The Canaries were forced to settle for a hard-earned point at Carrow Road this evening as the Tigers came for what they were looking for – a big, away draw.
With five slung across midfield, Hull's lone striker Frazier Campbell managed to squeeze a 52nd minute equaliser home underneath City keeper David Marshall and as much as Norwich pushed for the winner, they rarely found much way beyond a solid bank of white shirts.
Even the second-half introduction of Darren Huckerby failed to have the desired effect as, for once, Norwich's ability to dig out a last-gasp winner deserted them.
As tonight's contest kicked-off, it was a moot point as to which Canary player would attract the most attention – 19-year-old Ched Evans after his two-goal heroics in South Wales this weekend or Arsenal starlet Kieran Gibbs who made his first appearance for his part-time employers since his deadline-day loan switch from The Emirates.
As suspected, Roeder went into tonight's battle with an all England Under-19 left-side as Gibbs slotted in on the left-hand side of midfield ahead of Ryan Bertrand who filled in for the night for Mo Camara.
Gibbs, Bertrand and Evans were not, however, the only Premiership youngsters on show tonight. The Tigers arrived with one of their own in the shape of Manchester United 20-year-old Campbell who in the absence of the injured Dean Windass was detailed to plough a lonely furrow up front.
He had pace. That was very swiftly evident as Jason Shackell found himself forced into an early sprint to cover.
Lee Croft was the one to light the crowd's blue-touch paper in the 12th minute as he whipped both ball and body around a stranded Henrik Pedersen before sending a teasing cross onto the edge of the Tigers' six-yard box where a stretching Evans could only head over. His loud appeals for a corner went unanswered. Gibbs, meanwhile, had barely touched the ball.
Not that it mattered for come the 19th minute and Norwich had marched into the lead. Croft, Mark Fotheringham and Darel Russell worked the ball well on the right for the latter to lift a big, hanging cross onto the penalty spot where Dublin rose above Michael Turner to send a looping header off and away inside Boaz Myhill's right-hand post.
It was the 38-year-old's seventh goal in what has already a vintage final season for the veteran City striker. The celebrations were long and heart-felt.
And almost short-lived as David Marshall came and took Jason Shackell instead of the ball. In the brief chaos that followed it needed a desperate block by Gary Doherty on the near post to deny the lurking Ryan France.
With the contest now in full swing, Myhill redeemed himself for any blame attached to Dublin's opener by punching one-handed a Croft curler wide in the 23rd minute after Evans had dug the ball out of the Hull six-yard box.
Croft, in particular, was having a ball as his little back heel set Matthew Bates clear and running in the 28th minute. It forced yet another Norwich corner as the home side continued to impress.
The first little hic-cup – odd corner scramble apart – came in the 35th minute when Bates challenged with Campbell and fell to the floor with an audible cry. Given this was a 21-year-old who had ruptured cruciates in both knees over the last 14 months, his anxious call to the physio caused one or two hearts to stop. He was, however, swiftly back in the fray.
By which stage Roeder had emerged on the touchline – a sure sign that he wanted City to drive up through the gears again. As it was they were stuck in second and almost paid the price six minutes before the break when Wayne Brown headed over when unmarked some eight-yards out.
City would find one more gear courtesy of Dublin's wonderful, angled ball for Croft to chase; Russell would lift his subsequent cross way over.
Gibbs would, finally, make his presence known in first-half injury time, controlling the ball neatly enough in the inside-left channel before half-hitting a low bobbler that Myhill comfortably collected.
If the Canaries thought they were in for an easy ride, that thought went straight out of the window seven minutes after the re-start.
Marshall had just pulled off a wonder save to flick a Campbell free header onto his bar and over before Okocha's through-ball sent the on-loan United star squeezing his way through Shackell and Bertrand. Having kept his balance better than either of his markers, his final shot appeared to lack the power to trouble the City No1.
Low down to his right ankle, however, and Marshall just failed to dig it out and on the ball rolled; over the line for a messy leveller. It could have been worse. Two minutes later and Doherty was leaving a back-header short and it needed an instinctive save from an all-too busy Canary keeper to keep the scores level.
Enough was clearly enough in Roeder's eyes as Matty Pattison and Otsemobor replaced Gibbs and Bates respectively. It was knife-edge time. And all present knew it as the crowd reached for the volume button. Skipper Mark Fotheringham responded with a darting, 67th minute run and a fierce drive that flew just over.
With Hull just starting to tire, it was time for Roeder to play his last card. On came D Huckerby, the stage – potentially – all set as Russell (twice) and Shackell looked to smash their way to a winner in an almighty 74th minute scramble.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Bates (Otsemobor, 58 mins), Doherty, Shackell, Bertrand; Croft (Huckerby, 71 mins), Fotheringham, Russell, Gibbs (Pattison, 58 mins); Evans, Dublin. Subs (not used): Gilks, Pearce.
Hull City (4-5-1): Myhill; Ricketts, Brown, Turner, Pedersen; France, Ashbee, Walton, Okocha (Featherstone, 81 mins), Barmby (Marney, 73 mins); Campbell. Subs (not used): Tyler, Doyle, Welsh.
Man of the Match: Darel Russell.
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