Simeon Jackson completed a hat-trick with an injury-time winner as Norwich beat Derby to stay in the second automatic promotion place.

The Canaries looked set to be leapfrogged by Cardiff when Jackson bundled home from close range.

He had opened the scoring with a header before Steve Davies put Derby level by nodding in Alberto Bueno's cross.

Jackson grabbed his second with a clever chip before Bueno's 20-yard strike set up the thrilling finish.

Cardiff's 1-0 victory at Preston meant the home side needed all three points to keep their hopes of promotion to the Premier League i- without involvement in the play-offs lottery - in their own hands.

And Norwich were grateful to keeper John Ruddy for a fine late save from John Brayford moments before Jackson completed his second treble of the month, having also scored three in a 6-0 romp against Scunthorpe.

The Carrow Road side end their campaign with a trip to Portsmouth and a home match against Coventry and if they win both, they will go up for the second successive season, and return to the top flight for the first time since 2005.

Norwich desire pleases Lambert

Jackson volleyed Norwich's first chance wide from 12 yards and, with Derby largely content to play on the break, they had to wait until late in the opening half to take the lead when he bulleted the ball past keeper Brad Jones from a cross by Marc Tierney.

The visitors achieved parity soon after the re-start when Davies equalised and Bueno went close to a second moments later with a powerful free-kick.

Jackson spotted Jones off his line on the hour and scored with a perfectly weighted chip but The Rams refused to buckle and Bueno brought them level for a second time from just outside the box.

Jones denied Norwich with a brilliant point-black save from a Rob Edwards header and then denied another sub, Henri Lansbury, by tipping over a 30-yard drive.

But he could do nothing in the final minute of stoppage time as Canada international Jackson forced the ball over the line to secure a third successive victory with his eighth goal in six games.

Norwich manager Paul Lambert: "Once again the players have been extraordinary. I just can't praise them enough. They are a proper team, that's for sure, and have been absolutely brilliant for me.

"To be fair, Derby came here and had a go just as they did against QPR recently. They are a good side and made it difficult for us.

"At the end I just felt I had to go for the win - we have got a lot of creative players in the side and when that's the case you have always got a chance."

Derby boss Nigel Clough: "There was a lot of frustration out there at the end. To lose a goal in the 96th minute, or whenever it was, was very cruel.

"Despite our position in the table there are a lot of positives to focus on. We are 18 places or so behind Norwich in the table but are we really that much worse than them? I don't think so."

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