Klose heads himself into East Anglian derby folklore with heroic late Canaries equaliser to break Town hearts
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Timm Klose has written his name into East Anglian derby folklore with a very late equalising header to preserve Norwich City's dominance over Ipswich in an incredible Carrow Road climax.
Blues keeper Bartosz Bialkowski made three fantastic saves in the second half that kept the Tractor Boys in the contest, to allow captain Luke Chambers to finish from close range after a corner in the 89th minute.
It looked set to bring an end to nine games without a win over the Canaries, which had been the longest unbeaten run in the history of the East Anglian derby – only for Town hearts to be broken with a late, late goal.
In the fifth minute of injury-time Klose rose to head home a Grant Hanley cross from close range, after the Scot strained every sinew to keep the ball in play as Norwich desperately searched for an equaliser, sparking memorable scenes at Carrow Road.
Fans were on the pitch, Klose and his team-mates were partying in relief and the Canaries faithful were enjoying every moment of hurt inflicted on their nearest neighbours.
City boss Daniel Farke stuck with the same team which had drawn 1-1 at high-flying Derby, with Nelson Oliveira continuing to lead the line despite 10 games without a goal.
Ipswich switched formation to match the hosts’ system of three at the back, following a drab 0-0 home draw with Burton the previous week.
Hundreds of Canaries fans marching to the stadium, as well as legends Mark Bowen, John Polston and Rob Newman being unveiled as additions for the upcoming exhibition match against Inter Milan, ensured the atmosphere was already at full throttle for kick-off.
Town won the toss and turned City around putting the lunchtime sun in Angus Gunn’s eyes at the Barclay end and the visitors were the better side in the first half.
City looked nervous, with Jamal Lewis having to hook away an early corner from Martyn Waghorn after Christoph Zimmermann’s clearance spun up and over his head.
The Blues should have taken the lead in the ninth minute when Stephen Gleeson floated a cross to the back post and Jonas Knudsen – who scored in both of last season’s derbies – nudged Reed in the back to clear his path but headed wide.
City were struggling to get to grips with the intensity of the occasion and a low Waghorn shot squirmed from Angus Gunn’s gloves two minutes later, but thankfully around the keeper.
Town wanted a penalty in the 18th minute after more loose play saw Joe Garner tear through on goal, only to be caught and out-muscled by a determined Grant Hanley,
Oliveira pulled a weak shot well wide from 25 yards in the 22nd minute as City started to settled and the striker just couldn’t quite reach a whipped free-kick from James Maddison four minutes later.
Everton loanee Callum Connolly lashed a low shot from 30 yards after Hanley had fouled Garner centrally in the 33rd minute and again Gunn couldn’t hold the ball but prevented Garner following up.
The Manchester City loanee was back to his best five minutes before the break though, making a point-blank save from a Garner header after a Zimmermann block had spun high in the air, only for the offside flag to go up anyway.
Gunn’s best save came in the 43rd minute though, sprawling to his left to beat out another fine low Waghorn effort from 20 yards, as the Canaries were relieved to hear the half-time whistle blow.
Farke used the break to get his team organised and Maddison forced a fine save from Bialkowski from a free-kick on the edge of the box, the keeper just about getting the ball over his crossbar.
Maddison took the resulting corner, which was cleared but hooked back in by Reed, only for Timm Klose to not be able to sort out his feet in time to turn home from six yards as the ball dropped kindly to him.
City’s star man was too quick for Skuse in the 64th minute, with the veteran midfielder deciding to chop the youngster down, earning a yellow card. Moritz Leitner cross from 30 yards and Klose felt his shirt was being pulled by Knudsen as he tried to head home but couldn’t reach the ball.
Callum Connolly was the next Town player forced to bring the playmaker as he shaped to shoot, and was also booked. Maddison dusted himself down but again Bialkowski superbly tipped the ball over the bar.
Oliveira linked wonderfully with Murphy to set up a chance to shoot in the 75th minute but his low effort was superbly turned around the post by Bialkowski, who was quickly becoming the Town hero.
With the away fans chanting their dislike of manager Mick McCarthy’s style of football with Norwich well on top – Town having picked up five yellow cards – German striker Dennis Srbeny came on for him home debut with six minutes remaining.
However, it was Town who finally made the breakthrough, when Chambers turned home a Waghorn corner from close range in the 89th minute, sparking wild celebrations in the away end.
It looked like Town had finally brought an end to their miserable run – but there was to be a late twist in the tale.
City chucked the ball forward and centre-back Hanley popped up to keep the ball alive on the right and cross, where Klose rose highest to flick home a heroic header and spark even more wild celebrations.
Home fans were on the pitch and Town fans were left in disbelief as the Canaries faithful chanted ‘you’ll never beat the Norwich’ amid a party atmosphere at the final whistle.
The Canaries return to action on Wednesday evening with a tough trip to league leaders Wolves and a reunion with former players John Ruddy and Ryan Bennett.
Norwich: Gunn; Hanley, Zimmermann, Klose; Reed (Hernandez 90+2), Tettey (C – Vrancic 90+2), Leitner, Lewis; Maddison, Murphy (Srbeny 84), Oliveira. Unused subs: McGovern (GK), Pinto, Stiepermann, Watkins
Goals: Klose (90+5)
Booked: Leitner (foul on Knudsen, 59)
Ipswich: Bialkowski; Carter-Vickers, Chambers (C), Webster; Iorfa (Spence 79), Skuse, Connolly, Knudsen; Gleeson (Ward 67), Waghorn, Garner (McGoldrick 61). Unused subs: Crowe (GK), Hyam, Celina, Carayol
Goals: Chambers (89)
Booked: Garner (foul on Maddison 55), Skuse (foul on Maddison, 64), Connolly (foul on Maddison, 67), Waghorn (foul on Klose, 80), Spence (foul on Lewis, 82)
Referee: David Coote (Notts)