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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 16:59 GMT
Norwich 2-1 Southampton

Norwich midfielder Damien Francis
Damien Francis' double strike against Southampton finally earned Norwich their first Premiership win of the season at the 14th attempt.

James Beattie's volley from Rory Delap's cross gave Southampton a lead they held for three minutes.

Francis levelled, firing in off the post after Leon McKenzie had rolled the ball into his path.

The midfielder earned Norwich's first three points when he reacted first to head home Craig Fleming's knockdown.

It was the home side who were first out of the blocks, when Mathias Svensson's cross deflected into the path of Phil Mulryne, and his shot from the edge of the box forced Kasey Keller into action.

Referee Mike Riley turned down strong Norwich penalty appeals on 15 minutes when Darren Huckerby's cross struck Jason Dodd's upraised arm.

Huckerby then rolled the ball into the the path of Francis but Keller dropped to his right to cling on to the midfielder's stinging drive.

Southampton striker James Beattie
Beattie fired Southampton into the lead

Norwich were beginning to call the shots when Southampton took the lead on 27 minutes through Beattie's third Premiership goal of the season.

Rory Delap's cross looked innocuous enough but Beattie met it first time from 23 yards and his volley flew in off the post for his first goal since 28 August.

But Norwich trailed for just three minutes.

Dodd's slip allowed Leon McKenzie to run on and slide the ball across for Francis to score his second Premiership goal of the season off the inside of the post.

As Norwich took their foot off the pedal Dexter Blackstock proved a threat.

Adam Drury had to whip the ball off the youngster's toes after he coolly chested down Le Saux's deep cross.

Blackstock then turned sharply and Green parried his shot into the path of Anders Svensson who drove into the side netting from a tight angle.

As Saints pressed Francis breathed a sigh of relief as he headed Paul Telfer's free-kick on to the top of his own crossbar.

Simon Charlton did well to head Le Saux's dangerous cross behind as Beattie threatened at the start of the second half, and Anders Svensson's threaded pass sent Blackstock clear, only for him to scuff his shot straight at Green.

The direct route proved effective for Norwich as Mathias Svensson's flick found Francis whose shot was well saved by Keller.

Norwich striker Darren Huckerby
Darren Huckerby's pace was a constant threat

From the resulting corner, Craig Fleming climbed highest and Francis reacted first to head the bouncing ball past Keller from close range.

But almost immediately Blackstock climbed to knock down a cross and Beattie's touch just nicked the ball away from Delap who looked certain to score.

Kevin Phillips was introduced on the hour and within seconds the ball fell dropped to him but his shot was blocked by Charlton.

Norwich were defending ever deeper but on a rare raid, David Bentley delivered a wicked cross which cried out for a touch from any of three Norwich players.

Southampton pushed Norwich ever deeper as they pressed for an equaliser but Huckerby broke to skip past Dodd and deliver a cross which Kenton just managed to win ahead of McKenzie.


Norwich: Green, Edworthy, Fleming, Charlton, Drury, Bentley, Mulryne, Francis, Huckerby, McKenzie, Svensson.
Subs Not Used: Jonson, Safri, Ward, Helveg, Doherty.

Booked: Bentley.

Goals: Francis 28, 52.

Southampton: Keller, Dodd (Crouch 83), Lundekvam, Kenton, Le Saux, Fernandes, Delap, Telfer (Nilsson 72), Anders Svensson, Beattie, Blackstock (Phillips 60).
Subs Not Used: Jakobsson, Blayney.

Booked: Kenton.

Goals: Beattie 24.

Att: 23,706.

Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Norwich's Damien Francis


Interview: Southampton boss Steve Wigley




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