Grounds saves vital point

Published Add your comment

On-loan defender Jonathon Grounds headed a second-half equaliser to snatch a 1-1 draw for Norwich in their Coca-Cola Championship relegation scrap with Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The youngster, on loan from Middlesbrough, met Wes Hoolahan's dinked cross to cancel out Paul Heffernan's opener and extend Bryan Gunn's unbeaten start as Canaries boss.

Heffernan had marked his return to the Doncaster attack with a headed goal midway through the first half, but it was not enough to prevent their four-game winning run in the League from coming to an end.

Doncaster were unlucky not to take all three points, though, as the movement of Heffernan and James Spicer up front, ably supported by James Coppinger out wide, caused the Norwich defence all sorts of problems.

Lee Croft down the Norwich right looked the most likely source of inspiration and so it proved as he carved out the game's first chance in the 10th minute, cutting inside the full-back and into the area before firing a low shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Doncaster, though, slowly began to gain a foothold in midfield and took the lead after 23 minutes when Heffernan followed up to nod home from close range after Norwich keeper David Marshall had made a brave initial save.

Mark Fotheringham and Richie Wellens were then fortunate to escape with no more than a talking to from the referee after they squared up to each other following a hefty challenge from the Norwich skipper.

Norwich almost drew level straight after the break, Hoolahan taking a long ball on the chest and crossing for Jamie Cureton, whose first touch took him away from his marker but Neil Sullivan came out to make a smart save.

And Norwich equalised in the 61st minute when Grounds headed Hoolahan's clipped ball in from the right past Sullivan. Doncaster then had a penalty appeal waved away, while at the other end Jon Otsemobor blazed a glorious chance high over the bar after Pattison's neat pass had played him in.

Marshall then had to be at his athletic best to tip Coppinger's fierce drive over the bar as the game began to really open up. But for all Doncaster's late pressure they could not find a winner as their run of victories came to an end.

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

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Norwich City
James Coppinger
Jon Otsemobor
Doncaster Rovers
Jamie Cureton
Lee Croft
Wes Hoolahan
David Marshall
Mark Fotheringham
Neil Sullivan
Paul Heffernan

Read more

back to top