On agreeing to write this article, I had visions of taking to my keyboard to describe the latest remarkable high point in an incredible three seasons.

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It was meant to be my role to describe the experience of the common supporter as we put the mighty Liverpool to the sword in front of a baying Carrow Road. Sadly, this did not come to pass, but we’ll come on to that later. The first clue that this was not to be a vintage day came when I awoke with a splitting (admittedly self inflicted) headache, and the second when my umbrella blew inside out and broke en route to Liverpool Street Station.

I defied the beating rain and arrived safely – just as well as I’d been entrusted with the safety of 40 return tickets for the Capital Canaries. Given the late kick-off we were travelling on the 1pm train to Norwich, arriving in the fine city a shade before 3pm and with a rather civilised few hours to kill. In search of refreshment, a small number of Caps headed to the regular watering hole in The Nelson, for a pint and a pre-match preview. No sooner had we sat down than reports were flying in of some peculiar scorelines around the country.

Whilst it was raining cats and dogs outside in Norwich, in Wigan, Swansea and Liverpool it was raining only goals, as we huddled around tiny smartphones to watch Jeff Stelling describe the Premier League chaos.

The time flew by as a breathless day of football took shape, with much mirth in particular at Swansea City’s fate as they squandered a 4-1 lead at home to Wolves. Come 5pm, though, and the final results meant that City still weren’t safe, due to battling draws for Bolton and Aston Villa.

The stage was set for Norwich to secure to secure safety on our own terms, but the feeling among many fans pre-match was one of apprehension for the task ahead.

I’d had a feeling all week that we were due a hiding in this one, convinced we were facing the Reds at precisely the wrong time.

Darren Huckerby took to Twitter to announce his own personal pessimism – he was “really worried” about the game and the threat of Luis Suarez in particular. They would prove prophetic words indeed.

The finer details of the match will have been picked by many finer minds than mine, so there is no need for a blow by blow analysis here. Suffice to say however, that this was a serious off day for Paul Lambert’s squad. That, in conjunction with the brilliance of Suarez, conspired to create the perfect storm, but that’s enough about the weather.

The ill-timed injury of Adam Drury was a major setback, forcing not only a reshuffle for a defence which never recovered, but also a debilitating blow for our attacking options off the bench.

The master plan was always likely to see Wes Hoolahan, Grant Holt and James Vaughan finishing the game off the bench, an option now removed from our armoury. Whilst the incident happened in a flash and Drury was quickly off the pitch, with just months left on his contract, could it be that this was the sad end to an outstanding and distinguished 10-year playing career for the club?

I’m sure I speak for the majority of fans here in hoping desperately that it is not. With full-time came a trudge back to the station in the driving rain once more, with a somewhat sombre mood accompanying us on a seemingly never-ending journey home. Finally arriving back in London at 10pm, it had been a long day indeed. Not our best day since returning to the Premier League, but with this team and manager, the hope remains for many more.

A quick switching-on of Match of the Day revealed Anfield heroes Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson grinning from ear to ear, and an even faster switch-off soon followed. We’d all seen enough Liverpool joy for one day, thanks.

If you would like the chance to report on a Norwich City game this season - home or away - please contact Peter Raven on peter.raven@archant.co.uk





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