Norwich City 1 Bournemouth 1
16:56 30 August 2014
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Norwich City’s winning league run came to a frustrating halt against a slick Bournemouth in a Championship stalemate at Carrow Road.
Lewis Grabban’s fifth in five games was the perfect opening salvo against his old club, but Grabban’s replacement on the south coast, Callum Wilson, underlined why Norwich were keen to recruit him over the summer with a close range finish in the final seconds of the first period.
Neil Adams made one change to the starting line up who beat Ipswich in the East Anglian derby at Portman Road with the injured Ryan Bennett replaced by the fit-again Javier Garrido. The Spaniard had been an injury doubt himself with a hamstring injury but proved his fitness on Friday.
Russell Martin switched back inside after deputising on the right flank alongside Michael Turner with Steven Whittaker another to be re-deployed following his shift down the left at Ipswich. Martin Olsson was absent due to a recent family bereavement but the Swedish international has served his extended ban for a red card at Wolves on the opening weekend.
Alex Tettey and Bradley Johnson were again paired in tandem behind a settled attacking three to support former Bournemouth striker Grabban.
Carlos Cuellar and Cameron Jerome were included on the home substitutes’ bench after making their debuts in the midweek Capital One Cup win against Crawley. Josh Murphy’s brace against the Reds was not enough to earn him a start, but there was no place in the matchday squad for Andrew Surman.
Wes Hoolahan’s weak intended pass for Garrido was all the invitation Wilson needed to drive to the byline but Turner’s near post positioning was sound.
Dan Gosling powered forward after a smooth passage of play from the confident visitors but hammered a rising strike over.
Redmond tricked his way past Harry Arter before sliding in Grabban, but Tommy Elphick was across to sense the danger.
Hoolahan earned an early caution for a desperate lunge trying to prevent Wilson launching a sharp counter.
City carved their way through to open the scoring against the run of play in the 15th minute with Grabban powering home a near post header for his fifth goal in five after Redmond had burst past Charlie Daniels to produce a peach of a cross.
Wilson required treatment after coming off second best in a physical contest with Turner but the Bournemouth dangerman was eventually able to continue.
Grabban sensed a fresh opportunity to inflict more pain on his former employers when he escaped Elphick’s attentions but Hoolahan’s angled pass skipped out of play. The all-action Norwich frontman tried his luck again in the 27th minute with a low left foot finish that slid wide.
Kyle Lafferty moved infield with menace but ex-City keeper Lee Camp was fully behind his 20-yard shot. Redmond’s awareness picked out Lafferty again but the big Northern Irishman was crowded out before he could threaten Camp a second time.
Turner cut down livewire Wilson to earn a second home caution just past the hour mark but Daniels’ inswinging free kick was gathered by Ruddy.
Redmond’s radar appeared in full working order with a gorgeous angled pass cushioned by Garrido in Lafferty’s direction, but the summer signing was on his heels.
City looked sharper in their attacking incursions for all Bournemouth’s smooth possession and Lafferty’s half-volley flew over in the 37th minute after a precise build up involving Redmond, Grabban and Hoolahan.
Redmond then whipped a free kick over the wall and arrowing inside Camp’s right-hand post before the keeper took evasive action.
But the England Under-21’s momentary lapse of concentration was punished deep in first half stoppage time when Simon Francis escaped his marker down the right to hammer a first time cross slotted by the late-arriving Wilson at the far post.
Bradley Johnson tested Camp on the restart with his first sighter of the contest following Hoolahan’s intelligent work in close quarters.
Bournemouth were now dominating possession much to the frustration of the home fans with City struggled to construct any meaningful attacking thrusts. Adams’ response was to introduce Murphy just past the hour mark for the toiling Lafferty.
Ruddy was required to gather from Dan Gosling with the visitors’ midfield still exerting an uncomfortable degree of control.
Murphy’s first intervention brought a foul from Francis who shoved the flyer over after he threatened to surge clear.
Turner rose with two Cherries’ defenders at Bournemouth’s far post to attack Tettey’s cross but the goal kick verdict clearly angered the centre back. Redmond cut inside Cook but hammered a rising shot well over to encapsulate the growing sense of frustration on and off the field.
Jerome was given the final quarter to leave a lasting impression on his league debut for the Canaries with Redmond making way.
Whittaker’s quick-thinking got Grabban in down the right-hand channel but a weak finish was easy for Camp.
Murphy then cut in from the opposite flank but the curler lacked the direction of his match-clinching strike in midweek.
Bournemouth underlined they were still capable of testing City at the opposite end with Marc Pugh’s swerving shot parried and then dropped on by Ruddy.
Tettey’s persistence earned a free kick wide on the right in the 86th minute but Elphick’s header cleared the danger from Hoolahan’s set piece with City still only carrying a sporadic threat.
Matt Ritchie’s left footed hit drifted into the Lower Barclay before Hoolahan was bundled over 28 yards out. Johnson stepped up to drill a strike Camp had to push above his own bar but the midfielder’s glancing header from the corner slipped well wide.
• Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin, Turner, Garrido, Tettey, Johnson, Lafferty (Josh Murphy 61), Hoolahan, Redmond (Jerome 71), Grabban. Subs (not used): Rudd, Cuellar, Loza, E Bennett, O’Neil.
• Bookings: Hoolahan (foul on Wilson, 13); Turner (foul on Wilson, 31); Lafferty (foul on Stanislas, 52); Johnson (foul on Arter, 60);
• Goal: Grabban (15)
• Bournemouth: Camp, Francis, Cook, Elphick, Daniels, Fraser (Ritchie 60), Arter, O’Kane, Gosling, Stanislas (Pugh 68), Wilson. Subs (not used): Flahavan, Smith, Harte, Kermorgant, Rantie.
• Booking: Francis (foul on Johnson, 77)
• Goal: Wilson (45)
• Added on time: 2 minutes / 4 minutes
• Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)
• Attendance: 25,814