Tag Archives: Norwich City

Memorable Matches: Norwich City 4-5 Southampton (April 1994)

Goalscorers: Mark Robins 37, Robert Ullathorne 44 OG, Jeremy Goss 48, Chris Sutton 55, 64, Matt Le Tissier 58, 63 PEN, 72, Ken Monkou 90

Teams:

Norwich City: Bryan Gunn, Ian Culverhouse, Spencer Prior, Gary Megson (Mark Robins 25), Mark Bowen, Robert Ullathorne, Ian Crook, Neil Adams, Darren Eadie (Colin Woodthorpe 67), Jeremy Goss, Chris Sutton

Southampton: Dave Beasant, Francis Benali, Ken Monkou, Simon Charlton, Matt Bound, Jeff Kenna, Paul Allen, Jim Magilton, Neil Maddison, Matt Le Tissier, Iain Dowie

Referee: Keith Cooper, Attendance: 17,150

Seven games without a win and with time running out, Southampton were in the drop zone coming into this match in April 1994 against Norwich City. The Saints badly needed the points, whilst their opponents had struggled since Mike Walker’s January departure to manage Everton. His successor, John Deehan had managed just two wins in his first 16 games in the job.

The first 35 minutes of the contest were scrappy on a boggy pitch surface but both teams had scored by half-time. It was Norwich who claimed the advantage eight minutes before the break. Mark Robins, having arrived from the bench midway through the first half after an early injury to Gary Megson, fired a left-foot shot past Dave Beasant to score his first goal of an injury-hit campaign.

Before then, Southampton had created the better openings and Iain Dowie should have levelled but hit the post with the goal gaping. In the end, they got a helping hand from their opponents. On 44 minutes, Neil Maddison cut inside in the penalty area but his shot was going wide of the goal before it took an unfortunate deflection into his own net off Norwich defender, Robert Ullathorne.

It had been an unremarkable first half but the second 45 minutes was absolutely breathtaking. The goal feast started within three minutes of the restart. Neil Adams’ fine delivery landed on the head of Norwich midfielder Jeremy Goss, who scored his eighth goal of the season. Seven minutes later, Chris Sutton got in on the goalscoring act. He was quickest to pounce on Beasant being unable to hold onto a shot from Robins.

At 3-1 down, Southampton looked in real trouble but the wildcard they had in their armoury was Matt Le Tissier. He had been quiet throughout the afternoon upto the 58th minute when from the edge of the penalty area, his soft shot somehow managed to beat Bryan Gunn, despite the goalkeeper getting a strong hand to the attempt. Five minutes later, it was 3-3. Jeff Kenna’s surging run into the penalty area was ended by Ullathorne’s clumsy tackle. Referee Keith Cooper pointed to the penalty spot and Le Tissier – with his excellent penalty record, never looked like missing from 12-yards.

Only 60 seconds later, the Canaries were back infront. Sutton scored his second, heading past Beasant after beating Ken Monkou in the air from a free-kick. However, Southampton kept going and deservedly levelled at 4-4 when Le Tissier completed his hat-trick. His 100th goal for Southampton was a header that beat Gunn at his near post after a deep cross from the excellent Kenna.

It was the kind of game where a winner always looked likely and it arrived for the Saints in stoppage-time. Le Tissier turned provider with his corner finding Monkou and his downward header found the back of the net to give Southampton a priceless and ultimately, decisive lead in this amazing encounter.

It was a valuable victory for the south coast side, who confirmed their safety on an extraordinary final day. Norwich might have knocked Bayern Munich out of the UEFA Cup but finished in a low-key 12th.

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Seasonal Stories: Norwich City (2012-2013)

Mid-table stability

In their second season back in the Premier League after promotion in 2011, Norwich City achieved solid mid-table stability again, finishing in 11th position. There were some notable results too in what was Chris Hughton’s first season as manager at Carrow Road which included home victories over Arsenal and Manchester United.

Norwich also enjoyed a 10-match unbeaten run in the autumn which remains their best-ever unbeaten sequence in their Premier League history.

A new man at the managerial helm

After an excellent 12th place finish in their first campaign back among the elite in 2011-2012, Norwich City suffered a blow when Paul Lambert acrimoniously quit the club to take over as manager of Aston Villa. He would be replaced by Chris Hughton, who had previously managed Newcastle United in the Premier League and steered Birmingham City to the play-offs in the Championship in the previous season.

Hughton managed to keep all of the Canaries’ key players from the previous campaign which included skipper Grant Holt, goalkeeper John Ruddy and creative asset Wes Hoolahan. He added to the squad too with the acquisition of seven players including Robert Snodgrass from Leeds United, full-back Steven Whittaker after Rangers’ financial collapse and Sebastien Bassong from Tottenham Hotspur.

On transfer deadline day, Hughton made two further loan additions. Javier Garrido came in from Lazio having previously auditioned in the Premier League at Manchester City and a certain striker called Harry Kane arrived from Tottenham Hotspur and would make his top-flight debut for Norwich. This move didn’t work out though and Kane was recalled by Spurs in the January transfer window.

Sluggish beginning

It was always going to take some time for Hughton to stamp his authority on his new squad and it showed in the early weeks of the campaign. Norwich actually went through the first two months of the campaign winless.

Things didn’t start well with a heavy 5-0 reverse away at Fulham on the opening day of the season and Liverpool FC also scored five at Carrow Road at the end of September. For the second consecutive season, Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick in East Anglia. The 5-2 defeat meant after six matches, Norwich had just three points from three draws and three defeats.

The turning point in the season for the Norfolk club came on 20th October. A first victory of the season was recorded and it came against mighty Arsenal. Holt scored the only goal of the game after 19 minutes and the home side held on for their second clean sheet of the campaign and a first victory against the Gunners since August 1992.

It was the catalyst for an impressive sequence of results for Hughton and his team.

The perfect 10

Norwich’s second game of their 10-match unbeaten run came at Villa Park and a stoic 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in a first reunion with their former boss Lambert. Michael Turner scored an equaliser with 11 minutes to go in what was his first season at the club after moving from Sunderland in the summer. Lambert would have the last laugh though with Villa going on to win the return fixture later in the season and also knock the Canaries out 4-1 in the League Cup quarter-finals.

An unbeaten November followed, despite only four goals being scored. Bradley Johnson’s 44th minute goal sunk Stoke City and two weeks later came the best moment of the campaign when Anthony Pilkington’s header beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United 1-0. Either side of a stale goalless draw at Reading and Norwich had kept four clean sheets in their last five games – an impressive return given how leaky they had been defensively in the season’s early weeks.

Bassong would go on to be crowned Player of the Season and the Cameroonian enjoyed a goalscoring run in this sequence. He scored a 90th minute equaliser at Goodison Park for a 1-1 draw and also netted in a 2-1 home win over Sunderland and in a highly enthralling 4-3 triumph away at Swansea City. Going into the 2012 festive programme, Norwich were sitting in an impressive eighth place in the Premier League table.

17th DECEMBER 2012 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
7 West Bromwich Albion 17 8 3 6 24 21 +3 27
8 NORWICH CITY 17 6 7 4 19 25 -6 25
9 Stoke City 17 5 9 3 15 13 +2 24
10 Swansea City 17 6 5 6 26 22 +4 23
11 West Ham United 17 6 5 6 21 20 +1 23
12 Liverpool FC 17 5 7 5 23 23 0 22

Finishing with a flourish at City

The lengthy run of excellent form came to an end just before Christmas with a 2-1 defeat away at West Bromwich Albion. That became a much more worrying run of form with a nine-game winless sequence which included a zero-point return from the festive period and a 5-0 beating at Anfield against Liverpool FC in January.

Norwich beat Everton 2-1 with a late winner from Holt in late February to stop the rot and despite recording only another three wins from 11 games, Hughton’s side were never in any danger from the fear of relegation.

They finished on a high with back-to-back victories over West Bromwich Albion and Manchester City, scoring seven goals in these matches. The 4-0 triumph over the Baggies was actually the club’s biggest margin of victory in the 2012-2013 season. Holt scored in this game and in the 3-2 triumph at The Etihad to finish top scorer for the club yet again – this time with eight strikes.

An 11th place finish was encouraging despite a worse points tally than in 2011-2012 and with further investment promised, Norwich were looking up rather than down going into the summer of 2013.

FINAL 2012-2013 TABLE – 11th to 16th

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
11 NORWICH CITY 38 10 14 14 41 58 -17 44
12 Fulham 38 11 10 17 50 60 -10 43
13 Stoke City 38 9 15 14 34 45 -11 42
14 Southampton 38 9 14 15 49 60 -11 41
15 Aston Villa 38 10 11 17 47 69 -22 41
16 Newcastle United 38 11 8 19 45 68 -23 41

Premier League Rewind: 15th May 2005

Results: Birmingham City 2-1 Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers 3-2 Everton, Charlton Athletic 2-2 Crystal Palace, Fulham 6-0 Norwich City, Liverpool FC 2-1 Aston Villa, Manchester City 1-1 Middlesbrough, Newcastle United 1-1 Chelsea, Southampton 1-2 Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Blackburn Rovers, West Bromwich Albion 2-0 Portsmouth

The centre of attention on the final day of the 2004-2005 Premier League season was at the bottom of the table. For the first time in the competition’s history, all three relegation spots were up for grabs and by full-time, only one set of supporters from Norwich City, Crystal Palace, Southampton and West Bromwich Albion would be celebrating survival.

The team in the driving seat were Norwich. They were outside the bottom three and a first away victory of the season at Craven Cottage against a Fulham side with little to play for would secure their top-flight status and relegate the other three sides irrespective of their results. However, as soon as Brian McBride had the Cottagers infront after just 10 minutes, it looked like it would be a long afternoon for the Canaries supporters. Any hope of beating the drop was virtually extinguished by Papa Bouba Diop’s cracking free-kick and it turned into a mauling for Nigel Worthington’s side. Andy Cole came off the bench to round the scoring off in stoppage-time. Fulham won 6-0 and Norwich were relegated.

The Canaries’ miserable afternoon in west London meant there was an opportunity for the other three teams then to escape the drop. Southampton had the trickiest fixture even though they were at home on the last day to FA Cup finalists Manchester United. They made a brilliant start, with an own goal off John O’Shea giving the Saints a lead at virtually the same time as Norwich were going a goal down at Fulham. A Darren Fletcher header did little to change the outcomes and at half-time, the point was enough for Harry Redknapp to protect his record of not experiencing Premier League relegation on his CV. Ruud van Nistelrooy had other ideas. The Dutchman had experienced a difficult campaign plagued by injuries by his 62nd minute header – his sixth league goal of the season put the Red Devils infront and they held on for a 2-1 victory to end Southampton’s 27-year stay in England’s top-flight.

So, Norwich and Southampton were both down, which meant it was a straight shootout between Crystal Palace and West Bromwich Albion for survival. Palace travelled to a Charlton Athletic side without a win in their last eight games but they trailed at half-time to Bryan Hughes’ first half effort. Iain Dowie then brought Dougie Freedman off the bench and soon after his arrival; he put the Eagles level with a cute chip over the advancing Charlton goalkeeper Dean Kiely. Then, Mark Clattenburg pointed to the penalty spot when Jonathan Fortune handled the ball in his own penalty area. Andy Johnson’s 21st goal of the season meant Dowie’s side were now just 19 minutes from safety. However, with eight minutes remaining, Fortune made amends with a towering header from a free-kick to level the scores at 2-2. That is how it ended but would it be enough for Palace to avoid a fourth Premier League relegation?

It wouldn’t be the case if West Bromwich Albion beat Portsmouth at The Hawthorns. The Baggies were bottom going into the final day and only a win would be enough to give them a chance of achieving survival. Just a minute after his arrival into the match as a second half substitute, Geoff Horsfield drilled the Baggies into the lead and on-loan midfielder Kieran Richardson settled the contest with 15 minutes remaining. When he scored, Palace were winning so the three points weren’t enough but Fortune’s equaliser at The Valley sent The Hawthorns into a carnival atmosphere. No team in Premier League history had ever done what West Brom had just done. They were bottom on Christmas Day but had achieved survival on this, the ultimate Survival Sunday.’

Away from the drama at the bottom of the table and the other dramatic issue was who would take seventh place and the final UEFA Cup position in the table. Middlesbrough held the advantage and were playing chief rivals Manchester City at Eastlands. The scoreline was 1-1 when City had a late penalty. If Robbie Fowler had converted it, the Citizens would have claimed seventh position but his spot-kick was saved by Mark Schwarzer so Boro held on for the point that secured the last European qualification spot.

What else happened in May 2005?

  • Labour and Tony Blair win their third successive General Election but only a majority of 66 seats – a great reduction on their recent margin of victory in 2001.
  • After the election, Conservative party leader Michael Howard announced his intention to step down.
  • Liverpool FC win their fifth European Cup in sensational fashion, beating AC Milan on penalties in Istanbul after coming back from 3-0 down at half-time to draw 3-3.
  • The Eurovision Song Contest is won by Greece’s Helena Paparizou with her song “My Number One.”
  • 27-year-old transport manager Tim Campbell wins the first series of The Apprentice, winning a £100,000 job with Lord Alan Sugar’s firm, Amstrad.
  • American businessman Malcolm Glazer gains control of Manchester United after securing a 70% share. The takeover angers many United supporters.
  • BBC Weather relaunches, changing to 3D graphics.

 

Iconic Moments: Delia’s half-time speech (February 2005)

Delia Smith is one of the most well-known celebrity chefs in British popular culture. She is also the joint majority shareholder of current Championship club Norwich City. A season ticket holder alongside her husband Michael Wynn-Jones, she was invited to invest in the club in the late 1990s that had fallen on hard times after their Premier League relegation in 1995.

A decade later and the Canaries were back in the top-flight but as expected, were locked in a tight relegation battle alongside Crystal Palace, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton. They were playing Manchester City in a televised match in February 2005 and made a searing start. Goals from Dean Ashton and Leon McKenzie had fired them into a 2-0 lead inside the first quarter of an hour. The visitors though were level by half-time and Delia decided she needed to lift the Carrow Road crowd, which had gone awfully quiet.

It would turn out to be one of the most famous soundbites in Premier League history. Grabbing the microphone from the club’s announcer, she yells: “A message for the best football supporters in the world: we need a 12th man here. Where are you? Where are you? Let’s be ‘avin’ you! Come on!”

The pep talk didn’t work for the spectators or the players. In the 90th minute, Robbie Fowler pinched a last-minute winner for Manchester City in what turned out to be Kevin Keegan’s penultimate match in-charge of the Citizens. Despite a late season rally, Norwich would end the season with relegation but Delia had left her indelible mark on the history of famous Premier League quotes.

The Clubs: Norwich City

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
316 89 92 135 365 510 -145 359 8

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Russell Martin 125
Mark Bowen 119
John Ruddy 116
Wes Hoolahan 112
Ian Crook 106
Bryan Gunn 104
Jonny Howson 104
Bradley Johnson 101
John Polston 96
Sebastien Bassong 93

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Chris Sutton 33
Grant Holt 23
Mark Robins 20
Efan Ekoku 15
Anthony Pilkington 14
Wes Hoolahan 12
Robert Snodgrass 12
Ruel Fox 11
Steve Morison 10
Jeremy Goss 9

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Everton 1-5 Norwich City 25th September 1993 1993-1994
Leeds United 0-4 Norwich City 21st August 1993 1993-1994
Norwich City 4-0 West Bromwich Albion 12th May 2013 2012-2013
Nottingham Forest 0-3 Norwich City 17th March 1993 1992-1993
Norwich City 3-0 Everton 21st March 1994 1993-1994
Norwich City 3-0 Chelsea 10th December 1994 1994-1995
Norwich City 3-0 Ipswich Town 20th March 1995 1994-1995
Arsenal 2-4 Norwich City 15th August 1992 1992-1993
Norwich City 4-2 Crystal Palace 27th January 1993 1992-1993
Norwich City 4-2 Leeds United 14th April 1993 1992-1993

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Manchester City 7-0 Norwich City 2nd November 2013 2013-2014
Blackburn Rovers 7-1 Norwich City 3rd October 1992 1992-1993
Fulham 6-0 Norwich City 15th May 2005 2004-2005
Norwich City 1-6 Manchester City 14th April 2012 2011-2012
Fulham 5-0 Norwich City 18th August 2012 2012-2013
Liverpool FC 5-0 Norwich City 19th January 2013 2012-2013
Newcastle United 6-2 Norwich City 18th October 2015 2015-2016
Tottenham Hotspur 5-1 Norwich City 9th April 1993 1992-1993
Arsenal 5-1 Norwich City 1st April 1995 1994-1995
Manchester City 5-1 Norwich City 3rd December 2011 2011-2012

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Mike Walker 2 5th January 1994
John Deehan 2 10th April 1995
Nigel Worthington 1 1st October 2006
Paul Lambert 1 1st June 2012
Chris Hughton 2 6th April 2014
Neil Adams 1 5th January 2015
Alex Neil 1 10th March 2017

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Norwich City 3-2 Newcastle United 2nd April 2016 27,137 2015-2016
Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United 7th May 2016 27,132 2015-2016
Norwich City 0-3 Sunderland 16th April 2016 27,117 2015-2016
Norwich City 4-5 Liverpool FC 23rd January 2016 27,108 2015-2016
Norwich City 2-2 West Ham United 13th February 2016 27,101 2015-2016
Norwich City 1-1 Arsenal 29th November 2015 27,091 2015-2016
Norwich City 1-2 Chelsea 1st March 2016 27,091 2015-2016
Norwich City 2-0 Aston Villa 28th December 2015 27,072 2015-2016
Norwich City 1-2 Leicester City 3rd October 2015 27,067 2015-2016
Norwich City 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur 2nd February 2016 27,067 2015-2016

 

Intro

Norwich City have always been an entertaining side to watch and that started in the very first Premier League season where they topped the table on Christmas Day 1992 and finished in third place in the final standings. Two seasons later, the policy of selling their star assets led to their downfall and relegation and since then, have experienced three further relegations under the guidance of Nigel Worthington, Neil Adams and Alex Neil. However, the Canaries have achieved other unique feats, including having the first player to score four goals in a Premier League match and being the first team to have three hat-tricks scored by the same player against them when Luis Suarez achieved the feat in his Liverpool FC days.

 

1992-1993

Considered among the relegation favourites going into the campaign under new manager Mike Walker, Norwich City made an immediate impression on the Premier League’s opening weekend, storming back from 2-0 down to beat pre-season title favourites Arsenal 4-2 at Highbury. Despite a 7-1 hammering at Blackburn Rovers in early October, the Canaries continued to defy the critics and topped the table on Christmas Day.

Helped by the goals of Mark Robins, the speedy pace of Ruel Fox down the flanks and the artistry of the experienced David Phillips in midfield, Norwich stayed firmly in the title battle until early April when they lost 3-1 at home to eventual champions Manchester United. Although they ended up with a negative goal difference, Norwich finished a brilliant third in the standings, earning European qualification for the following season.

 

1993-1994

Despite having one of the Premier League’s smallest fanbases, Norwich continued to overachieve in the early months of the 1993-1994 campaign. They dismantled Leeds United 4-0 at Elland Road, held Manchester United to a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford and recorded an excellent victory early season at Blackburn Rovers. In Europe, they became the first-ever English club to win in Munich against Bayern, knocking the German heavyweights out of the UEFA Cup in the process.

In early January, manager Mike Walker quit to take the vacancy at Everton. Walker had grown tired of seeing his better players being sold by owner Robert Chase with Ruel Fox on his way to Newcastle United. Walker’s assistant John Deehan took over the team with the Canaries in seventh place but he couldn’t sustain the momentum. He managed just two victories and that included a 10-game winless streak as the Norfolk-based club slipped to 12th place by the season’s end.

 

1994-1995

Star forward Chris Sutton was sold in a British transfer record deal to Blackburn Rovers for £5 million but although they lost some of their goalscoring threat, Norwich made a strong start to the season. They were unbeaten at Carrow Road until a Boxing Day defeat to Tottenham Hotspur and the Canaries sat seventh in the table going into Christmas. However, that is where things started to go pear-shaped.

First-choice goalkeeper Bryan Gunn suffered a serious ankle injury in a defeat at The City Ground against Nottingham Forest and no adequate replacement was brought in to replace Gunn who was out for the whole season. Forwards Efan Ekoku and Mark Robins were both sold and the club went into freefall. They achieved only one victory in their final 20 games and plunged into the relegation dogfight.

Manager John Deehan resigned in mid-April and with fan protests, petitions and a poisonous atmosphere growing around the board’s management, relegation became reality with a 2-1 loss to Leeds United on the penultimate weekend of the season.

 

2004-2005

After an absence of nine seasons, Norwich returned to the top-flight as champions of the First Division. Manager Nigel Worthington had a small squad and relied heavily on the players that helped them gain promotion. Norwich failed to win any of their first 13 matches and very quickly, it became clear that this would be a season battling to avoid relegation.

Two goals from Damien Francis helped the Canaries to a 2-1 victory over Southampton in November but that was one of just three victories up to the start of April. They began that month seven points adrift of safety but started a remarkable run with a shock 2-0 win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United. Further wins over Newcastle United, Charlton Athletic and Birmingham City meant they escaped the relegation zone going into the final day of the campaign. Victory at Craven Cottage would secure their safety regardless of other results. However, a 6-0 defeat to Fulham ensured their instant relegation back to the second-tier of English football.

 

2011-2012

Under the guidance of Paul Lambert, Norwich enjoyed a fine first season back in the top-flight having achieved back-to-back promotions. They won three of their first eight matches and were never in any relegation danger. Apart from two heavy losses to champions Manchester City, Norwich acquitted themselves well and finished 12th with 47 points. However, Lambert left in the close season in controversial circumstances to take the manager’s role at Aston Villa.

 

2012-2013

Although they finished with three fewer points, Norwich improved to 11th in the table in the 2012-2013 campaign with Chris Hughton their new manager. This included a 10-game unbeaten run between October and December which included a 4-3 away win at Swansea City and surprising home successes against Arsenal and Manchester United. They ended the season with a handsome 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion and an impressive 3-2 success away to Manchester City. The only blot on the copybook was an FA Cup exit at the hands of non-league Luton Town, becoming the first top-flight side to lose in the competition to a non-league outfit in 24 years.

 

2013-2014

Norwich spent plenty of money in pre-season, including £8.5 million on Ricky van Wolfswinkel. The striker scored just once for the club as the task of replacing Grant Holt turned out to be harder than expected. Chris Hughton’s side spent most of the season in the bottom half of the Premier League table and when they lost at home to West Bromwich Albion in early April, they elected to dispense with Hughton’s services. Former player Neil Adams took over but collected just one point from the final five games of the season and they dropped into the relegation zone. Their demise was confirmed when Sunderland beat West Brom in their penultimate game of the season.

 

2015-2016

Alex Neil guided Norwich back to the Premier League within his first five months at the club and initially, started well with victories over Sunderland and AFC Bournemouth, plus a wonderful 2-1 pre-Christmas triumph over Manchester United. Norwich picked up 9 points from a possible 12 during the festive period – a record only bettered by Tottenham Hotspur but they went on a dire run of form at the start of 2016, losing seven successive matches.

Victories over West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United did lift the gloom briefly but a 3-0 home defeat to relegation rivals Sunderland in mid-April saw them give up controlling their own destiny to the Black Cats. Sunderland’s experience at survival expertise was more than enough to consign Norwich ultimately to a fourth Premier League relegation just days before the season concluded when they beat Everton, meaning the Canaries’ 4-2 victory over Watford was made immaterial.

Memorable Matches: Norwich City 4-4 Middlesbrough (January 2005)

Goalscorers: Damien Francis 18, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 34, 78, Franck Queudrue 49, 55, Dean Ashton 80, Leon McKenzie 89, Adam Drury 90

Teams:

Norwich City: Robert Green, Adam Drury, Gary Doherty, Marc Edworthy, Craig Fleming, Jim Brennan (Leon McKenzie 59), Phil Mulryne (Gary Holt 64), Damien Francis, Andreas Jonson (Paul McVeigh 60), Dean Ashton, Darren Huckerby

Middlesbrough: Mark Schwarzer, Gareth Southgate, Tony McMahon, Franck Queudrue, Michael Reiziger, Doriva (James Morrison 45), Ray Parlour, Stewart Downing, Bolo Zenden, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Joseph Desire-Job (Danny Graham 74)

Referee: Matt Messias, Attendance: 24,547

Middlesbrough were enjoying a strong 2004-2005 season in the Premier League and were favourites going into their match at Carrow Road against Norwich City. A remarkable match would follow and leave both managers sensing a missed opportunity by the full-time whistle.

Boro had only won once in their last five outings. Nevertheless, they made the better start to the contest. Midfielder Doriva fired a shot just wide of Robert Green’s goal before the England international closed down his angles to block a Stewart Downing effort. So, it was against the run of play that Norwich took the lead on 18 minutes. Darren Huckerby’s shot was saved by Mark Schwarzer but the ball fell perfectly to Damien Francis to tap home his sixth goal of the season as the visiting defence appealed for an offside that never came.

The Canaries had only won twice all season and hadn’t kept a clean sheet in the top-flight since mid-October. It was very unlikely they would keep one here and Middlesbrough’s pressure eventually told on 34 minutes. Downing’s shot on-goal was deflected into the net by the right foot of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. It was the Dutchman’s 10th goal of the season in his first campaign as a Boro player.

It was 1-1 at half-time but after the break, Middlesbrough took full advantage of some charitable defending from Norwich at set-pieces. In the 49th minute, Downing’s corner was powered home in the six-yard box by defender Franck Queudrue at the near post. Just six minutes had passed when Queudrue incredibly doubled his tally for the afternoon. From yet another Downing corner, Gareth Southgate won the first header at the near post and Queudrue ghosted clear without being spotted by any home defender to provide the simplest of finishes. The game looked comprehensively over with 12 minutes left. Hasselbaink’s terrific free-kick dipped over the wall and into Green’s net. 4-1 ahead, surely game over and Middlesbrough would head back to Teeside with all three points?

Nigel Worthington’s side weren’t going to roll over though and just two minutes later, reduced the deficit to 4-2. Huckerby crossed for Dean Ashton. The new club-record signing from Crewe Alexandra beat Schwarzer to the loose ball to score his first Canaries goal on his home debut. At this stage, it looked like a goal to add some respectability to the scoreline but hope was restored for the supporters when another Huckerby assist led to substitute Leon McKenzie scoring with a header in the 89th minute. All of a sudden, Middlesbrough became a bag of nerves.

Then in stoppage-time, Huckerby’s corner was delivered onto the head of club captain Adam Drury. He got a free header and equalised with his first-ever Premier League goal, saving Worthington’s team from a fourth successive defeat. It was a remarkable comeback but despite this fightback, Norwich were relegated back to Division One on the last day of the season.

Great Goals: Fraizer Campbell – SUNDERLAND vs. Norwich City (January 2012)

On the face of it, Sunderland’s 3-0 victory over Norwich City in January 2012 looks like a routine scoreline but it produced one of the best goals of the entire campaign from Fraizer Campbell.

Just less than 20 minutes had been played when the forward who had struggled with injuries over the past 18 months reminded everyone of the qualities he’d first displayed in the youth ranks at Manchester United.

Campbell received the ball after James McClean had been stopped in trying to shoot himself. He controlled the ball superbly, allowing the ball to sit up before providing a delicious, looping volley on his second touch into the top corner of the net beyond John Ruddy.

It a moment richly deserved for a player who has been very unfortunate to not quite fulfil the talent that was clearly evident at such a young age.

Great Goals: Stelios Giannakopoulos – BOLTON WANDERERS vs. Norwich City (March 2005)

A cult figure during Bolton Wanderers’ European challenging days in the Premier League, Stelios Giannakopoulos remains one of the finest Greek players to have played in the English top-flight. This was the pick of his Premier League goals against bottom club Norwich City in March 2005.

Giannakopoulos starts his own effort by taking a corner. The Canaries defenders struggle to clear and the ball eventually falls back to the midfielder. On the edge of the area, he evaded a fairly timid challenge which gave him the space to unleash a smashing curling effort beyond the despairing dive of Robert Green in the Norwich goal.

Bolton won the match 1-0 and finished in the top six at the end of the season, aided by classy moments like this from Giannakopoulos.

Shock Results: Arsenal 2-4 Norwich City (August 1992)

Goalscorers: Steve Bould 28, Kevin Campbell 39, Mark Robins 69, 84, David Phillips 72, Ruel Fox 82

Teams:

Arsenal: David Seaman, Tony Adams, Steve Bould, Lee Dixon, Nigel Winterburn, David Hillier, John Jensen, Anders Limpar, Paul Merson (Ian Wright 73), Kevin Campbell, Alan Smith

Norwich City: Bryan Gunn, Ian Butterworth, Mark Bowen, Ian Culverhouse, Rob Newman, John Polston, Gary Megson (Ian Crook 87), David Phillips, Ruel Fox, Jeremy Goss, Chris Sutton (Mark Robins 58)

Referee: Alan Gunn, Attendance: 24,030

It was the opening weekend of the inaugural season of the FA Premier League and Arsenal were among the pre-season title favourites. The Gunners had won the First Division championship as recently as 1991 and many insiders believed George Graham’s team would be setting the pace along with reigning champions Leeds United and Manchester United.

Arsenal faced relegation favourites Norwich City at Highbury on a day where we got to see the first sightings of the Highbury mural. The North Bank terrace had been demolished that summer to be replaced by an all-seater stand and it was decided a giant mural should be put in place to hide the construction work taking place. By full-time, it would be Arsenal players feeling rather red.

Initially, everything went to the formbook and despite Ian Wright starting the game on the bench, he wasn’t needed in the first half. Arsenal took the lead after 28 minutes. Nigel Winterburn’s free-kick was glanced into the net by centre-back Steve Bould. 11 minutes later, the lead was doubled by Kevin Campbell. Picked out by Lee Dixon, Campbell found a bit of space in the penalty area and planted his effort beyond the reach of Bryan Gunn.

This was Mike Walker’s first match as Norwich manager having been promoted from involvement with the youth team in the summer and after 58 minutes, he decided to shuffle his strikeforce around and bring on Mark Robins. Robins had arrived at the club after being discarded by Manchester United. He was about to not only make an impact on this match but a huge one in the Canaries’ incredible season.

On 69 minutes, Robins had made the telling contribution by reducing Arsenal’s advantage to 2-1, powering in a header from a free-kick. Three minutes later and Walker’s side had drawn themselves onto level terms. David Seaman misjudged a cross and the experienced David Phillips capitalised to make this into an engrossing contest.

Arsenal’s nightmare was almost complete when Ruel Fox used his fantastic pace to leave Tony Adams behind, then he finished underneath Seaman to complete a quite stunning turnaround. Adams was having a very difficult afternoon and with six minutes left, his slip allowed Robins in. Spotting Seaman off his line, he lobbed him in spectacular fashion to complete a truly stunning period. Norwich had scored four goals in 15 minutes to claim all three points.

Arsenal became the cup kings in 1992-1993. They won the FA Cup and League Cup but never launched a serious title tilt and finished a low-key 10th in the final table. Norwich were the season’s surprise package, leading on Christmas Day. They were overtaken in the second half of the season by Aston Villa and Manchester United but still finished a fantastic third in the final standings.

Premier League Files: Ruel Fox

Premier League Career: Norwich City (1992-1994), Newcastle United (1994-1995), Tottenham Hotspur (1995-1999)

In his day, Ruel Fox was one of the quickest players in the Premier League. He was a tricky winger capable of producing some magical pieces of skill and able to produce excellent crosses into the penalty area for the strikers he used to play with. He is often considered as the finest player to represent Montserrat.

Fox though was born in Ipswich but he would start his playing career at Ipswich’s local rivals, Norwich City, making his league debut during the 1986-1987 season against Oxford United. To begin with, his raw talent was kept in-check and Fox struggled to nail down a regular place in Norwich’s starting XI. However, he made his significant breakthrough at the club in the Canaries’ sensational 1992-1993 season when they were tipped as relegation favourites by many in pre-season. He scored on the opening day of the new division as Norwich stunned pre-season title favourites Arsenal 4-2 at Highbury. Fox also scored in the corresponding fixture at Carrow Road between the sides and found the target too in a victory at Sheffield United in March 1993. Norwich led several times throughout the Premier League season and ultimately finished in a brilliant third position in the final standings.

Although Norwich couldn’t quite replicate their league form in season 1993-1994, Ruel’s performance level actually improved. He scored seven times in 25 matches including twice in an excellent 4-0 away victory over Leeds United in August 1993. Fox also scored a penalty to earn Mike Walker’s side a draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United in December. He became the last player to score a Premier League penalty for an opposing side until April 2004!

Norwich had a habit though of selling their best players and Fox was another of those examples. He was transferred to Newcastle United in February 1994 for £2.25 million. Kevin Keegan was very excited to sign Fox, claiming him to be the “the best player in his position in the country” upon his arrival. He played in the final 14 fixtures of Newcastle’s debut season as they matched Norwich’s 1993 finish of third in the final standings.

His only full season on Tyneside saw him register 10 goals as Newcastle finished sixth and narrowly missed out on qualifying for European football for a second successive season. Seven of those strikes came in victories over the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace. At this stage, he won two caps for England’s B team but never played senior international football for England and would actually represent Montserrat in international football twice a decade later.

The arrival of David Ginola in the summer of 1995 saw Fox knocked down the pecking order and in October, he moved to Tottenham Hotspur in a £4.25 million deal, becoming Spurs’ second-most expensive player at the time. He sparkled initially at White Hart Lane, linking well with Chris Armstrong and Teddy Sheringham and scoring six times in 26 appearances. 50% of these goals came against Coventry City.

Unfortunately, he struggled to replicate that form throughout the rest of his career at Tottenham and missed out on their squad for the 1999 League Cup final. His final Premier League appearance came in December 1999 with an eight-minute cameo from the bench against Middlesbrough. Transfer-listed shortly afterwards, he moved to West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 2000 and helped win them promotion to the Premier League. He was released shortly afterwards and ended his club career.

Since retirement, Fox has become a coach at Suffolk College, works as a personal trainer in Ipswich and is chairman of non-league side Whitton United FC.

Seasonal Stories: Norwich City (1994-1995)

A dramatic collapse

Norwich City’s Premier League season of 1994-1995 was a case of two halves. Less than two years after finishing third in the table, the Canaries slipped out of the top-flight after a dreadful 1995 that saw them win just once after New Years’ Day. Selling star assets such as Chris Sutton, Efan Ekoku and Mark Robins and not replacing them adequately enough eventually caught up with owner Robert Chase and the board.

That was despite sitting in sixth position in the table in December 1994…

Summer concerns

Norwich City went into the summer of 1994 fearing the worst. Only one win in their last nine matches had seen them finish the previous campaign in 12th position, having been as high as third spot in November.

Having scored 25 goals in the previous season, Chris Sutton was hot property and realistically, it was always going to be difficult for Norwich manager John Deehan to be able to persuade Sutton to stay. Sure enough, he did leave in a British transfer record fee for Blackburn Rovers with Norwich receiving £5 million.

Mike Sheron eventually arrived as Sutton’s replacement after finding his chances limited at Manchester City with Deehan trusting on Mark Robins and Efan Ekoku to provide the goals missing from Sutton’s departure. Other new arrivals included midfielder Mike Milligan from Oldham Athletic and a seven-figure fee was paid to Leeds United for defender Jon Newsome.

A strong first half

Norwich had shown in recent seasons that they would often start well and 1994-1995 was more proof of that. The Canaries conceded just two goals in their first five matches and they came in an opening day 2-0 defeat to Chelsea.

At the start of October, Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United were beaten and Queens Park Rangers shipped four goals on their visit to East Anglia. In fact, Norwich would remain unbeaten at Carrow Road until Boxing Day when they lost at home to Tottenham Hotspur.

Ekoku was controversially sold to Wimbledon during October for £900,000. Two weeks on from his departure, he scored the only goal of the game at Selhurst Park for his new club against his old employers infront of the Sky Sports cameras. It was another example of Robert Chase’s seeming desire to cash in on his talents having done the same with both Sutton and Ruel Fox.

Money was spent in December to bring in Ashley Ward who had a great goalscoring record in the lower divisions with Crewe Alexandra. He made a dream debut, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory at home to Chelsea. Ward would finish the season as the club’s top goalscorer with eight strikes. Despite the Tottenham loss on Boxing Day, Norwich were sitting in seventh position at close of play, 11 points clear of danger and ahead of some far more illustrious sides including Arsenal, Leeds United and Tottenham.

BOXING DAY 1994 TABLE

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
7 NORWICH CITY 20 8 6 6 19 17 +2 30
8 Tottenham Hotspur 20 8 5 7 34 34 0 29
9 Chelsea 20 8 4 8 28 26 +2 28
10 Manchester City 20 8 4 8 31 34 -3 28
11 Arsenal 20 6 7 7 23 22 +1 25
12 Coventry City 20 6 7 7 20 29 -9 25

Season-changing injury

Norwich travelled to Nottingham Forest on Tuesday 27th December 1994 boasting an impressive defensive record. Only the top two, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United had conceded fewer goals. However, a season-changing injury at The City Ground would change that statistic drastically.

Scottish goalkeeper Bryan Gunn broke and dislocated an ankle whilst blocking a long-range shot from Ian Woan. It was a cruel blow and an injury that would rule him out for the rest of the season. Gunn was a big character, both on-the-pitch and in the dressing room and his absence was instantly felt. 19-year-old Andy Marshall came off the bench and promptly conceded the only goal of the match direct from a corner by Lars Bohinen.

Efforts were made to bring in emergency cover on-loan but nothing happened and Marshall would remain as the number one for the remainder of the campaign. It was another major error in a season that was about to fall apart for the club.

They did beat high-flying Newcastle United 2-1 on New Years’ Eve but that win was followed by an 11-match winless sequence that saw Deehan’s side drop into the bottom half of the table. Robins was the next star player to be sold, departing for Leicester City in January.

There was some light relief in mid-March when John Wark’s dismissal in the East Anglian Derby helped Norwich to a comfortable 3-0 victory over bottom-placed Ipswich Town. It did briefly take Norwich back into the top half of the table but it turned out to be their last win of the season.

Deehan departs

After a 3-0 defeat away to Newcastle United on 9th April, John Deehan handed in his resignation as manager after 15 months in the post. Three worrying defeats in eight days was the final straw. Supporters, growing impatient with both form on-the-pitch and players being sold by the board started to demonstrate against Chase’s running of the club. They even started a petition in vain to try and get their former manager Mike Walker back to the club after his nightmare reign at Everton.

The under-fire owner decided to hand the position of manager to Gary Megson but there was to be no happy ending. On 6th May 1995, Norwich slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Elland Road against Leeds United which confirmed their relegation from the Premier League. It was a seventh successive Premier League defeat. In total, the club picked up just 10 points from 20 Premier League matches in 1995 and that turned this campaign into an absolute disaster.

After failing to keep the Canaries up, Megson quit and Martin O’Neill was chosen as the man to take over in Division One. They would only finish 16th in the season afterwards and didn’t return to the Premier League until 2004.

FINAL 1994-1995 TABLE – THE BOTTOM SIX

POS TABLE P W D L F A GD PTS
17 Manchester City 42 12 13 17 53 64 -11 48
18 Aston Villa 42 11 15 16 51 56 -5 48
19 Crystal Palace 42 11 12 19 34 49 -15 45
20 NORWICH CITY 42 10 13 19 37 54 -17 43
21 Leicester City 42 6 11 25 45 80 -35 29
22 Ipswich Town 42 7 6 29 36 93 -57 27

Memorable Matches: Oldham Athletic 2-3 Norwich City (November 1992)

Goalscorers: Mark Robins 14, 27, 90, Graeme Sharp 25, Ian Marshall 43

Teams:

Oldham Athletic: Jon Hallworth, Gunnar Halle, Richard Jobson, Neil Pointon, Steve Redmond, Paul Bernard, Nick Henry, Mike Milligan, Ian Marshall, Ian Olney (Neil Adams 58), Graeme Sharp

Norwich City: Bryan Gunn, Ian Butterworth, Mark Bowen, Ian Culverhouse, John Polston, Daryl Sutch, Ian Crook, David Phillips, Ruel Fox, Darren Beckford (Chris Sutton 88), Mark Robins

Referee: Robbie Hart, Attendance: 11,081

Oldham Athletic and Norwich City were two of the more unfashionable clubs in the Premier League’s very first season. However, both teams were a real credit to the league’s early inception, producing outstanding stories throughout the 1992-1993 campaign.

The sides met in early November 1992 and there was plenty of attention on Mike Walker’s Canaries. Results earlier in the weekend had taken Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table but Norwich knew victory at Boundary Park would take them back to the summit. Oldham though must have fancied their chances. Despite the visitors’ excellent attacking record, their defence was brittle and they’d conceded 11 goals on two recent painful away trips to Ewood Park and Anfield. The one certainly was a 0-0 scoreline was a very unlikely result here.

It was Norwich who struck first in an opening 45 minutes that saw the pendulum swing back and forwards. Ian Culverhouse produced a lovely ball after 14 minutes and summer arrival, Mark Robins was left completely unmarked in the penalty area to open the scoring. It was Robins first goal in seven matches and with the Canaries first serious attack, they were infront.

Norwich’s lead lasted just 11 minutes. Nick Henry delivered a ball into the box from the left-hand side. It was flicked on and Graeme Sharp reacted instantly, providing a predatory finish beyond Bryan Gunn to bring Oldham level. However, their parity didn’t last long. Two minutes later, Norwich were back infront.

Oldham’s high offside trap was brutally exposed by the pacey winger Ruel Fox. He produced the perfect first-time pass and with goalkeeper Jon Hallworth caught in no-man’s land and the defenders scrambling to get back, Robins had all the time in the world to convert his second goal of the evening. Two minutes before half-time, Oldham levelled the scores again. Auxiliary forward Ian Marshall was first to another flick-on and bravely beat an onrushing Gunn to the loose ball. There was a collision between the pair but Marshall got enough on his looping shot to find the back of the net.

The second half was a cagier affair and it looked like the points were going to be shared. Robins though would have the last laugh. In stoppage-time, he created some space for himself in the penalty area and his low shot found the bottom corner of Hallworth’s net to seal victory for Norwich and take them back to the top of the Premier League table. Discarded by Manchester United and Alex Ferguson, the forward was proving his valuable worth to the Norwich cause. He scored the club’s first Premier League hat-trick and only the second in the history of the league after Eric Cantona’s treble for Leeds United against Tottenham Hotspur back in August.

Norwich stayed top of the table for Christmas but their defensive issues would see them fade away slightly in the second half of the season. Nevertheless, the East Anglian side were a tremendous third in the final standings. Oldham scored plenty of goals throughout the campaign and won their final three matches to avoid the drop on the final day of the season.