THE Norwich bus may have arrived late but Daniel Farke’s side served a timely reminder they could have a say in the promotion race.
Middlesbrough suffered their first home defeat under boss Garry Monk thanks to James Maddison’s sweet 13th-minute strike.
The win for the Canaries — in front of just 428 of their travelling fans — pulled them level on points with pre-season promotion-favourites Middlesbrough.
Monk’s men were unable to create a notable chance to trouble Angus Gunn, despite the Boro boss sending on his big-hitters.
Norwich took the lead when Maddison floated a perfectly-hit shot into Darren Randolph’s top corner.
But while the Ireland No 1 was helpless to stop Maddison’s rising effort, Boro only had themselves to blame for the goal after Dael Fry was easily dispossessed by Marley Watkins in the corner.
Watkins supplied Morrison to his right and his shot found the net for his first league goal of the season.
The visitors, who only just arrived within an hour of kick-off, were more than happy to sit back and let Middlesbrough enjoy possession.
That plan worked for the first 45 minutes before they then had the better second-half chances.
The home side’s only shot of note before falling behind was an ambitious free-kick from Lewis Baker, which hit the Norwich wall and flew high and wide.
And for all their domination after that, most of Middlesbrough’s chances came from set-pieces which barely troubled Canaries keeper Gunn.
Cyrus Christie and Fry were unable to power headers from two corners goalward and Britt Assombalonga wasted a free-kick in a good position with a wild shot wide.
Assombalonga also had two headed opportunities in open play when he was supplied by Fabio down the Boro left.
He headed the first one harmlessly wide and although he beat Gunn with the second across the face of goal, Christoph Zimmermann booted the ball clear off the line.
Norwich looked much more dangerous after the break and should have doubled their lead within seven minutes.
Winger Yannick Wildschut played a lovely reverse pass to supply Cameron Jerome in the penalty area but he was denied by Randolph’s save at full stretch.
Teessiders chief Monk, who had recalled the erratic Adama Traore after a three-match ban, clearly detected the need for inspiration and sent on £6.5million striker Ashley Fletcher on the hour, quickly followed by Martin Braithwaite and Patrick Bamford.
But for all the heavyweight subs, the home side still failed to beat Gunn.
Although the visiting stopper was forced to make routine saves from Traore, Fletcher, Baker and Ben Gibson, while former Canary Jonny Howson fired hopelessly over from distance.
The best chance fell to Assombalonga with 18 minutes left — but when he was found by Christie’s cross from the right, the striker headed straight into Gunn’s arms.
As Boro fans lost patience with their team’s patient build-up play, so the players failed to create a chance to draw level, although Gunn tipped a late Baker free-kick over his crossbar.
Boro also had their share of good fortune at the other end when Alex Tettey’s firm drive struck Wildschut, knocking the former Riverside player to the ground.
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