Premier League - Sub Holt fires Norwich to win
Grant Holt came off the bench to bundle in the winner as Norwich beat Queens Park Rangers 2-1 in a frantic Premier League affair at Carrow Road.
Norwich took a 14th minute lead through Russell Martin, who swept in from close-range after QPR failed to clear Andrew Surman's corner.
QPR hit back through Luke Young, who slotted in after Jamie Mackie's low drive came back off the inside of the post.
But Paul Lambert's double substitution in the 70th minute proved to be an inspired move as Wes Hoolahan crossed for Holt, who got enough on the ball to beat Radek Cerny and seal a valuable three points.
This battle between two newly-promoted sides with lofty ambitions started at breakneck speed.
The pace of the encounter caught Anton Ferdinand out on a couple of occasions, and he was almost punished in the ninth minute when he let Steve Morison get ahead of him and poke a shot towards goal.
But Cerny, the former Spurs keeper making his first Premier League appearance for almost three years, was equal to that effort – and most of what Norwich threw at his goal in the early stages.
But he was undone by his teams slack defending at Surman’s 14th minute corner.
Shaun Derry failed to clear at the near post and the loose ball fell to Martin, whose fired in from close-range.
QPR, inspired by Shaun Wright-Phillips throughout the first half, toiled for an equaliser and Derry should have atoned for his earlier error but was unable to stab the ball in at the far post from Wright-Phillips’s clipped free-kick.
Moments before the interval, a mazy Wright-Phillips run allowed the winger the space to send a fizzing low shot at John Ruddy, but Mackie could only find the side-netting with the rebound.
QPR, without their suspended captain Joey Barton, continued to boss the contest and deserved their equaliser, courtesy of Young, just before the hour.
Prior to his goal against Stoke last week, Young hadn’t scored since August 2010, but he was on hand to calmly slot in the rebound after Mackie’s low drive crashed back off the foot of the post.
QPR looked favourites to make it 2-1 for a while but Lambert reacted with an inspired double change, which bore fruit less than three minutes later.
Ghosting into space that should have been occupied by Derry, Holt finished Hoolahan’s delivery from the right - and almost raised the roof at Carrow Road.
QPR pressed for a second equaliser and came closest when Young's over-hit cross scraped the bar - but Norwich survived and the Londoners - who have now lost eight of their last nine visits to Norwich - were forced to leave empty-handed again.