A great performance except for referees, royals and lack of video technology

PUBLISHED: 12:59 22 November 2010

Grant Holt is wrongly sent off at Reading.

Grant Holt is wrongly sent off at Reading.

Focus Images 2010

I decided not to watch the match on Sky and make the short trip from the capital to watch the Canaries play at Reading for what was built up to be a close game with two sides that are known to play the passing game.

After conceding in the last seconds against Millwall on the Tuesday before, I was expecting a performance from Norwich. From when the whistle blew at 5:20pm on Saturday night, I could see the hunger in the player’s eyes wanting to bounce back.

In the 16th minute, the first of three great goals were worked with the one-two from Russell Martin and Korey Smith with Martin starting the move and the strike was executed brilliantly and the feeling like nothing could stop us. Grant Holt with the second reminded me of some of his finishes last season and showed that he can cause defences problems at Championship level and I hope his scoring tally really kicks off now. And then Chris Martin showed once again how good he is with free kicks. It was just in his range and aimed for the bottom corner which it went in perfectly. Seeing the first half then I can say I’ve not seen a better 45 minutes from us this season and show that we do have that cutting edge away from home.

Now onto I might say one of the most ludicrous sending offs I’ve seen. Holt was trying to get the ball but pulled out of the challenge with minimal contact on Ian Harte. When the ref blew I thought it would just be a free kick to them. There was no harm or malice in the challenge and I feel the referee made a poor decision and was conned by Harte’s reaction. It changed the outcome of the game and spoiled what was, at the time, a top effort performance by Norwich.

This has brought me on to video referrals. I know as a fan I want to see goal line technology brought in but also like in cricket the batting side can use up to three video referrals per innings if they think they have been incorrectly given out.

I would think the possibility of having an appeal to a red card - one in each half could be a possibility. With the pressure that modern referees are under and to stop dire game changing decisions being made I would extremely hope that fewer matches are not ruined by the decisions of the referee.

I’m just glad that Norwich hung on with a never say die attitude and managed to hold on to a point but should have had more, but that’s football. At least Holt’s red card was rescinded but still can’t bring back that we were robbed of victory.

If we played a balanced side with flair and attractive football with all of the starting 11 in their strongest position we can establish ourselves this season. Maybe the top 6 is a realistic possibility.

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