Rhodes to res­cue for never-say-die Nor­wich

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Football - By Jon Cul­ley at the Hawthorns

The ex­pec­ta­tion was for a feast of goals from two of the most po­tent at­tacks in the Cham­pi­onship, not least af­ter their pre­vi­ous en­counter this sea­son, which Al­bion won with the best of seven.

Al­bion head coach Dar­ren Moore would have been con­tent with 1-0 this time if Dwight Gayle’s 15th goal of the sea­son had been the win­ner. How­ever, the fight-to-the-end char­ac­ter of this Nor­wich side se­cured a late point.

Sub­sti­tute Jor­dan Rhodes pro­vided it, ar­riv­ing at the near post with per­fect tim­ing to wrong foot the home de­fence and turn home a Kenny McLean cross. Both men had come off the bench just a cou­ple of min­utes ear­lier.

Nor­wich slip out of the top two af­ter four Cham­pi­onship matches with­out a win, which some will see as a wob­ble, it was a brave per­for­mance, af­ter which you would as­sume man­ager Daniel Farke to be the hap­pier of the two, al­though Moore in­sisted any dis­ap­point­ment should be set against a week of set­backs. “I can’t be too dis­ap­pointed be­cause what a per­for­mance it was from us,” he said. “We didn’t al­low Nor­wich any mo­men­tum. We tried to get the sec­ond goal but it was a top per­for­mance against top op­po­nents. The one per­son we could’ve done with that chance not fall­ing to was Jor­dan. I have worked with him be­fore and, like Dwight, he’s a top marks­man.”

The set­backs were three­fold, forc­ing Moore into changes. Har­vey Barnes was re­called by par­ent club Le­ices­ter City, while Matt Phillips and James Mor­ri­son were in­jured. In ad­di­tion, Jake Liver­more was sus­pended.

Moore pitched 18-year-old Ra­keem Harper into his mid­field for his first start in the Cham­pi­onship and he de­liv­ered a com­posed per­for­mance.

The big plus for Al­bion was that lead­ing scorer Gayle was over a ham­string in­jury and the on-loan New­cas­tle striker needed only 12 min­utes to make his fin­ish­ing qual­ity tell, get­ting in front of Je­mal Lewis at the near post to con­vert a cross by Ma­son Hol­gate, mak­ing his Bag­gies league de­but at right-back fol­low­ing his ar­rival from Ever­ton on loan.

Nor­wich had not suf­fered an away de­feat since los­ing at Sh­effield United in Au­gust, yet they could have gone fur­ther be­hind when Hal Rob­son-Kanu fired nar­rowly wide.

Al­bion be­gan the sec­ond half as if keen to stretch their lead early but a sec­ond goal eluded them. In­stead, the two Nor­wich sub­sti­tutes com­bined to make the home fans’ frus­tra­tion feel so much worse, McLean’s low cross seem­ing to cause hes­i­ta­tion in the home de­fence, en­abling Rhodes to pounce.

Man­ager Farke read­ily took credit for the point-sav­ing change.

“I’m re­ally pleased for Jor­dan Rhodes,” he said. “It’s great that he and Kenny McLean were able to come on and ful­fil my ideas.”

Rhodes show: Nor­wich City sub­sti­tute Jor­dan Rhodes cel­e­brates scor­ing a late equaliser

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