Norwich 2 Wolves 1: Holt goes from hero to villain as Canaries pile misery on Connor
17:20 GMT, 24 March 2012
Wolves slipped further into the relegation mire as captain Grant Holt netted twice before being sent off as Norwich came from behind to secure three points at Carrow Road.
The Black Country side languish bottom of the Barclays Premier League as the season edges towards a close, having lost four games on the bounce.
Terry Connor's embattled side have now won just once in 16 league matches following today's tough match, which had began well for the visitors.
Double trouble: Holt scored twice but was sent off
Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Ward, Whitbread, Lappin (Naughton 46), Elliott Bennett (Surman 66), Howson, Fox, Hoolahan, Holt, Jackson (Morison 73). Subs not used: Steer, Johnson, Crofts, Wilbraham.
Sent off: Holt 26, 45.
Wolverhampton: Hennessey, Stearman, Johnson, Bassong, Ward, Kightly (Gorman 89), Edwards, Jonsson (Milijas 64), Jarvis, Fletcher, Doyle (Ebanks-Blake 65). Subs not used: De Vries, Berra, Foley, Price.
Goal: Jarvis 25.
Booked: Johnson, Jonsson.
Referee: Mark Clattenburg.
Despite Norwich dictating the early tempo, Wolves took the lead through a neatly-worked Matt Jarvis goal.
That lead lasted just a minute, though, as Holt flicked the ball over goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to nod home from close range.
The 30-year-old slotted home a
penalty on the stroke of half-time to give Norwich a lead they managed
to hold on to, although the shine was taken off the striker's
performance as he received a late red card.
Paul Lambert made five changes for
today's encounter in the Norfolk sunshine, with Holt, Wes Hoolahan and
Simeon Jackson amongst those drafted in.
Wolves recalled Roger Johnson to the
starting XI and was one of three alterations made by manager Connor, who
also brought in Eggert Jonsson and Kightly.
The changes to the side defeated
heavily by Manchester United last weekend had the desired effect early
on as Wolves began brightly.
Early lead: Matt Jarvis slides the ball home
After Stephen Ward fired wide inside a
minute, Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy had to react well to stop Kevin
Doyle heading home a Kightly free-kick.
Wolves were playing with a confidence that belied their recent performances, although City soon responded.
Johnson had to be alert to block two
goalbound efforts in quick succession before Jackson controlled a loose
ball in the box and forced Hennessey into action.
Having recovered from their slow
start, Norwich pressed for an opener that would have come in the 10th
minute had Kightly not been on the goalline to clear away a Zak
Beaten: John Ruddy is helpless to stop Jarvis' strike
The hosts continued to dominate yet fell behind during a rare Wolves foray forward in the 25th minute.
Kightly, impressing on his return to
the team, darted down the right flank and sent over a cross that was
touched away from the Norwich defenders by Doyle for Jarvis to fire home
low into the bottom right-hand corner.
However, Wolves showed a minute later
why they had the worst defensive record in the league when Jackson
played through Holt to equalise.
Fighting for their lives: Wolves are three points adrift at the foot of the table
The 30-year-old latched on to the
Canada international's ball and lifted it over the head of the onrushing
Hennessey, before heading home from six yards.
Buoyed by his 13th goal of the
campaign, Holt flashed wide a speculative effort moments later as
Norwich again attacked with intent.
Wolves were forced to defend in
numbers to keep the home side at bay and it looked like the only moment
of note as half-time approached would be a tiff between team-mates Ruddy
and Elliott Ward.
That all changed in the 45th minute,
though, when Holt had a fierce shot superbly blocked by Stephen Ward and
Hoolahan's follow-up was handled in the box by Jonsson.
On the up: The win moves Norwich into 11th
The former Hearts midfielder was
booked for the incident and referee Mark Clattenburg awarded a penalty,
which Holt duly dispatched.
Kyle Naughton began the second period
in place of Simon Lappin for the hosts, who started the half in the
same vein in which they ended the first.
Elliott Bennett and Jonny Howson had
early shots blocked as City looked to extend their advantage, before
Jackson lost his footing when through on goal.
Eyes on the ball: Jonny Howson (right) does battle with Michael Kightly
Wolves were impressing in flashes and
Steven Fletcher almost connected with a deflected Jarvis cross-shot,
before Norwich returned to the attack.
Sebastien Bassong's last-ditch
challenge prevented Holt heading in his hat-trick goal in the 60th
minute and Howson came close with a fierce drive from the resulting
Johnson was harshly booked for a
challenge on Holt as Norwich continued to dictate play, with Whitbread
shooting wide before Hennessey sprinted out of his box to thwart
Seeing red: Holt is given his marching orders late on
Wolves searched desperately for an
equaliser as the clock wound down, with the hosts welcoming them on in
the hope of catching them on the break.
Hennessey did well to save a stinging
Howson effort in the 80th minute, but that was the last chance of note
as Norwich's defence remained steadfast to hold off Wolves late on.
The victory was their first in five attempts in the league but was tempered somewhat by Holt's late sending off.