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Norwich City 2011

The sun shone on Carrow Road as two teams of highly excited Canaries fans arrived at the famous old stadium eager to pull on the cherished yellow and white strips. And there was a nice surprise in store for them all, with the late announcement of Managers Bill Punton and Sandy Kennon joining playing Legends Dean Ashton and Adrian Forbes in turning out for this glorious occasion. The fans keenly filled the stands behind the dug-outs; eager to witness what they hoped would be an entertaining match.

Saturday 28th May 2011
Norwich City Home v Norwich City Away
Kick-Off: 16:30pm
Playing Legends: Adrian Forbes (Home) and Dean Ashton (Away)
Managing Legends: Bill Punton (Home) and Sandy Kennon (Away)
Match Officials: Keith Greensides, Nigel Warnes, Richard Owen and Peter Venables

The two Captains shook hands, with Summers winning the toss and opting for his Home side to stay as they were. Skipp's team got the game underway shooting from right to left. As the first 10 minutes played out both teams were determined to win the midfield battle and get a foot on the ball. No player got long on the ball before being pressured by an opposition player and it was shaping up to be a cracker of a match!

Mark Payne was quick off the mark on several occasions early on to make some vital tackles and stop the Away side gaining momentum going forward.

The first half-chance in the game fell to the Home side in Yellow and Green. Their No 7 Steven Johnson crossed the ball past his marker, and it was beautiful delivered between the two defenders in the box, unfortunately the unopposed header from No 9 David Harper drifted over Daniel Knowles' goal. Harper generously applauded the cross from his team mate though.

Steven Thompson started to show real class in the midfield battle with some nice quick pass and move plays. The No 10 showed real composure under pressure, always making himself available for the ball and proving to be a real handful for the Yellows.

It was the Away team who opened the scoring 18 mins in, a block from the Away defender fell kindly to Neil Tweddle and his resulting shot bounced in front of goalkeeper Adam Lamb making it tricky to gather. An unfortunate slip from the No 1 left an easy tap in for Away captain Martin Skipp and his exuberant celebration sent up the bow and arrow! (0-1)

From the restart the Home side lost composure and allowed Steven Thompson to pick up a loose ball which he flicked over the No 8's head. He then set himself up perfectly for a stunning swerving strike which zipped over Lamb, skimming the roof of the net. Great goal! (0-2)

The Yellow and Green Canaries were under constant pressure from the Whites at this stage, and they struggled to get out of their own half. Stacey Hayfield had a chance from the edge but his effort was well held by Lamb and next Carl Taylor delivered another ball into the box but again Lamb dived on the loose ball to stop Skipp from netting his second.

However, despite the pressure they were under the Home team's Andy Payne pulled one back for his side with what could be a contender for goal of the season! Summers' free kick was whipped into the box but was dealt with by the Away defence; the ball was then rolled into the centre half's path by Forbes and Payne took a touch before unleashing a rocket of a shot from 40 yards out, bulleting over the helpless keeper who could only watch the ball go over his head. A wonder strike! (1-2)

Harper battled up front for the Home team, driving at the defence but he couldn't find the target. But the persistence paid off when David Speck grabbed the equaliser. The No 8 found some space on the edge of the box, his shot was a stinger for Knowles, who tried to palm it over the bar but the ball bounced just over the line and back out. (2-2)

Despite drawing level again the Away side were still gunning to take the lead again. They were failing to get into the box of a Home defence growing stronger and stronger and looking expertly organised.

 

Half time: Norwich City Home 2 - 2 Norwich City Away

 

The hugely experienced Bill Punton and Sandy Kennon passed on some great words of wisdom at half-time, hoping their sides could produce the same standard for the next 45. Substitutions were made by both managers to make an instant impact on the game. The Yellow and Greens got the game started with Adrian Forbes (supposed to be left back) rolling the ball from the centre circle. It was to be the Away chance that created the first chance of the half; Thomson, dribbling the ball forward into the box, squared to a teammate. The ball was rolled back to the No 10 but he put his shot well wide from 6 yards. The usually impressive midfielder couldn't believe he had missed!

Shortly afterwards Canaries legend Dean Ashton had a short spell in goals for the Away side but there was nothing too troubling for the big man.

But the Away side persisted and had another two chances at goal, a driving run into the box by Hayfield and a header by Leslie but they never fully troubled Lamb. Stacey Hayfield was bombing forward all game and did test Lamb with a left foot shot, but it was tipped upwards and caught by the goalie. During this spell the two Mark's; Feehan and Payne continued to link up well at the back for the Home side.

Next up Forbes drove down the left channel playing the ball into Lockwood-Taylor's feet. The tall striker created some space and should have put his team into the lead but unfortunately it went inches round the post. Unlucky! The Home Canaries for the first time in the match started to get a solid grip of the game creating a few chances.

However it was the White's that took the lead once again in this match with No 8 Plunkett firing the ball across the 6 yard box and Andrew Coleman there to nod it into the back of the net. Coleman celebrated in style, running towards the corner flag with one arm in the air and pulling down his shorts to reveal Superman trunks beneath! (2-3)

A few minutes later Steven Thomson skipped past 4 players and was through on goal but his low shot was saved by the foot of Lamb. Maybe it should have been his second of the game. Mark Payne instantly countered but was at the wrong angle for a shot and his cross was cleared into the stands.

The Away side came close on 35 mins when a set piece was delivered into the Home box. Whitmore chested the ball down to No 6 Leslie and his left foot swing hit the ball off the post. With the pressure piled on, the Whites won a penalty when Plunkett was brought down by Reynolds. It was a soft penalty and the Yellows couldn't believe it! Up stepped Steve Plunkett to comfortably send the keeper the wrong way, rolling it into Lamb's bottom left corner, before running away with his aeroplane celebration! (2-4)

Shortly afterwards Away Striker Coleman did well to beat his marker and cross the ball low and hard towards his strike partner Skipp, the Captain and No 9 managed to get his foot to the ball and roll it past the goalkeeper, Skipp wheeled away in celebration however the linesman had his flag up for offside and after video evidence your reporter can confirm that the striker was probably just a yard off. So it was a great call by the linesman in this instance!

With a minute remaining the Away side's Ben Leslie netted his side's fifth and final goal, Whitmore's shot from outside the box dipped and bounced just before the goalkeeper and the No 6 did well to follow it up and side-foot the ball into the net. (2-5)

Leslie's strike was to be the last of the game and the more clinical Away side ran out deserving winners of what had been a hugely enjoyable match for those lucky enough to witness it.

Full-Time: Norwich City Home 2 - 5 Norwich City Away

Man of the Match (Home): Mark Payne
Man of the Match (Away): Andrew Spanton
Moment of the Match: Andy Payne

Home Team: Lamb, Summers, Adrian Forbes, Mark Payne, Andy Payne, Humphrey, Johnson, Speck, Harper, Thomas, Lockwood-Taylor, Walker, Feehan, Reynolds, Bussey.
Manager: Bill Punton
Mascots: Jake Summers

Away Team: Knowles, Hayfield, Dean Ashton, Tweddle, Spanton, Leslie, Mills, Plunkett, Skipp, Thompson, Coleman, Whitmore, Taylor.
Manager: Sandy Kennon
Mascots: Tom Plunkett