A fluke goal from defender Christoph Zimmerman helped Norwich to a hard-fought 3-1 win over Stevenage in the first round of the Carabao Cup.
The big German inadvertently deflected home a Kenny McLean corner with just eight minutes remaining at Carrow Road to finally end the League Two side’s brave resistance.
Stevenage’s James Ball had cancelled our Marco Stiepermann’s opener but Zimmermann’s stroke of luck was followed by a late goal from substitute Teemu Pukki.
A much-changed Norwich side took time to settle but gradually found their feet and got their noses in front after 27 minutes when Todd Cantwell took a quick corner to Moritz Leitner, who crossed for fellow German Stiepermann to head home at the back post.
The first competitive meeting between the two sides was all square 12 minutes later thanks to a moment of magic from Ball.
He won a free-kick on the edge of the box and then produced a sublime piece of skill to curl the ball beyond Michael McGovern to make it 1-1 going into the break.
After a slow start to the second half the Canaries began to pile the pressure on the underdogs and Dennis Srbeny dragged the ball just wide before an excellent stop from Seny Dieng denied Kenny McLean.
A goal that Zimmerman knew nothing about finally put the home side in front and Pukki fired home a loose ball in emphatic style to make it 3-1 in the 89th minute.
Stay updated with the latest news, gossip and football stories by following us @Football_P