Duo secure Norwich victory

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:38

Duo secure Norwich victory

In-form striker Lewis Grabban scored twice as Norwich brushed aside promotion rivals Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road in the Sky Bet Championship.
Grabban was on target for the third successive game as the Canaries claimed a fourth win in a row to move to within four points of an automatic promotion place.
He converted from the spot in the 65th minute, after Wes Hoolahan was tripped by Miguel Layun, before Cameron Jerome added a second five minutes later.
Jerome notched his 16th goal of the season with a fantastic volley over Watford goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes before Grabban made it 3-0 after Steven Whittaker’s pass.
The teams could not be separated during a cagey opening hour but the game came to life with a controversial penalty decision when Hoolahan went over. Watford were unconvinced, but referee Carl Berry pointed to the spot.
Grabban struck home the spot-kick to hand his team the lead and Norwich did not look back from there.
Both Norwich and Watford are managed by men who pride themselves on their tactical nous and the approaches of Alex Neil and Slavisa Jokanovic seemed to nullify the attacking threat in the first half.
Norwich’s Steven Whittaker curled a shot over the bar from just outside the area for the game’s first chance and Troy Deeney struck an effort wide for Watford but neither goalkeeper was troubled in the opening 45 minutes.
Almen Abdi had a good chance to score early into the second period but he struck his close-range shot into the ground from what would prove to be the home team’s best chance.
The dynamic of the match changed just after the hour mark when Hoolahan went down for the penalty.
Watford were then forced to chase the game and it was Hoolahan’s run from deep which created the space for Jerome to score the second Norwich goal, lobbing Gomes from 20 yards.
The Watford goalkeeper made two superb saves to keep the lead down to two goals. Grabban was denied at point-blank range after Craig Cathcart’s block rebounded into his path, and then Bradley Johnson would have found the bottom corner with a header had it not been for the former Tottenham shot-stopper.
Watford were by that point trying to chase the match and they conceded a third goal.
Whittaker sent a cross to the far post and Grabban slid in, unmarked, to volley in from close range.
Grabban could have finished with a hat-trick but he fired a shot from a tight angle over the bar.
Watford substitute Daniel Tozser shot wide from long range but John Ruddy was never stretched during a comfortable afternoon.

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