A season-changing day for Norwich

Posted by Paddy Davitt

Jamie McDonald/Getty ImagesNorwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn's reaction to the final whistle summed up the day for the Canaries.

Carrow Road has witnessed some epic finales. This was right up there, as Norwich struck twice in the final six minutes to overcome Champions League-chasing Everton 2-1.

The Toffees were in total control of the game for long spells and merited their first-half opener from Leon Osman, but Chris Hughton's inspired introduction of Kei Kamara reaped a rich harvest.

The Sporting Kansas City-loan striker injected dynamism and energy that the massed horde in another home sellout had been crying out for. Kamara rose powerfully to dispatch Robert Snodgrass' outswinging corner to light the yellow and green touch paper. The Sierra Leone international then provided enough muscular nuisance value alongside Sebastien Bassong to divert Russell Martin's deep cross into the path of Grant Holt, who did the rest from close range.

Hughton was enveloped by his coaching staff. Holt was submerged under a sea of teammates. Bedlam erupted on the terraces. It felt like an epoch-making moment every bit as spine-tingling as any Paul Lambert's heady era produced on a dizzy ascent from the depths of League One.

The old stadium was shook to its foundations. Everton barely had time to restart before referee Lee Mason signaled the end of a quite remarkable high point in Hughton's bumpy tenure. The Norwich manager deserves every plaudit going. He delivered on his pledge to pair Holt and Luciano Becchio in a major revision of the system that he had devised to steer City away from early season troubles. But with Becchio struggling to adapt to the higher intensity of the Premier League following his January window switch from Leeds, the Argentine made way for Kamara with 30 minutes remaining.

The 28-year-old's effervescent urgings sparked Norwich into a belated riposte. Everton's vice-like grip on the contest started to loosen. Kamara rose majestically in front of Marouane Fellaini to crash home Snodgrass' corner. The powerful front man clearly has the propensity to write his own scripts, yet there was still an element of fairy tale about Norwich's winner.

For David Moyes and his dejected players, it was the stuff of nightmares. City had snatched a stoppage time equaliser at Goodison Park earlier in the season. To repeat the dose and deny the Toffees of even a point for their supremacy in Norfolk bordered on the cruel. Moyes marched onto the pitch to confront Mason. The Everton chief confirmed afterward that he was bitterly unhappy at the amount of additional time added on in the dying embers by the official.

His appeals will have fallen on stony ground in these parts. City's first win in 10 Premier League games had been a long time coming. An increased eight-point gap to the Premier League's bottom three is a far more soothing margin for error with Manchester United next on the agenda.

But that can wait. Hughton, his players and those long-suffering Norwich fans deserve a weekend to savour. This sweet win and the manner of the victory will take that long to sink in.

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