City drought of order

Norwich City's misfiring strikers badly need to end their first-half goal drought when their Championship campaign resumes at Bristol City on Saturday.

Norwich City's misfiring strikers badly need to end their first-half goal drought when their Championship campaign resumes at Bristol City on Saturday.

If it's the early bird that catches the worm, the Canaries have been painfully slow off the mark this season - and the Robins have not been a great deal better.

In 11 league and cup matches, Glenn Roeder's men have scored just once before half-time, on-loan striker Arturo Lupoli's opening goal after 15 minutes at Plymouth on September 13 putting them on course for a 2-1 victory, although the Italian, currently the club's top scorer, had a second goal disallowed before the interval.

With so many chances going begging - including a first-half penalty miss at Cardiff - it's hardly surprising that Norwich have conceded the first goal in seven of their 10 Championship games.


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Roeder acknowledged in his Evening News column last Friday: “We seem to spend our lives chasing games from a goal down, when we shouldn't be a goal down in the first place.

“When we have scored first, we have gone on to win, although of course we didn't leave Sheffield United very much time to reply.”

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The Canaries' first-half impotence is in marked contrast to the way they finished last season.

In five of the last seven games of 2007-08, they scored in the first 10 minutes, a factor that contributed to their escape from relegation as they got their noses in front early on in vital home victories over Colchester, Burnley and Queens Park Rangers to beat the drop by just three points.

Bristol City have generally fared much better than Norwich in front of goal, with twice as many goals in all competitions this season, but only three of their 16 goals have come in the first half.

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