Video Nasties and a 50-year wait

Tim Allman, Capital Canaries In common with most Norwich City supporters I didn't go to Carlisle. It was too far, too cold, too late and too online for me to want undertake the return trip of 550+ miles.

Tim Allman, Capital Canaries

In common with most Norwich City supporters I didn't go to Carlisle. It was too far, too cold, too late and too online for me to want undertake the return trip of 550+ miles. Plus there was the added bonus of being able to see a game for free on my computer. I'm no part time fan, far from it; last season I attended thirty five of our forty nine games, and this season I'll be around the same level, but this one really was a game too far.

It was also a game too far for the Norwich City team who, after a bright second half of the first half where they showed their class, surrendered meekly to a Carlisle team that just wanted it more, had a bit more luck with the first goal and had even more luck with a missed handball for the second. The fact that our best defender stayed at home to be with his nearest and dearest in her time of need didn't aid the City cause either, and only stressed the importance of Jens Berthel Askou to the team.

The most amusing aspect of the day was the predictable meltdown on the PinkUn message board where the activity level suddenly shot north at a rate of knots with many self styled “experts” condemning the defence, the attack, the midfield and anyone and anything in a yellow shirt for the loss. I think that Mrs Askou was exempt from the cyber-barbs but she was the only one. It was so bad that I switched off my computer, and watched the X-Factor with the kids. I even let them cast a premium rate phone line vote.

A good sign of how good a team is what happens next. What happens next is influenced by what happens in between games and in this case I've no idea what went on Saturday evening, Sunday and Monday, but whatever it was it seemed to work as it was business as usual at Southend.

Except it wasn't quite business as usual. On the train from Liverpool Street to Southend we were wondering when we last won at Roots Hall, and no-one could remember when. No-one could even remember when we last played there before 1996. For those that were not there, it was the game when Gunny dived over a shot, Milligan got himself sent off and Flecky scored whilst sitting on the ground in the last couple of minutes. We later found out that City had last won at Roots Hall over fifty years ago. So that was the reason; most of us had not even been born.

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As regards the game, I enjoyed 50% of it. That would be the 50% of the game that was played in the half nearer the end we were standing as whatever happened at the far end was blurred due to the lights, or impeded by the post and the cross-bar getting in my way. I spent 50% of the game swaying to either the right or the left to avoid eye-contact with the post and the other 50% jumping up and down or crouching down so the crossbar didn't obstruct my view. Of course as we were all standing up, the crouching down didn't do much good as the person in front blocked my view. And I had paid �20 for the privilege.

In between the swaying, the crouching and the jumping was half-time. I spent fourteen of the fifteen minutes shuffling to and from the gents, and the other minute working out how nearly one thousand of the two thousand away fans had managed to use the squalid facilities in such a short time. I was tempted to “do the math”, but luckily the second half started, and I was about to get my �20 worth of entertainment.

If ever a game depended on the first goal, it was on Tuesday, and our captain obliged with a clinical finish with twenty minutes to go. Korey Smith's exceptional second half performance was rewarded with a Martin (C) assisted strike, and in time added on Luke Daley was felled by a challenge that didn't need to be made and Holt notched his eighteenth of the season from the spot.

I also did something that I've never done before at a football match. Dodging away from my impaired view from behind the post and bar, I took an Iphone video of Holt scoring the penalty and then did a quick zoom round of the celebration. It's the sort of thing a seventeen year old would do, but as I'm nearer a half century old than two score, perhaps I'm a little too old for that sort of thing.

But I still put it on You Tube, big kid that I am.