662

Source ESPN FC/football league
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