Ched Evans all but made City's place in the Championship secure next season after blasting a 90th minute winner home against Burnley at Carrow Road this afternoon.
In fairness, the Canaries might have put themselves within one win of the finishing line courtesy of no more than Dion Dublin's second minute opener.
But with their long-held capacity to shoot themselves in the foot at the most inopportune of moments figuring large in the home faithful's thinking, so the day's second goal was always going to prove decisive.
In the end it arrived in the last minute of normal time as the teenager latched onto a Darren Huckerby break and from the corner of the Clarets box drilled home a low shot that, in every likelihood, nicked in off a covering Steven Caldwell.
It mattered little. For with 52 points on the board and both Leicester City and Coventry City continuing to head south at a rapid rate of knots, one more win will complete Glenn Roeder's 'Great Escape'. Get it at Portman Road next weekend, and Roeder's place in the club's Hall of Fame would be assured.
As the Canaries headed into battle this afternoon, so there wasn't quite the 'must, must win' atmosphere that preceeded the U's clash. More of a 'must win' after Andy D'Urso helped leave the Canaries perched just three points above the drop zone.
At least the 1-1 lunchtime draw between Sheffield Wednesday and Scunthorpe left those pair locked in the relegation. Three points today and the Canaries could, possibly, start to look at that final-day trip to Hillsborough in a slightly more confident light.
They certainly could after just 61 seconds of this afternoon's contest after Dublin's ninth goal of his farewell season put the Canaries firmly in the driving seat.
The 38-year-old set the ball in motion with a perfectly-weighted clip over the Clarets' defence that sent Jamie Cureton away and onside off on the right. Having angled deep into the Burnley box and with his 200th career goal looming ever larger in his sights, the City striker opted to pull the ball back to a waiting Darel Russell.
Wrong decision as the ball was, briefly, intercepted. For seconds later and the ball was at Darren Huckerby's feet and the Canary winger promptly gave Cureton a lesson in how to do the pull-back right as a shambolic Clarets defence parted again and Huckerby's run to the far by-line was capped by the perfect ball into the six-yard box where Dublin easily swept the ball home.
Given that Burnley scored twice in the first four minutes in the corresponding fixture at Turf Moor, a certain justice was being served via Dublin's second minute opener.
By the tenth minute it was clear that if Messrs Dublin and Huckerby were about to bid their farewells in a month's time, they were going to swan out in style. Dublin's radar-like delivery allowed his one-time Coventry City strike pal the chance to arrive at the ball at full tilt and with Jon Harley once again left to back-pedal, so a teasing cross from the City favourite forced the Clarets to hastily clear for another corner as Dublin lurked.
Norwich should have doubled their advantage after 18 minutes when Dublin produced a glorious, edge-of-the-box flick that deserved so much more than Russell's mis-hit volley that bobbled comfortably into Brian Jensen's arms.
Norwich's only early scare came in the 20th minute as Alex Pearce shanked a Robbie Blake cross over his own bar. From the resulting corner, Kyle Lafferty drilled a 22-yard effort wide of the far upright. Whether that was too much for Roeder's patience or not, the City chief parked himself on the touchline moments later.
In fairness to David Marshall, a spectator for much of the first 30 minutes, he was still sufficiently on his toes to push a Joey Gudjonsson effort wide of his right post in the 28th minute. One more goal for the home side and you sensed it might be 'Good-night, Burnley…' as the contest started to develop an end-of-season feel. At 1-0, however, and Norwich always had one, fateful slip up their sleeve.
A decent dive into the middle from his new station on the left from Huckerby woke the crowd from their slumbers in the 40th minute. He capped it with an equally decent rising drive that, alas, didn't do the decent as it angled up and away from the top left-hand corner of Jensen's goal. He would, however, tease Alexander into the game's first booking three minutes before the break.
Grizzled old pro or not, the long-time Preston North End skipper fell for it, hook, line and sinker and would now have to keep the City winger under wraps with one hand tied behind his back.
After the break and it was the Canaries who were brighter out of the traps as first Huckerby and then Otsemobor probed for an opening. Pattison would provide the best in the 53rd minute as he robbed Harley tight on the near by-line. His pull-back found Cureton in space in the inside-right channel, but as the ball rolled across him so he opted for a right-foot sweep that was always whipping the ball away beyond the far post as opposed to a left-foot stab that might have pushed it in.
Huckerby's afternoon almost delivered a peach in the 58th minute as he and Bertrand tucked Alexander up on the left and having raced free into the left-hand corner of the Burnley box, his subsequent side-foot curler just fell away from the far upright.
With play-off hopes starting to fade, Clarets' boss Owen Coyle turned to a certain Andrew Cole on the hour-mark in the hope that they might be able to nick something out of the contest. Pattison, meanwhile continued to mug Harley; Cureton, meanwhile continued to take full advantage as he lifted a 62nd minute header over. Jason Shackell would follow five minutes later following a deep knock-back from Alex Pearce.
With the next goal likely to win it and the City pressure mounting, Cureton gave way to Ched Evans mid-way through the second period. Norwich's need for that second, killer goal was made readily apparent in the 68th minute when Blake slid Lafferty in. It needed a very smart save from Marshall, low by his left ankle, to nick the ball away for a corner.
As the last 20 minutes loomed, so you wondered whether there may still be another twist in the tale. Cue Master Evans.
Norwich City (4-4-2): Marshall; Otsemobor, Bertrand, Shackell, Pearce; Huckerby, Russell, Fotheringham, Pattison; Dublin (Doherty, 89 mins), Cureton (Evans, 66 mins). Subs (not used): Doherty, Croft, Camara, Gibbs, Evans.
Burnley (4-4-2): Jensen; Alexander, Harley, Unsworth, Caldwell; McCann (Cole, 59 mins), O'Connor, Gudjonsson (Mahon, 69 mins), Elliott; Blake (Akinbiyi, 77 mins), Lafferty. Subs (not used): Kiraly, Randall.
Man of the Match: Darren Huckerby.