Kamara is showreel success
Norwich manager Chris Hughton is glad Kei Kamara lived up to his DVD highlights after the on-loan Major League Soccer forward netted a late goal which sparked the Canaries to a 2-1 comeback win over Everton.
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The 28-year-old Sierra Leone international came off the bench for the final half-hour at Carrow Road on Saturday, and helped secure what could prove a vital Barclays Premier League victory with a powerful header to cancel out Leon Osman's first-half opener. Captain Grant Holt then netted a dramatic winner in stoppage-time.
Kamara - who left his homeland aged 14 before eventually migrating to the United States from Gambia and going on to play football at college - had an unsuccessful trial at Stoke in December. While Hughton was not able to watch the pacy, 6ft 2ins forward personally, the Norwich manager saw enough to convince him to give Kamara his opportunity in the English top flight.
"The ideal scenario means you have been able to go and see the player, but I was not able to see him play live, although our chief scout had," said Hughton, who could yet make a permanent move for Kamara at the end of the season.
"I have only seen him on DVD, but you have to trust judgements of your scouts and the people who are giving you references."
Hughton had initially opted for Luciano Becchio, signed from Leeds last month, alongside Holt, but after watching the Argentinian labour for long spells, he called on Kamara to liven up the attack.
Norwich - without a league win since December 19 and having scored just once in the last six outings - were at least more creative yesterday, with Robert Snodgrass' early angled shot deflected over.
However, it was Everton who slowly took hold of the match.
Nikica Jelavic forced a good save from Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn before Osman headed in a fine cross from left-back Leighton Baines on 39 minutes.
The visitors, though, paid the price for not making the most of their possession in the second half, when they failed to net another goal which would have killed off the contest.
Everton sat deeper and were eventually broken down on 84 minutes when Kamara crashed in a header from a corner.
Hughton's men, though, refused to settle for what would have been a hard-earned point as Russell Martin's deep ball into the Everton box was nodded down at the far post by Sebastien Bassong and Holt arrived on queue to slam past Tim Howard, souring the American's 300th appearance for the Toffees.
"When you are 1-0 down against a top team, you would settle for 1-1, but the difference in this division between one point and three points is massive," said Hughton, whose side now hold an eight-point cushion on the survival battle ahead of next weekend's trip to leaders Manchester United.
"It will give the players confidence, they are the ones who have driven to the end to get the win."
Everton, meanwhile, must now regroup quickly for their FA Cup fifth-round replay with Oldham on Tuesday night.
David Moyes saw his side's hopes of finishing in the Champions League places suffer another setback following two defeats out of the last three league games.
"When we had the opportunities to finish the game off, we did not take it, when you do that, there is always the chance they could score from a corner or piece. At the worse, we should have seen out a draw, but we were unfairly dealt with at the end there," said Moyes, who was livid with referee Lee Mason for playing some 20 seconds over the three minutes of stoppage time, during which Holt had netted a dramatic winner.
"We don't look like we are going to come up with the goods in the final third at the moment.
"We have talked about it, looked at it and we need to try and find a way of doing that more."