You've never had it so good, three consecutive reviews from the excellent Ffion Thomas. She certainly enjoyed her night at Adams Park, where Jordan Rhodes came away with a matchball scribed with the fact he (allegedly) isn't fond of our southern neighbours.
Into the next round of the cup and the unbeaten run goes on. It seems harsh to describe this as a “second string”, given that a fair few of our “first string” were “second string” until they disposed of Cardiff in the last round. With another Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday pile-up impending, plus the return of Onel Hernandez and Kenny McLean hopefully not too far away, it’s increasingly difficult to call who’ll fill some positions on the pitch. The storming runs of Louis Thompson were particularly eye-catching.
Moment of the match
Our second goal - some nice play from Mario Vrancic on the left, and a lovely flowing turn and curling shot into the top corner from Rhodes that left the Wycombe keeper absolutely rooted.
Random star performer
Adebayo Akinfenwa. Not only did he take every good-natured chant and jibe aimed at him and his ample frame with good humour as he warmed up, he was the catalyst for Wycombe’s spirited near-comeback. Brought on moments after they had pulled it back to 4-2 from the penalty spot after our defensive lapse, he no doubt struck fear into our defence, effectively bundling home the third in a scramble. But it was his link play that was really impressive, with plenty of neat touches and clever passes that opened us up as the home side pushed for the equaliser. I’m not saying we should sign the man who calls himself “The Beast” - just that he perhaps deserves a bit more credit for his technical ability, as well as his battering ram credentials.
That we have to wait until Saturday at 9pm, almost four full days after the full-time whistle, to find out our opponents in the next round. The draw will be shown during Quest’s Football League highlights programme, presumably as an incentive for people to actually try and find Quest in their television’s list of channels, which is a quest in itself.
Lots of changes from a winning team, but when one of them scores a hat-trick it suggests the squad has a decent level of strength in depth. In spite of some tricky draws, Farke has proven himself to be a good cup manager in his time so far - and I think everyone can get behind having a bash at reaching the quarter-finals, if we ever find out who our fourth-round opponents are.
Adams Park is a bit of a pain to get to by car, let alone public transport, but it’s lovely when you get there, and as the minutes ticked down to kick-off it was an enjoyable scene both inside and outside the ground as the sun set over the rolling Buckinghamshire hills. I always like to see a bit of variety in the stands at a ground, particularly a relatively new one (Adams Park opened in 1990) and the view from the away end ticked lots of boxes: a double tier seated one to the left, a single tier seated one to the right, and a terrace at the other end. It was a brilliant turnout from Norwich fans, making up more than a third of the crowd, and although Wycombe’s quick response to our 2-0 lead dampened enthusiasm a little, it picked up in the second half as the goals rained in, and any frustration at the narrowing lead seemed relatively limited in its vocalisation as the crowd kept behind the team.
This game was a lot of fun to watch - the goals rained in as both teams went for it, and the excitement was heightened by an increasing sense of peril about the potential double whammy embarrassment that would have been a cup exit to lower-league opposition and losing from having been 4-1 up.
Yes, maybe we should have had it wrapped up early in the second half…but where would be the fun in that?
While you're here. If you'd like to support Along Come Norwich and what we do, we'd really appreciate you considering buying one of our new t-shirts, the Pukki Party tee. In fact, we'll even throw in some free stickers if you do, links below...