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Saturday, 27 January, 2001, 17:25 GMT
Norwich 2-1 Watford
Watford defender Robert Page
Robert Page's return made no difference
Norwich scored twice in the final nine minutes to secure a dramatic victory and dent Watford's promotion aspirations.

The Hornets looked to be heading for a scarcely deserved victory when substitute Steen Nedergaard (81) and Lee Marshall (89) popped up to give the Canaries their second successive victory.

Watford had led courtesy of a 50th minute header from Heidar Helguson but then shot themselves in the foot 11 minutes later when Gifton Noel-Williams was sent off for a second bookable offence.

It opened the door for Norwich to lay siege to the visitors' goal and their late goals, which included a first in English football for Danish midfielder Nedergaard, were no more than they deserved.

The first half had been an evenly contested affair with Norwich keeper Andrew Marshall having to be at his best to keep out a close-range drive from Helguson and then doing well to block another close-range effort from the Icelander after spilling Noel-Williams' shot.

At the other end, Norwich also had their chances, the best coming on 33 minutes when Allan Nielsen made a goalline clearance to keep out a header from Malky Mackay.

The match could have gone either way after the break, but it was Watford who took the lead with what was to prove their only clear-cut opportunity of the second period.

The goal came after Micah Hyde cut the ball back to Neil Cox who delivered another of his accurate crosses from the right which was nodded home from close range by Helguson.

The Canaries hit back immediately with Chamberlain being forced into excellent saves from first Darren Kenton and then Iwan Roberts before Noel-Williams, who had earlier been booked, saw red for a needless late challenge on Chris Llewellyn on the halfway line.

From then on, it was all Norwich but try as they might they still went into the final ten minutes behind with a rasping drive from Zema Abbey which came back off the crossbar appearing to suggest it would not be their day.

But that was not the case and Norwich were back on level terms on 81 minutes when the lively Abbey nodded on a hopeful punt upfield from Mackay and Nedergaard was on hand to send a powerful first time shot past Chamberlain.

That gave the home side a huge boost and they wrapped up the three points a minute from time when a corner from Paul Dalglish was only half cleared by the flapping arm of Chamberlain.

Marshall was on hand to volley home from some ten yards with the visiting keeper getting a hand to the effort but only helping it into the back of the net.

Norwich: Andy Marshall, Sutch, Lee Marshall, Kenton, Jackson, de Blasiis, Mackay, Abbey, Llewellyn, Roberts, Coote. Subs: McVeigh, Green, Dalglish, Nedergaard, McGovern.

Watford: Chamberlain, Cox, Palmer, Page, Ward, Nielsen, Vernazza, Hyde, Mooney, Helguson, Noel-Williams. Subs: Baardsen, Kennedy, Wooter, Smith, Panayi.

Referee: J P Robinson (Hull)

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See also:

16 Jan 01 |  Norwich
Mulryne suffers new injury blow
06 Jan 01 |  FA Cup
Everton snatch Watford win
03 Dec 00 |  Eng Div 1
Bolton 2-1 Watford
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