Last gasp Carrow Road memories that will last a lifetime. Jon Punt takes you through another one to savour...
Random star performer
Timmy, Timmy Krul. Undeservedly on the end of some abuse recently, yet his reaction saves kept Norwich in the contest as the game became stretched.
Krul has the odd error in him, this is something we may well have to accept moving forward. What we should embrace though is the fact he is clearly liked within the dressing room, commands his defence well, chants Norwich songs on rollercoasters and is trusted by the management team. That’s good enough for me.
Moment of the match
All the moments, so many moments. Where to start?
In a contest filled with incident and intrigue, the 98th minute equaliser that signalled pandemonium was quite something. And the credit should probably go mainly to Timm Klose, at this point in the match being deployed as a fourth striker, despite the fact City still refused to go long in search of a goal. The Swiss international started the move, chesting the ball to turn before spraying it wide to Hernandez. Later, once play had been recycled his clever dummy made the space for the chance which sparked the kind of scenes which are becoming a weekly occurrence.
The subsequent celebration was Simeon-against-Derby-esque. Tim Krul running the length of the pitch, Stiepermann sexually assaulting an official club photographer, the players and crowd roaring as one. Beautifully barmy on Boxing Day.
Yet it was by no means the only talking point. Jack Robinson’s handball was strangely missed by the officials at 0-1, only for the man to double Forest’s lead just moments afterwards. It felt like a huge momentum shift. Lesser sides would have accepted it wasn’t to be their day at this point, not this Norwich side.
Before that, Buendia had treated Carrow Road to some of his finest flicks and tricks since he joined the club, the jewel in the crown being a no-look mid-air back heel to find Stiepermann during a first half attack.
‘YESSSS! COME ON! COME ON! COME ON!’ went the battle cry from Daniel as the German realised his side had snatched the most unlikely of points. It felt huge. It is huge.
Before that, Farke kept faith in Ben Godfrey when more experienced heads were waiting for their chance. That faith was repaid, the youngster looks more assured by the game – the opportunities afforded to youth products can only serve as a potential selling point for the club in the long term.
Hernandez was again kept in reserve, and it’s easy to see why. When legs start to tire, Onel is at his most effective. It helped that the head coach had thrown the kitchen sink at it when putting three strikers on the pitch though.
Biggest positive to take
It’s the positive we’ve been drawing for some time, but the fact this side are never beaten is reaffirmed so regularly it’s a mystery why anyone would leave the stadium, even at 3-0 down. Couple that with the likeability factor this team possess and it’s a formula which could take City far. The style of play has been so masterfully honed on the fields of Colney that nearly everyone in the crowd resisted baying for Norwich to ‘git ut fuhwad’.
It would be incredibly easy to point all six of my Norfolk fingers at the referee here. Missing a stonewall penalty, while failing to issue Danny ‘I’m a massive shit housing nobhead’ Fox with a second yellow are two cases for the prosecution. So I’ll resist temptation.
What was perhaps worrying was Norwich’s profligacy. Pukki could have walked away with the match ball, while Klose and Godfrey also saw close range efforts thwarted. Maybe that was down to the prowess of the Go-Go Gadget arms of Pantilimon, yet on another day it could easily have finished 7-4 to City. Where Norwich were previously clinical they were wasteful. It’s a small gripe, and creating that many gilt edged chances could easily be spun as a positive, so let’s do that instead. Up the Nodge.
The flags continue to spread across the Barclay, an extra 200 were added to the display and feedback was largely positive. It also helped inspire what felt like one of the loudest renditions of OTBC in some time.
After that, the atmosphere was in and out, punctuated by some real backing for the team and interspersed with near silence. It was the strangest of games though. At 3-1 up, directly after what looked likely to be a consolation strike from Vrancic, the traveling Forest support fell completely silent. Not the usual murmur, then back to enjoying the party, but completely ‘you could hear a pin drop’ silent. Maybe they knew, maybe they’d seen it all before. Maybe it was all a bit Along Come Forest. Whatever it was, if you can’t continue to celebrate when you’re two goals to the good against a side 10 games unbeaten and your own team hadn’t scored for five hours before the match then you’re doing football wrong.
The scenes at the end were pure unadulterated carnage, a deafening roar which rivalled Gossy's Munich equaliser. I'm not even sure if I'm exaggerating.
Sidenote – perhaps best if we leave the ‘You’re fucking shit, you’re fucking shit, you’re fucking shit’ chants for when we’re 3-0 lads, not drawing 0-0.
There are no superlatives left for this Norwich team and I love them almost as much as my wife and children. Having gone down to two decent strikes from Matty Cash and a fortuitous game of penalty box ping pong, there seemed no way back. It couldn’t happen again.
Well it did, and there’ll be more late drama at Carrow Road in the months ahead. Get used to it and enjoy it for what it is, because it’s spectacular.
While you're here.....
Along with our friends at Barclay End Norwich, we've put a new exclusive badge on sale. Links below, all profits are going straight into the crowdfunder for the flags....