Krul’s experience proves vital in tough conditions – as fans give City number one their backing
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Our latest Norwich City player focused on goalkeeper TIM KRUL as City’s experienced number one helped secure a vital victory at Rotherham, in testing conditions.
3 – With the City fans at his back – having sung his name loudly in the warm-up – goes long with first goal-kick to make use of the wind in his favour, Kenny McLean can’t win the aerial ball and Krul has to stay calm to find Ben Godfrey in the left-back area, settling any nerves.
5 – Wild shot from Ben Wiles is well over, gets permission from referee to pop some green balloons which have come out of the away end and into his box, then sends goal-kick long again with wind carrying the ball quite clearly and Millers pressing high to prevent short passes.
8 – First test, left-back Billy Jones tees up Joe Newell to shoot from the left, drills a low shot which Krul saves comfortably enough. Soon after cuts it a bit fine with a clearance as striker Michael Smith closes him down, but finds Max Aarons on the right.
15 – Zak Vyner sends in a long throw from the left, Krul opts not to go to the ball and Richard Wood’s header loops to him easily.
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23 – Newell rolls a poor shot and has his head in his hands, but somehow Krul spills it with Smith lurking and Godfrey has to clear.
27 – Shanks a free-kick from deep in his box, fortunately it finds Aarons, ball comes back to him and again doesn’t make clean contact but fortunate that Rotherham can’t claim and just a throw.
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32 – Much better kick this time but Aarons’ control lets him down, Millers counter but Smith’s poor touch goes straight to Krul, who controls before rolling to McLean in space.
40 – Godfrey puts a bit too much power on a back-pass but Krul calmly plays back to him at close quarters.
45+2 – Krul kick nearly goes in at the other end as his opposite number Marek Rodak misjudges the wind-assisted flight of the ball and clatters into his post, the away end roars for a second as they think it’s gone in but it’s just the side-netting that ripples, with Krul left with his hands on his head.
51 – Anthony Forde free-kick is headed away by McLean and Billy Jones blasts a curling shot which the Dutchman gratefully clutches to his chest.
52 – AJAYI GOAL – Wiles passes from the left, Ajayi swivels to open up the shooting opportunity on the edge of the box and fires a fine effort into the bottom-right corner, giving the keeper little chance.
56 – Newell crosses low from the left and Krul screams at Godfrey to leave so he can pick up.
66 – Left furious after being bundled over by Wood, as Wiles swung a cleared corner back into the box, free-kick was given though.
68 – Christoph Zimmermann gets a header wrong and Krul closes down Newell but can’t get to the ball, shepherds the winger wide before Aarons catches up, then relieved to see Newell’s cross cleared.
71 – Zimmermann has to play backwards, keeper takes a touch with Smith closing him down and then hits a kick straight out of play on the left.
81 – Classic bit of experience, claims Ajayi’s weak cross from the right easily and falls on the ball, staying down, slowing down play and taking his time over his kick, to the annoyance of the home fans.
90+5 – A hugely important punch clear of a cross from the right from substitute Richie Towell as the Millers mounted one last push, emerging through a crowd of bodies in his box.
VERDICT: Little chance with the goal but very nearly scored himself. A couple of shaky moments in blustery conditions but the basics were good. Vocal backing ahead of kick-off from the away fans.
RATING: 7 out of 10