My favourite comebacks
PUBLISHED: 16:07 25 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:32 10 September 2010
Over the last few years it's sad to say that Norwich City FC have had more than a significant number of opportunities to have made a memorable comeback in games, especially away from home where we've been behind so often. The number of times we've snatched a win from these situations I can count on the finger of well - one finger.
By Tim Allman
Over the last few years it's sad to say that Norwich City FC have had more than a significant number of opportunities to have made a memorable comeback in games, especially away from home where we've been behind so often
The number of times we've snatched a win from these situations I can count on the finger of well - one finger. Two nil down and staring down the barrel of a gun, normally means the opposition pulling the trigger on City as opposed to us turning it around and getting something from the game.
The game against Charlton on Saturday where we snatched a deserved draw reminded me of another fixture at The Valley over twelve years ago. We also drew, this time four-all, but as opposed to punching the air in delight, I was holding my head in despair as we conceded two late goals against a team who had been playing with ten men for over an hour. One of the Charlton scorers of the ninetieth minute goals that day was Carl Leaburn; in a select group of strikers who could boast of career stats worse than Robert Rosario. This was also one of the first games that Lucy, who had just become my fiancée, had seen with me. As the final whistle blew she must have wondered what she was getting herself into as she trooped out of the ground with a gibbering depressed shell of a City fan, wondering how Norwich had managed to scramble an improbable draw from the jaws of likely victory.
It was a long time coming, but Saturday was at least some payback for twelve years ago.
There was one comeback game at Carrow Road in April 2006 where I'd bet most of the Allman family fortune that most of the crowd didn't really care whether we won or lost. Of course we all cheered when our last minute winner went in, but again a good proportion of City fans celebrated when QPR went 2-0 up on the hour. Two late Earnshaw goals and a bounce in off a combination of Hucks' shoulder and his neck gave City a win which we didn't deserve or need.
My two favourite comeback games of recent(ish) times were also at Carrow Road. In second place is the first leg of the play-off semi final against my second most despised team Wolves. One-nil down, and 3-1 up; Mark Rivers shot dribbling into the net, Paul McVeigh's looping header and finally Malky towering over a statuesque Paul Butler to nod in our third, the goal which secured our place in Cardiff. And one interesting stat from that match was that Norwich didn't concede a free kick in the whole of the first half.
In first place is the Middlesbrough match in the Premiership season. One-nil up, then 4-1 down with the crowd streaming for the exits, Norwich stole a draw with three goals in the last eight minutes. How many were there at the end? I know I was. To be honest those last few minutes were a complete blur with my most vivid memory the away supporters cheering our second and third goals, and getting very upset at the fourth. After the game, as we were walking past the away end back to the station we saw an away fan, eyes bulging and his face contorted with rage running and trying to charge into a pair of innocent home supportes. In attempting to hit them he fell over and hurt himself, and then was helped to his feet by one of the Norfolk Constabulary.
And what is the moral of all these late comebacks and 90th minute dramas? Never ever leave early as no-one knows what's going to happen. I've always stuck it out for the whole ninety for every game I have ever been to, bar one, and even then I did see Colchester's seventh go in, before it all got too much for me.