Simeon Jackson kept up his hot streak to fire Norwich back into the Barclays Premier League.

The striker headed his ninth goal in seven matches to sink stubborn Portsmouth 1-0 and secure promotion for Paul Lambert's side.

Third-placed Cardiff's shock home defeat by Middlesbrough meant Norwich kicked off knowing a win on the south coast would ensure they went up with a game to spare.

And Jackson, formerly of Rushden and Gillingham, will now be lining up against Manchester United and Chelsea next season after his priceless strike completed a remarkable rise for the Canaries.

City dropped out of the Premier League six years ago and hit rock-bottom when they were at the foot of League One on the opening day of last season following a 7-1 defeat by Colchester.

Their reaction to that hammering was to promptly hire the opposition manager, and just 20 months later Lambert's Norwich have become the first team to achieve back-to-back promotions to the top flight since Manchester City in 2000.

On a memorable night for the Norfolk club, more than 3,000 fans partied in the away stand while club shareholder and chief cheerleader Delia Smith celebrated in the directors' box.

The vital goal came as Andrew Crofts found David Fox in space and the midfielder swung in a superb cross for Jackson to bury his header past Jamie Ashdown.

And nothing was going to deny Norwich, who have doggedly pursued runaway leaders QPR all season.

Barring an FA points deduction for Rangers, City's victory means the npower Championship automatic promotion and relegation issues are all settled with a week of the season still to go.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Colchester United
#Norwich City
#Portsmouth
#Manchester City
#David Fox
#Championship
#League One
#Chelsea
#Premier League
#Cardiff City
#Jamie Ashdown
#Manchester United
#Andrew Crofts
#Gillingham
#Queens Park Rangers
#Simeon Jackson
#Middlesbrough
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