Ricky van Wolfswinkel scored only his second Norwich City goal as they progressed to the third round of the League Cup with a 2-1 win at Rotherham United.
The Premier League side were given a stern test by their Championship opponents and owed much to the performance of goalkeeper Declan Rudd.
But Alex’s Neil men were more clinical in front of goal and did enough to continue a decent start to the new season that has seen them take four points from their first three games back in the top flight.
Norwich took the lead at New York Stadium thanks a 22nd-minute strike from Jonny Howson.
Rotherham had the better of the chances as they searched for an equaliser, but Van Wolfswinkel – who spent last season on loan at Saint-Etienne – gave Norwich breathing room with his first goal since August 2013.
Substitute Paul Green pulled one back late on but, despite late pressure from Steve Evans’ team, Norwich held on to progress.
Rotherham suffered a blow in the 16th minute as midfielder Lee Frecklington was forced off with a knock and replaced by Chris Maguire.
The second-tier club held their own for a further six minutes before they were caught by a quick counter finished off by Howson.
Howson fired into the bottom-left corner after Rudd had flung to his right to keep out a Jonson Clarke-Harris header.
Van Wolfswinkel looked to have made it 2-0 in the 36th minute as he turned home from Bradley Johnson’s header, only to be denied by the offside flag.
Rotherham kept up the pressure and Neil’s side were grateful to Rudd again, the goalkeeper turning behind Joe Newell’s close-range effort eight minutes into the second half.
Emmanuel Ledesma spurned a great opportunity for the hosts to level in the 59th minute and nine minutes later Van Wolfswinkel made Rotherham pay.
The Dutchman swept met a well-placed Andre Wisdom cross from the right at the near post and made no mistake in sweeping home to give the visitors breathing room.
Rotherham forward Matt Derbyshire blasted over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy after getting to a backpass ahead of Rudd, who then produced a superb save to keep out a curling effort from the former Olympiacos man.
Green fired home on the volley to give Rotherham hope, but a frustrating night in front of goal ended fittingly as their attempts at a comeback fell short.
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