Johnson grabs win for Norwich

Date published: Monday 24th August 2015 1:26

Johnson grabs win for Norwich

The Canaries fell behind against the run of play to Alex Baptiste’s header midway through the first half and should have been level in a dominant first-half display, but had to wait until the 65th minute when substitute Cameron Jerome powerfully levelled.
And Alex Neil’s men were rewarded for their endeavour through Johnson’s stunning strike with six minutes left.
Jerome forced a stunning save from Jason Steele in the final minute and Rudy Gestede saw an injury-time header parried by John Ruddy as Norwich held on to record a fifth successive win, and only their second ever triumph at Ewood Park to remain four points behind the top two in the Sky Bet Championship.
The defeat ended Blackburn’s five-match unbeaten home record and they slipped further from the play-off picture.
Norwich manager Neil handed on-loan Graham Dorrans his first start in one of two changes from Saturday’s win over Watford, while for Blackburn, Tommy Spurr missed out through illness so Markus Olsson came in.
Norwich’s first sustained spell of possession came after 18 minutes and almost produced a goal when Johnson produced a wonderful ball over the top to match Martin Olsson’s run but the former Blackburn man scuffed his volley.
And they paid for that in the 22nd minute as Tom Cairney swung in a free-kick from the left and Baptiste’s 10-yard bullet header had too much power for Ruddy who could only get fingertips on the ball.
Norwich missed another gilt-edged chance soon after when Lewis Grabban mis-kicked six yards out with the goal at his mercy following good work by Wes Hoolahan and Steele had to tip over from Baptiste towards the end of the half.
The visitors finally forced a leveller in the 65th minute when Wes Hoolahan’s cross found Jerome at the back post and he controlled before rifling through Steele’s legs from six yards for his 16th league goal of the season.
Blackburn almost hit back instantly when Baptiste fizzed in a low cross and Johnson’s blushes were spared through Ruddy’s reflex tip over.
Chances continued to fall the visitors’ way and Whittaker’s right-wing cross was met by the onrushing Jonny Howson who caught his shot cleanly but hit it straight at Steele.
But Norwich scored the winner with six minutes remaining when Jerome laid the ball back to Johnson who thundered an outstanding 20-yard drive past the helpless Steele and into the top right corner.
Jerome forced Steele into a fine low save in a frantic ending which saw Ruddy parry from Gestede as Norwich made it seven wins in nine under Neil.

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