BARNSLEY produced a lacklustre performance which saw them lose 2-0 at home to Norwich, writes digital editor Graham Walker.
A classy brace for Andrew Crofts was all that Norwich required to register a confident win.
Crofts scored his seventh and eighth goals of the season with a glancing header and a stunning volley in the first half.
The victory sees Norwich strengthen their claim to a play-off position and continue their excellent away record, having only lost three fixtures on the road this season.
The Canaries started brightly, Wes Hoolahan beginning his 100th league appearance for the Norfolk side with a powerful shot from distance which Luke Steele did well to parry.
The home side struggled to close the Republic of Ireland international down for much of the first half, and he was on hand to test their goal again after 16 minutes with a fizzing shot from 30 yards which Steele had to beat away.
Barnsley sparked into life soon afterwards, Goran Lovre finding space to force a splendid reaction save from John Ruddy with a bullet header.
The first blow in a miserable afternoon for the hosts came when Bobby Hassell was taken off injured, replaced by new loan signing Marlon Harewood.
After a brief respite, Paul Lambert’s men initiated another swift attack, skipper Grant Holt stabbing a shot into the side-netting on the half hour mark.
Two minutes later, Marc Tierney was allowed the freedom of Oakwell to switch the ball to David Fox who clipped the ball onto Crofts’ head for him to glance an opener with his forehead.
Things went from bad for worse for Mark Robins, managing against his former club, when fellow former Canary Jason Shackell cut his lip in a clash of heads.
As he received treatment on the sidelines, the extra space afforded to the Canaries resulted in Crofts’ second goal.
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For full reports, photos, reaction and more, see The Green Un, out Saturday evening, and The Star on Monday, February 28, and a weekly round up in The Sheffield Telegraph on Thursday.
FINAL SCORES: Saturday, Feb 26, 2011:
Sheffield United v Derby County (HT:0-1) 0-1
Barnsley v Norwich City 0-2 (HT:0-2)
Doncaster Rovers v Watford 1-1 (HT:1-1)
Carlisle Utd v Sheffield Wednesday (HT:0-1) 0-1
Burton Albion v Rotherham United (HT:2-1) 2-4
Chesterfield v Morecambe (HT:0-1) 0-2
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