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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:31 GMT
Norwich 2-2 Stoke

On-loan striker Lee Mills scored a valuable late equaliser for struggling Stoke at Carrow Road to leave Norwich still searching for their first league win this year.

Norwich, with just one win in seven games in the First Division, were 2-0 up after 23 minutes but Stoke fought back.

Norwich took the lead when Stoke goalkeeper Steve Banks spilled a Malky Mackay header.

Debutant David Healy - on a one-month loan from Preston - saw his effort parried, but Iwan Roberts then headed home.

Norwich suffered a setback in the 22nd minute when left-back Adam Drury limped off.

But the Canaries bounced back when Mackay headed home his fifth goal of the season from Kenton's pinpoint cross.

Norwich goalkeeper Rob Green had to tip Dutchman Peter Hoekstra's left-foot curler round the post in the 37th minute.

But at the other end, Norwich nearly added a third with Healy unfortunate not to mark his debut with a goal as he saw his header hit the crossbar in first-half injury time.

Action-packed

Richardson was thwarted by Green at the start of the second half and Banks pulled off a fantastic save to keep out a Healy's stunning volley as the game swung from end to end.

Stoke hauled themselves back into the game in the 63rd minute, Brynjar Gunnarsson heading home Hoekstra's cross.

Richardson thought he had levelled but Green produced a stunning save to push the ball round the post.

Healy hit a shot over the crossbar as Norwich frantically searched for an insurance goal to give them some breathing space.

But Mills, on loan from Coventry, denied them victory ay the death with a stunning effort from the edge of the box.


Norwich: Green, Darren Kenton, Mackay, Fleming, Drury, Rivers, Russell, Holt, McVeigh, Roberts, Healy. Subs: Crichton, Abbey, Llewellyn, Briggs, Nielsen.

Stoke: Banks, Thomas, Handyside, Shtanuk, Marcus Hall, Richardson, O'Connor, Gudjonsson, Hoekstra, Iwelumo, Greenacre. Subs: Cutler, Mills, Gunnarsson, Marteinsson, Neal.

Referee: R Olivier (Sutton Coldfield).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Radio Stoke's Phil Bowers
"Stoke came back from the dead"
Stoke City boss Tony Pulis
"It was a poor start for us"

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