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Football: CANARIES MAKE POINT; GRIMSBY.............1 NORWICH............1.

Byline: BILL MILLS

NORWICH boss Nigel Worthington called this, "a Norwich away performance of old" as his much-changed side ended a terrible away run of five defeats.

The Canaries' following were beginning to wonder just where they would see their side pick up something on their travels.

A midweek defeat at home to Brighton had seen confidence drop and in the opening stages at Blundell Park there was clearly a lack of confidence throughout the side.

To leave out your two leading scorers and bring in a 17-year-old striker, Ian Henderson, for his full debut was considered by some as a bit of a gamble.

But Worthington said: "I was delighted with our performance. There were a lot of plusses. There were some fresh legs and some players were left out but I was pleased with our shape."

After an excellent first half full of incident in which the Norwich crossbar denied a Paul Groves a header on 13 minutes, it was the Canaries who were chirping as they swept into the lead.

It came on 51 minutes through striker Zema Abbey who dispatched a first bounce clearance from keeper Robert Green into the back of the net behind which Norwich's travelling army was gathered.

But that was wiped out when a delicious piece of skill from John Oster left keeper Green with no chance in the 77th minute.

Next up for Norwich in the holiday season is the game against Gillingham but at least this away point has finally ended that depressing away run which was starting to becom a bit of a complex. MAN OF THE MATCH SIMON FORD Cultured display at the back GRIMSBY: Coyne 6, McDermott 7, FORD 8, Santos 6, Groves 7 (Cooke 6), Campbell 7, Coldicott 6, Oster 6, Mansaram 7 (Soames 5), Livingstone 6, Barnard 7 (Gavin 6). NORWICH: Green 6, Drury 7, Mackay 7, Fleming 6, Nielsen 5, Mulryne 6, Holt 6, Abbey 6 (Heckingbottom 5), Llewellyn 6, Russell 6, Henderson 7 (McVeigh 5). MANAGER RATINGS: Groves 7; Worthington 7. REFEREE: S Baines 8.

CAPTION(S):

IN GOAL HABIT: Striker Zema Abbey, left
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2002
Words:351
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