City Dig Deep In 3-3 Draw
With six of his squad sidelined through injury, Ricky Martin was down to the bare bones on Saturday when the table topping Canaries played host to Southampton. It was a gutsy performance from Martin's makeshift side who battled back from 3-1 down to earn a share of the points in an entertaining game for the Colney regulars.
It took both teams some time to settle down and it needed an intervention from referee Mr Goodman on 15 minutes to break the deadlock when he awarded Norwich a penalty when Sam Kelly was upended in the box. It was left to captain Matthew Ball to slot the ball past Saints keeper Jack Dovey.
Their lead lasted just five minutes. The visitors hit back when from a corner Ben Martin rose above the Norwich defence to head the ball beyond Jed Steer.
Southampton clearly had their tails up as City struggled to hold the visitors and it needed some great defending from the likes of Sam Habergham to keep the scores level at the break.
Ball saw a curling effort go just over the crossbar and they should have regained the lead when Jamar Loza found himself free in the box, but he fired his effort wide of the far post.
With 58 minutes on the clock it was the visitors who took the lead when Lloyd Isgrove cut in from the left flank to slide the ball under Steer.
Just ten minutes later and the Saints doubled their advantage when Norwich were hit on the break as Andy Robinson fired in a low drive that went in off the inside of the post.
City reduced the arrears on 73 minutes with a superb individual goal from Loza who danced his way past two defenders before slotting the ball past Dovey.
Ball was driving his team on and he was unlucky to see an effort turned onto the bar but City's Captain Fantastic was not to be denied when on 79 minutes, and with Southampton appealing for offside, he fired the Canaries back on level terms to round off a superb man of the match performance.
City Line-Up: Steer, Barker, Gordon, Florence [Clunan 63], Jones, Habergham, Kelly, Dobbs [Toffolo 79], Loza, Ball, Dawkin.
Subs Not Used: Matthews, Hall-Johnson.
Southampton Line-Up: Dovey, Young, Shaw [O'Sullivan 49], Robinson, Foot, Martin, Holder-Spooner [Chambers 63], Ward-Prowse, Hoskins, Curtis, Isgrove [Moore 74].
Subs Not Used: Welham, Sinclair.
Top Canary: Matthew Ball.
Go to Photo Gallery from the match
Match Report and photos courtesy John Landamore.
For a full selection of further excellent photos from the match please also visit Richard Phillips' match gallery at www.photozonline.co.uk