- Football fixtures for 2013-14 announced
- Striker Carroll signs for West Ham
- Brazil v Mexico
- Italy v Japan
- Hearts placed into administration
- Neville expects exciting campaign
- FA Cup final moves to end of season
- Mourinho ready for 'emotional' start
- Newcastle fans need more 'clarity'
- Redknapp starts against Sheff Wed
City Spurn Chances In Subdued Stalemate…
Frustrating was the word to describe Saturday’s live SKY TV clash against West Ham United. It ended 0-0 though Norwich had created plenty of chances to take that precious 3 points.
After performing so well last time out against Tottenham, Hughton was forced into a lone change due to Anthony Pilkington failing a late fitness test, in came Andrew Surman though that aside – City were unchanged. In goal began John Ruddy, behind a back four of Javier Garrido, Leon Barnett, Sebastien Bassong and Russell Martin. The midfield consisted of Robert Snodgrass, Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson and Andrew Surman. Whilst up front City had Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson. New loan signing Harry Kane was on the bench.
Under a hot September sun, West Ham started with promise as Matt Taylor whacked an early effort wide of goal. Though City responded with a lovely passage of play, seeing Surman sent through. He cut back before curling a cracking effort just wide of the far post, it would have been a splendid strike.
Both sides were showing attacking intent with the Hammers fighting back just after 12 minutes. After Ruddy had parried Vaz Te’s cross, Carlton Cole’s header was cleared off the line by Barnett before Taylor slammed the follow-up wide of goal. Norwich responded as Snodgrass tip toed his way into the box before going to ground, Canary fans were baying for a penalty though Chris Foy was having none of it.
John Ruddy had to be alert on 18 minutes as Nolan tested him, the Hammers broke well and the ball was cut back – Nolan got a foot on it though Ruddy did excellently to beat the ball away.
As the half hour drew in City fans were left staring on in utter disbelief as somehow they were still level. Snodgrass came powering into the box, poked an effort at goal which Jaaskelainen spilt. There was a right old scramble before the ball trickled back to Bassong. He crashed in a drive which was again blocked! Holt came rushing in though Jaaskelainen put his body on the line at the near post! The attack was kept alive, it fell for Russell Martin to acrobatically try his luck, again, Jaaskelainen got a hand to it. It came back to Holt who swung a foot at the ball, though it drifted wide with no City player able to get a head on it.
Catch your breath!
With the interval looming Norwich were finishing the stronger, Snodgrass eventually got control of a long ball and laid it off for Holt. But the big man dragged his effort wide of the far post.
Carrow Road burst into fury just past 40 minutes, the majority were utterly convinced that they should have had a penalty. Surman took it on, on the edge of the box and burst forwards – knocking it past Collins – before being scythed down. To the naked eye it looked incredibly tight, though replays apparently showed that the referee had made the right decision to award just the free-kick.
Typically Johnson’s resulting effort bounced off the wall and was eventually cleared.
City had, had a very good first period. How they hadn’t managed to get that opening goal was quite the mystery! Though there was plenty to be encouraged about for those in a yellow and green persuasion…
The Canaries looked set to pick up where they left off with the second period 5 minutes old. Jackson picked the ball up from range, strode on before absolutely hammering a strike at goal. Jaaskelainen did very well to tip the effort over the crossbar for a corner!
A minute later Snodgrass was the danger man. The Scotsman came charging in and drilled a low effort just wide of the post, though Jaaskelainen looked to have had it covered.
The game fizzled out a little as a series of substitutions unfolded, Hughton bringing off Jackson and introducing Morison was his first act…
It nearly proved to pay instant dividends as Morison had an early sighter. After beating Collins in the air, he took the ball down and flicked a looping volley just over the bar with Jaaskelainen statuesque.
The largely subdued Grant Holt was soon to be withdrawn, youngster Harry Kane was given his first outing in a City shirt on 70 minutes.
The Canaries could have nearly been a goal down as the game entered its final 20 minutes, Garrido and Bassong badly messed up a throw-in allowing West Ham to intercept. The ball eventually fell to Matt Jarvis who saw his shot deflected wide.
With 84 minutes up Harry Kane nearly exploded onto the scene with a debut goal. He did brilliantly to nutmeg Collins before curling his shot just wide of the far post. Kane was involved again with a minute of normal time remaining, a chance he really should have scored.
After a West Ham corner, City broke through Snodgrass – who charged forwards into the Hammers’ half. He laid the ball off for Kane who drilled tamely into the gloves of Jaaskelainen. It looked a nervous finish from a young man in a high pressure situation.
The chances weren’t done there for the Canaries though – Snodgrass got the ball from Kane’s cutback, he turned though saw his shot blocked by the legs of Jaaskelainen and bobble wide for a corner. Norwich 0-0 West Ham.
So it wasn’t to be. Of course this lack of goals is a concern but we were creating chances and playing very well in parts. With the run we’ve got coming up, simply grit your teeth and get behind the boys! We’ll cause problems for teams but whether we can fully capitalise remains to be seen…
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