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Monday, September 26, 2011
Norwich City match days just wouldn’t be the same without them – those moments when the man in black, blue or pink puts his whistle to his mouth and, rightly or wrongly, points to the penalty spot.
But next time it happens, console yourself with the fact that this is not a new phenomenon, as we relive 10 of the most controversial spot-kicks awarded against the Canaries . . .
Lawman backs Possee (April 24, 1973): First division survival was at stake as City faced fellow strugglers Crystal Palace and 36,922 squeezed into Carrow Road. But it could have been a disastrous night after Palace’s Derek Possee tiptoed round Duncan Forbes and tumbled. Referee Williams pointed to the spot and was surrounded by City players protesting, but Don Rogers tucked the penalty away. Thankfully, Colin Suggett and Dave Stringer secured a vital 2-1 win. City stayed up, Palace went down.
Buy one, get one free (April 5, 1980): John Wark collected a hat-trick for Ipswich in a 4-2 Division One derby win at Portman Road, with the help of two penalties, but admitted: “They didn’t warrant a penalty even if you added them both together.” Referee Ray Lewis awarded the first when Frans Thijssen and City’s Graham Paddon tangled, and the second when Richard Symonds challenged Eric Gates.
Baseball battered (February 18, 1984): Dismal City crashed 2-1 at Derby in the FA Cup fifth round, but referee Alan Saunders gave the Rams a helping hoof in the 53rd minute. John Robertson went sprawling rather theatrically over Paul Haylock’s outstretched leg and Archie Gemmill scored from the spot. It was Haylock whose sliced clearance set up Bobby Davison for Derby’s second goal.
Hard Toffee (November 19, 1988): Title-chasing City were on course for a sixth successive away win thanks to Malcolm Allen’s goal, but referee John Penrose whistled a happy tune for Everton when he awarded a penalty after Trevor Putney slid the ball away from Ian Snodin. Trevor Steven scored from the spot for a 1-1 draw. City’s Christmas video featured Putney thanking Mr Penrose for depriving his family of their festive turkey.
Tyson sparks a fight (November 4, 1989): The “Highbury brawl” was triggered by referee George Tyson’s last-minute decision. He had already given the Gunners one debatable penalty for handball by Andy Linighan, and, with the score at 3-3, Lee Dixon was given a second chance to score from the spot when Ian Butterworth was adjudged to have fouled Michael Thomas. Bryan Gunn saved the penalty but Dixon scored from the rebound before a scuffle led to a 21-man shoving match. City were fined £50,000 and Arsenal £20,000.
To Elland back (May 6, 1995): Leading 1-0 at Leeds through Ashley Ward’s goal in a game they had to win to keep Premiership survival hopes alive, City were stunned 11 minutes from time when Tony Yeboah stumbled over Rob Newman’s challenge and referee Alan Wilkie gave a penalty. Gary McAllister equalised from the spot and Carlton Palmer’s injury-time winner doomed the Canaries.
Robbery at the Palace (April 16, 2005): With seven minutes to go and City leading 3-2 at Crystal Palace in their Premiership relegation clash, they were denied two points when Andy Johnson went spectacularly head first over Jason Shackell and referee Rob Styles pointed to the spot. Johnson beat Robert Green from 12 yards to secure a point.
D’Urso does it again (February 7, 2009): A 2-1 Championship home defeat by Bristol City plunged the Canaries deep into trouble. Gary Doherty slid the ball away from Dele Adebola but referee Andy D’Urso, centre of controversy when the teams met in 2008, gave a penalty and sent Doherty off. Bradley Orr scored the winner from the spot. The red card was overturned on appeal.
Blue murder (April 19, 2009): With the East Anglian derby poised at 1-1, relegation-threatened City were dealt a killer blow when Kevin Lisbie performed a twirl over goalkeeper David Marshall and referee Neil Swarbrick gave a penalty. Giovani dos Santos scored it as Town went on to win 3-2.
Swarbrick: The Sequel (August 21, 2011): Probably the worst of the five penalties awarded against City this season, since Leon Barnett’s “challenge” on Jon Walters was two yards outside the area. Swarbrick delivered a double whammy with the penalty and a red card, but at least John Ruddy saved from the ex-Ipswich man.