Ffion Thomas on ACN reporting duties, putting in a committed performance despite adverse circumstances. Maybe she should give some advice to Nelson....
Random star performer
Slim pickings all round in this game, much like it has been on the goalscoring front lately, so Marco Stiepermann gets it simply for giving us something to hang our hopes on – and what a cracking instinctive finish from outside the area as well, capitalising on just one of a number of examples of panicked Cardiff defending in the first half.
Moment of the match
Going down a bit of a ‘what if’ avenue here, but when Cardiff had the chance to put the game beyond doubt from the penalty spot and blew it, there was genuine belief from the away end, with 12 minutes to go and signs of attacking impetus, that we could capitalise on the home fans’ anxieties and snatch a draw. But just two minutes later, another turnover in our all too lightweight midfield led to Omar Bogle being given the freedom of Wales in the penalty area, and the game put to bed without a whimper.
Can’t help but raise eyebrows at Farke’s post-match comments. We were OK in the first half, but not brilliant – it was plainly more the case that Cardiff were simply not at the races, the Warnock hairdryer effect demonstrated by their swift start after the break. And despite having two penalties given against us in the space of 45 minutes, I walked away feeling absolutely no sense of the suggested refereeing injustice.
Biggest positive to take
This did at times actually feel like a decent, attacking-minded performance. Mario Vrancic’s creativity was much improved, and while Josh inevitably went down a couple of cul-de-sacs to the usual overblown howls of derision, he also on a number of occasions beat his man and fired dangerous low crosses across the face of goal that were begging for someone to be on the end of them. The problem was…
…that every time, there simply wasn't anyone in the box. At the sharp end, we were once again absolutely toothless, not helped by the fact that our main protagonist’s decision-making was completely off. Failing to play in Wes moments before half time, shooting wildly – Oliveira has been ever-present in the last four games, and has proved more of a liability than an asset. If Jerome is fit for Saturday, he has to be back in the starting line-up – and some frontline reinforcement needs to be found somewhere.
For a club boasting an impenetrable home record, a suitably lofty league position, and off the back of two good away wins, a turnout of 17,033 is not great, and a poor atmosphere ensued. A lot of fans quite honourably walked away from the club during Vincent Tan’s red shirt saga and have not returned. With historic attendances at the Cardiff City Stadium having demonstrably fluctuated around the club’s sole Premier League campaign, perhaps the only thing that will ever trouble the upper tier of the Ninian Stand, badly timed in its construction and still barely used, is a promotion.
This was not a game most of us would have been expecting to take much from, given the respective recent records of the two clubs, and there are positives to be taken – that performance against many other teams would have surely secured three points. But it’s frustrating that our previous ability to batten down the hatches has evaporated, with leads being sacrificed in three of our last four games. Saturday sees Sheffield Wednesday – who have drawn their last four – become the latest visitors to Carrow Road, which has seen five draws in seven. Something special is needed, and long overdue.
While you're here. Two things; first, did you know we have a new podcast? It's available via iTunes and Soundcloud. Alternatively you can just listen to it in your browser via our podcast page. Thomas Markham-Uden from Barclay End Norwich was this week's guest. He gives his thoughts on the atmosphere at Carrow Road and what can be done to improve it
Second, to keep AlongComeNorwich advert free and to help us fund additional initiatives aimed at improving the Carrow Road atmosphere, we occasionally produce exclusive t-shirts/merchandise.
This time we've produced garments celebrating our rightful place as the Pride of Anglia. As always, we take no profit from these and put all the revenue back into the site and things we can all enjoy.