From Lond Road to Carrow Road and on to Wembley Way?
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City beat Peterborough United 3-0 in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday at London Road. Their reward is a home game in the next round against Luton Town, another local rival and this year’s FA Cup giant killer, who beat Wolves 1-0 on Saturday.
For the clash at London Road Norwich made several changes to the team which lost 2-1 at Upton Park in London on New Year’s Day. Rudd replaced Bunn in goal. Barnett and Tierney were recalled in defence. Fox, Johnson, Elliott Bennett and Lappin started in midfield, with Jackson up front. More than 5,000 Canary fans made the journey by special train or by road to support their team in the first ever FA Cup meeting between the two sides.
Posh opened brightly and Newell and Boyd had chances, but City soon made their class tell, gained the initiative, and took the lead after 30 minutes. After an excellent run by the tricky Snodgrass, who jinked his way past several defenders into the Posh penalty area, Elliott Bennett, who was playing very much in an attacking role in support of lone striker Jackson, was able to accept the pass and score from five yards out. Four minutes before half-time Norwich doubled their lead. Jackson raced on to a route one pass from Fox and lifted the ball over the advancing keeper. It was no more than City deserved - since the opening two minutes very little had been seen from the home side by way of attacking force.
City continued to dominate in the second half and went three up after 70 minutes when my man of the match Snodgrass ran on to Elliott Bennett’s pass and beat keeper Olejnik. He was then substituted by Butterfield. Posh had one good chance when Rudd saved Bostwick’s effort but the home side never really threatened. After the game their manager Darren Ferguson lamented that his side had never really turned up. Few would disagree with him, for in truth it was a comfortable win for the Canaries. The only blemish was that three minutes from time Russell Martin, skipper for the day against his old club, was booked.
The draw for the next round of the Cup was made on Sunday. City were first out of the hat and will play the Hatters from Luton in the next round. Another quasi local derby, and City have a fighting chance of getting to the fifth round of the Cup. Opinion will be divided as to what team we should play on that occasion and whether we really need a cup run when our priority should be to ensure our Premier League status for next season. My own view is that we should make hay while the sun shines. Luton at home is a good opportunity to make further progress, swell our coffers, and should not cause us to falter in our quest for Premier League points. Next up are the Magpies from Newcastle at Carrow Road in the league. They are in disarray. We should have our confidence buoyed by our progress in the Cup. Let us focus on three points on Saturday.
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And keep an eye on the transfer window. Who knows what will happen before the window slams shut on 31 January? Expect players to come in and to leave. Which ones? Your guess is as good as mine, and probably better. All I will say is that we are unlikely to sign Joe Cole or Demba Ba! Probably….
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