Jump to content


SINCE 1996
Proudly partnered with TheTerraceStore.com

Norwich 1 Rovers 1


Recommended Posts

I'm not even sure how Norwich lined up which says it all really - I dont see them as Premiership class and they are a team we should really be beating. However, the statistic of them not having won yet sounded very ominous and it would be typical Rovers to be the first team to lose to them - especially in the wake of such an encouraging performance at Ewood a week ago.

Stead didn't start but that wasn't really a concern because Dickov's workrate is fantastic and I love to watch a player run his heart out for the club. The rest of the team was unchanged. I'm glad Sparky is introducing some stability with the starting lineup. This seems to be working wonders for Reid who has improved with every game. I don't know how happy Emo is with playing on the left but he seems to be doing alright there. I'd have MGP on the bench to offer us a proper left-sided option, but apart from that everything was pretty much as expected.

The game started quite slowly with few real chances. Not many Rovers fans will have made the long journey to East Anglia expecting quality football. It's all about results when you're rock bottom. Dickov curled a shot wide from range for us and Svensson hit the bar very early on with a header. This was a worry because the marking was very sub-standard, but things got better and we got more solid.

Svensson drilled wide from the right hand side of the box and Francis brought a good reaction stop from Friedel but we didn't conceed much in the way of clear-cut chances. Huckerby was much quieter than I thought he'd be - I was expecting his trickery to cause us real problems but he wasn't very effective from his left wing berth.

Bothroyd was lively again, and seems to posses tricks that only Jordan and his pack of cards could match. Twice he stung the palms of Green with drives from around the edge of the area. The Norwich keeper has been impressive lately and this was looking like another good display. This turned into frustration from Jay who shielded the ball out for a throwin and then booted Jonson with very little provocation. We'd heard about his colourful temper and it reared its ugly head right when we didn't need it. Needless to say I hope he's learned his lesson.

The second half started with exactly what I'd predicted - a Norwich goal. A cross wasn't dealt with and Svensson volleyed in from a tight angle despite the presence of Todd and Friedel. As a keeper I know it's very difficult to deal with a close-range volley that goes through your legs, but I felt Todd ould have done a better job of closing down.

Worried looks were exchanged with fellow fans and the prospect of a long journey home didn't look very appetising. Some people were so worried that the nervous reaction caused them to stand constantly and threaten police, but that is explained in more detail elsewhere.

Rovers did me proud in the last half an hour. We could have crumbled but we stayed resolute and Paul "Pest Factor" Dickov was causing them worries. A few drives into the box ended in frustration and blocked shots but still we poured forwards. There was a shout for a penalty following what looked like a handball but I couldn't really see it and haven't had the benefit of a TV replay. Then Nesta J hit the bar from a header. The look of angst on Scotty's face nearly brought a tear to my eye and I thought we'd blown it.

Throughout the half I (and several others) was dying to see Stead introduced. Instead it was Garry Flitcroft on for Tugay. This wasn't the most adventurous of substitutions but it achieved a very important thing - it removed Tugay from the field of play. Flitcroft (I think) actually won the freekick from which we scored. Lucas had a Liverpool-esque brainwave and bombed down the right, completely escaping Norwich radar. He received the ball and put in a peach of a delivary that Dickov despatched past a statue-like Green.

This was no less than we deserved and in light of the sending off it was a point saved rather than two points dropped. However there are still a lot of things to be worried about. A lack of discipline is turning winnable games into uphill struggles. We aren't defending very well and continue to give away soft goals leaving our attacking players with the challenge of rescuing us from little more than scraps. Tugay just doesn't look very good at football any more.

There were also positives. Neill had his best game in some time. He put himself about, tackled well, didn't let Huckerby turn him inside out, and delivered the assist. Reid also did very well. He's a fighter, but today we also saw his more attacking side with clever running and one shot in particular that tested Green.

The defence didn't look too bad once they'd settled in. We had a "Nissa moment" at one point in the first half but otherwise he was decent. Todd played well too. They were complimented for the first time in ages by two solid fullbacks. Can't say that for many games this season. Ferguson offered protection and a threat going forwards, and Emerton, though quieter than usual, did his job well and delivered telling corners.

So whether or not this was a good result will be known at the end of the season. At the moment though it is looking a lot better than it was a fortnight ago. Norwich itself seemed a nice place (even though the "maccents" seemed to confuse Rachrover), but it isn't somewhere that is pleasant to travel to and from. Thanks to Dickov and a fighting display the journey back was somewhat more bareable.

Match Report by bellamy11

Norwich: Green, Edworthy, Fleming, Charlton, Drury, Jonson (Henderson 45), Holt, Francis, McKenzie (McVeigh 79), Svensson, Huckerby. Subs Not Used: Mulryne, Ward, Helveg.

Booked: Jonson.

Goals: Svensson 56.

Rovers: Friedel, Neill, Todd, Johansson, McEveley, Emerton, Tugay (Flitcroft 73), Ferguson, Reid, Dickov (Stead 90), Bothroyd. Subs Not Used: Enckelman, Thompson, Douglas.

Sent Off: Bothroyd (44).

Goals: Dickov 86.

Att: 23,834

Ref: S Dunn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.