Good Friday sees Norwich entertain a play off chasing Fulham. The hoo-doo of City not being able to beat anyone currently occupying the top 8 spots is finally broken, but can we beat a Fulham side we've traditionally struggled against? David 'Spud' Thornhill takes a delve into the archives to give you a history of the fixture.
Fulham. Bloody Fulham.
So Good Friday is unlikely to be anything of the sort as Fulham, bloody Fulham, come to the Carra.
Apart from our last meeting with the Cottagers (which we won 4-2 to set-up that play off semi-final against Ipswich), we had gone 18 games without a win. 18. Only against Man City (22 games) have we gone longer without a win. Not surprisingly in 47 meetings, Fulham have a better record with 22 wins compared to our 12.
It began as it would go on, with Fulham putting a swift end to a cup run that we began by knocking out the holders (Sheffield Wednesday), beating us 2-1 on 1st February 1908.
A few months later, we left our Newmarket Road ground for our new home; The Nest, inaugurating it with a visit from The Cottagers. In an event that must have purely been down to Fulham being polite, John Smith had the honour of scoring the first goal as Norwich won 2-1 in front of a crowd of 3,300.
20 years later the clubs would meet in the league for the first time. Guess who won? Yep. It won’t be any surprise to learn that it would take City 10 matches to finally triumph over them in the league, finally beating them 3-1 at Craven Cottage. You might want to sit down for this bit… Inspired we went on to win 5 of the next 6 meetings. Including four on the trot.
After relegation from the second division in 1939, apart from one League Cup meeting in 1962 (which we won), we didn't meet until October 1968 when we won 3-1 at Craven Cottage again. Two months later, we completed the double over them winning 2-0 at Carrow Road. Compounding the shame of not routinely beating us, Fulham were relegated that season.
The next three seasons that the clubs met would all be successful seasons for Norwich as we won promotion to the top flight each time; 1971/72, 1974/75 and 1985/86. In the 1985/86 season Norwich won 1-0 at Craven Cottage on New Year’s Day with a Kevin Drinkell goal. It would prove to be our last win at Craven Cottage. To. This. Day.
We beat them at home later that season in what would be our last win against them for 19 years, 1 month and 4 days or 6,976 days.
During that long spell of no victories (18 attempts), only 4 were draws.
The most damaging and biggest defeat in that run is probably the most famous and occurred on 15th May 2005. Norwich were 17th in the Premier League heading into the final game of the season, only needing to match the results of those below us. Win and we were safe. Fulham were already safe, they had their flip-flops and towels reserving sun loungers by the pool. Surely we would do it.
Not only did we lose, we were hammered. 6-0. Bye bye Premier League. Norwich failed to win an away match all season though, we deserved to be relegated.
6 (that number again) years would pass before we returned to the scene, when another defeat beckoned only for Simeon Jackson to rescue a point for Paul Lambert’s men.
The following summer saw the departure of Paul Lambert and the appointment of Chris Hughton taking over. Successful spells at Newcastle and Birmingham, meant optimism was high as we headed down to Craven Cottage for the opening day of the season.
5-0 this time. A kind of improvement.
It completed a tidy sequence for Fulham who had by then beaten us 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, 4-0, 5-0 and 6-0 in only 14 years.
Then finally in May 2015, we beat them. Finally.
The hoodoo was broken. Wasn’t it? Nope. At half-time it certainly appeared so as City led 2-0 at Craven Cottage thanks to a Graham Dorrans double (both penalties). Everything was rosy. Then it wasn’t. 2 goals later and Fulham were level. Instantly the confidence and swagger drained out of Norfolk and our season unravelled as we slumped from title challengers to mid-table also-rans. Fulham. Bloody Fulham.