Norwich City's Jed Steer stars as victory over West Brom averts replay

• Canaries' goalkeeper shows England potential in 2-1 win
• Norwich and West Brom give priority to league campaign

They say every cloud has a silver lining, and the trend which sees the Premier League clubs field their reserves in the knockout competitions threw up an interesting new face at The Hawthorns, where 19-year-old Jed Steer made an eye-catching debut in goal for Norwich City.

England are not blessed with too many notable goalkeepers at present and young Steer, capped at Under?19 level, grabbed his first opportunity with both precociously reliable hands, making a series of exceptional saves to see off West Bromwich Albion, who created the bulk of the chances.

Both managers chose to rest key players in preparation for midweek league games, admitting that survival there was their priority, and the result was a slow burner of a cup tie, which only really caught fire in the second half, when a defensive mistake by Craig Dawson let in Simeon Jackson for the winner. Grant Holt had opened the scoring, only to be substituted with the trip to Sunderland on Wednesday in mind, which said it all about managerial preferences.

Steer was beaten once, by Marc-Antoine Fortuné, but made two outstanding saves at the death to see Norwich through, moving Paul Lambert to say: "He was terrific. It is only one game, but he has a great temperament and great enthusiasm. His handling was brilliant, and his two saves at the end were world class."

Roy Hodgson thought Albion deserved a better result, but had not wanted the additional burden of a replay. Summing up the attitude of managers everywhere, he said: "We all take the Cup seriously, we try to do our very best, but having a cup run, perhaps getting beaten in the semi?final or the sixth round, which happened to me at Fulham, doesn't help you. People look back at my time at Fulham and don't remember the quarter-finals, they remember the league performances.

"We know where our priorities lie, and if this had been a league game several of the players who didn't play today would have played. Our main target is staying in the Premier League."


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