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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 April, 2005, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Norwich 1-0 Charlton
Mathias Svensson
Mathias Svensson grabbed a crucial late goal as relegation-haunted Norwich battled to victory against Charlton.

The Swedish substitute struck with a right-footed shot on 88 minutes to keep the Canaries' survival hopes alive.

The home side had chances to win earlier through Dean Ashton and Svensson, and succeeded in limiting the openings for Uefa Cup-chasing Charlton.

Norwich's victory lifted them off the bottom of the Premiership and consigned Southampton to last place.

Charlton went close through Jonatan Johansson, Dennis Rommedahl and a late Danny Murphy free-kick but Alan Curbishley's side were unable to break the deadlock despite early domination.

Charlton started brightly in the spring sunshine despite a fervent home crowd at Carrow Road.

A number of early forays into Norwich territory resulted in a good chance for Johansson.

The Finn latched on to a perfectly-weighted throughball from Radostin Kishishev, only to see Norwich keeper Robert Green out quickly to extinguish the threat.

Shortly after, Johansson battled his way to the by-line and dragged the ball back for Murphy, who could only spoon his shot over bar.

Norwich, though, eased their way back in and enjoyed several promising spells, the best of which nearly resulted in a goal from Ashton.

The striker turned well to lose his marker on the edge of the Charlton area but a wild shot flew high over the bar.

Minutes later, Canaries team-mate David Bentley also blasted over the top of the woodwork.

Norwich's momentum was building and Charlton were forced back into defensive mode as Bentley pressed down the right.

After 37 minutes, Ashton's chip put Bentley in behind the Charlton defence but his cross from the by-line was hacked away by Fortune.

On the brink of half-time, Ashton spurned the best chance so far when he blasted low past the keeper's right post after Leon McKenzie's header-on from Green's goal kick.

The opening minutes of the second half took on the same pattern with neither side dominating.

Danish star Rommedahl had the home crowd worried with a mazy run on the right which ended in a shot with the outside of his right boot that forced Green into a diving save.

For Norwich, McKenzie headed Bentley's powerful cross-shot wide, before team-mate Youssef Safri flashed a half-chance over the bar.

During a frantic final 15 minutes, Norwich substitute Svensson was through on Kiely but lobbed a tame shot at the keeper.

At the other end, Murphy's free-kick rattled off the left post and Francis Jeffers was unable to hit the rebound with any conviction.

But former Charlton star Svensson popped up with three minutes left to play.

From broken play after a throw-in on the left, he lashed the ball off balance with his wrong foot past Kiely for a vital win.


Norwich boss Nigel Worthington:
"A point would have been a plus but we stuck at it and the result came good for us.

"Winning brings confidence but we're still in the bottom three. There's still a long way to go and a fight on.

"We opened the door, now we've got one foot over the door, can we get the other one through?"

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley:
"If you're good enough, you end up in the top six and we've shown in the last couple of weeks we aren't.

"It's been a disappointing recent period but overall we've not been out of the top 10 all season.

"But this is the fifth year this has happened to us. Maybe we need to look at how we attack the final 10 games in the future."


Norwich: Green, Helveg, Fleming, Shackell, Drury, Jonson (Huckerby 63), Safri, Francis, Bentley (Svensson 80), McKenzie (Holt 90), Ashton.
Subs Not Used: Brennan, Ward.

Booked: Helveg.

Goals: Svensson 88.

Charlton: Kiely, Kishishev, El Karkouri, Fortune, Young, Rommedahl, Holland, Murphy, Hughes (Euell 62), Johansson (Thomas 82), Jeffers.
Subs Not Used: Perry, Lisbie, Andersen.

Booked: El Karkouri.

Att: 25,459

Ref: M Atkinson (W Yorkshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Norwich manager Nigel Worthington


Interview: Norwich's Mathias Svensson


Interview: Charlton boss Alan Curbishley




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