- Manager Pulis leaves Stoke City
- West Ham agree £15m Carroll fee
- Commons retires from Scotland set-up
- Carroll pulls out of England squad
- Di Canio actions investigated by PFA
- Hammers to sign Romania defender Rat
- Liverpool to move for Kolo Toure
- Man City form New York MLS franchise
- Roma punished for Balotelli chants
- Brighton prank helped - Holloway
City Win On Adam’s Special Night…
NORWICH CITY 2-0 CELTIC FC
MEXICAN POZNANS or Celtic huddles as we’ve been told, Darren Huckerby, old friends – Adam Drury’s big night was burgeoning at the seams with what it offered! It was a fitting tribute to a fantastic servant of Norwich City football club, 11 years of ups and downs but all in all, everlasting loyalty and consistency.
There was a sizeable City squad at Carrow Road, though things were kept reasonably ‘as you were’ for the first-half. Jed Steer began in goal, due to John Ruddy unable to play thanks to England duty. The same went for Russell Martin with Scotland, meaning the defence was Kyle Naughton, Elliott Ward, Leon Barnett and of course, captain for the night Mr. Adam Drury. In midfield were Wesley Hoolahan, Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson and Elliott Bennett. Up front began Grant Holt and James Vaughan.
Out came 21 of the 22 players for the evening, with Norwich and Celtic lining themselves up in a guard of honour. An already cracking atmosphere was turned up a notch as Adam Drury emerged to a standing ovation from both sets of fans.
A thunderous ‘On The Ball City’ followed as the photos were snapped and coins were tossed, before it was down to business and Norwich v Celtic got underway. It was a slow start to the game, before man of the moment Drury had a sighter! He was slid through by Wes Hoolahan, though Kelvin Wilson managed to scramble the ball away as Drury looked set to threaten. It was a quite magnificent atmosphere, with the Celtic fans especially not stopping for breath from minute 1! The game progressed and Norwich were looking sharp as Elliott Bennett floated in a cross, Holt got it all wrong and inadvertently cleared the ball away.
Celtic responded with a forward foray of their own as Tony Watt cut inside to good effect, before bending a wicked effort at goal. Jed Steer sprung highest and made a fine save, diverting the ball over the crossbar. As the atmosphere continued to be one of the highlights, the Celtic end broke into a rather impressive ‘Poznan’ or ‘Celtic huddle’ as they later corrected us.
Whilst they did, the Canaries came forwards. They put together some neat passing, before Hoolahan clipped a cheeky ball into the box for Vaughan to attack – firing home past Forster. This sparked first the Barclay to engage on a Poznan of their own, before it spread to the Snakepit, before it spread to the City stand… Before you knew it, there was a Mexican Poznan rippling around Carrow Road! It was truly one of the most impressive, yet incredibly barmy things you’re likely to see at a football ground.
That man Vaughan was certainly getting involved for Norwich, this time twisting in the box whilst being tightly marked, before sliding a low effort at goal which Forster held well. Vaughan had another chance barely a minute later, though could only head over with Holt looming behind him. The Canaries were looking on song as Bennett nearly found Holt with a delightful pass. The visitors began to come back into things a little more, with Barnett blocking brilliantly before McGeough saw his effort well saved by Jed Steer. After Drury nearly picked out Holt with a neat cross, Elliott Bennett looked to clobber home a long range effort though it spun over the crossbar. Holt was making a nuisance of himself again a few minutes later, tussling with Wilson to latch onto Bennett’s cross – though the Celtic defender headed clear.
There was nearly a sensational strike from Mr. Drury himself as he picked the ball up from distance. He looked to catch out his former team-mate Fraser Forster with an audacious lob, though it went wide of goal. With half-time fast approaching, Bennett threw in another lovely cross which Forster and Holt competed for. In affectionate fashion Holt bundled the Celtic stopper into the net, before Vaughan hit the bar but the referee blew up for a foul.
As the teams re-emerged for the second period, Norwich were all changed, well almost. In goal began Declan Rudd, behind a back four of Kyle Naughton, Michael Nelson, Ryan Bennett and of course, Adam Drury. In midfield now were Henri Lansbury, Anthony Pilkington, David Fox and Andrew Surman. The front two were Dani Pacheco and Aaron Wilbraham.
Lansbury and Pilkington began the second period with some neat link-up play, stringing together some delightful one-touch passing. Something for next season perhaps? The visitors looked to try and snatch that equaliser as they came forwards, Ibrahim flung in a cross though Rudd held on – getting an early touch of the ball. Norwich carved out the first real opening of the second-half as Drury found Pacheco, the little man took the ball down though volleyed wide.
Kyle Naughton was then replaced by George Francomb, handed a deserved standing ovation after a fantastic season. All being well it won’t be the last we see of him in a City shirt.
Celtic were enjoying the better of the opening to the second-half, dominating possession and offering City very little. Michael Nelson was at his robust best, to quell the threat of Stokes.
Soon broke out another Mexican Celtic huddle around Carrow Road, even Delia was getting involved! It certainly was a real party atmosphere.
The Canaries had their first real opening going forwards as Pilkington stormed past McGeough though overhit his cross. Celtic responded with Tony Watt letting fly from range again, a superb save from Declan Rudd prevented him from levelling the scores.
Just past the hour, Lambert took off Adam Drury with everything stopping to applaud City’s longest serving player. Simon Lappin replaced him, with Drury handed a rest to oversee the final 30 minutes of his big night!
Norwich began to look sharper once more, with Wilbraham nearly latching onto a poor backpass before being involved again, combining with Lansbury though winning only a corner. Soon after, the Canaries catapulted themselves into a 2-0 lead. There was some cracking interplay as Fox clipped the ball over for Lansbury, his first attempt was blocked by Forster. The ball broke loose, before Lansbury managed to get a toe on it and it dribbled over the line. His familiar Dougie celebration followed, to the delight of the Carrow Road faithful. Simon Lappin was the next to try get himself on the scoresheet, he lined up a 25 yarder though it flew narrowly over the bar – to the amusement of David Fox, who was in stitches just behind the King of Spain. Lansbury was nearly in for his second goal, Fox found him once more with the Arsenal man nearly recreating his Bristol City winner of the promotion season, but it was diverted over the bar.
With 15 minutes left to go came another special moment, Aaron Wilbraham was given a standing ovation as he said his farewells to Norwich City, before Darren Huckerby came on – to a rapturous reception. It was Adam’s night, though Hucks was given the farewell appearance he so deserved. Also George Francomb was handed a rest and Korey Smith made his comeback appearance after being on loan at Barnsley.
And you’d never think Huckerby had retired, boy was he looking sharp! His first trademark run down the wing ended in a misplaced pass to Pilkington, before a neat one-two with the same player saw Huckerby crowded out by Celtic defenders.
There was a light hearted stoppage in play a few minutes later, as Andre Blackman for Celtic went down with cramp. First Lansbury trotted across to try help him out, before Forster came over and grabbed his other leg. With no apparent solution, the pair proceeded to drag Blackman towards the touchline before the physios intervened!
Huckerby almost had his moment as Surman clipped the ball through to him, he took a touch before blasting an effort at goal. Forster stood up very well and made an excellent reaction save. Fraser Forster was given a lovely reception by the City faithful as he was replaced by Thomson for the final few minutes. He was nearly picking the ball out of his net seconds later, with Lansbury and Fox combining to good effect to set up Huckerby, though he fired over the crossbar.
A great game, in front of a superb atmosphere finished with Paul Lambert saying a few words – interrupted by a whole ground rendition of ‘One Paul Lambert’, before Adam Drury took the mic to say his thanks. Again, he was interrupted by ‘One Adam Drury!’ Then that was that, the players trickled away before the tannoy blasted out ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, sending the Celtic and Norwich fans jiggling into life – a song to describe spectacular seasons of both clubs.
Commendable support from Celtic, they were magnificent and full credit to them for making the journey. Brilliant from the Norwich fans who came out to say thanks to Adam, they too were excellent with the Mexican Poznan an obvious highlight! A really special night, it’s one to truly stamp in your scrapbook and treasure for years to come.
MAN OF THE MATCH, ADAM DRURY. Well was I going to give it to anyoneelse? Drury was his trusted self, dependable in defence, effective when going forwards! 11 years fantastic service Adam, it’s magnificent, whatever the future brings, be it another year or so at Carrow Road, pastures new, or retirement, on behalf of all Norwich City fans a massive thank you for all you’ve done and of course…
‘There’s only one Adam Drury!’
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