Norwich City were again beaten by a team they were expected to beat as they lost 2-1 at the Pirelli Stadium to Burton Albion.
It was the same old story as another poor defeat saw City drop another three points to the top six with Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United now 7 points clear of the Canaries.
Wes Hoolahan was rested for Alex Pritchard but other than that it was the same team that drew with Newcastle in mid-week.
Early on, it was the home side that threatened first. Steven Whittaker made an amazing last ditch tackle to clear the ball as Jackson Irvine was just about to tap home from inside the six yard box.
That was more than a warning shot though because Burton took the lead on 25 minutes after an absolute howler by Timm Klose. Christensen chased down what looked to be a lost cause as he went after Klose in the left full back position by the corner flag. Klose had loads of time but tried to be too casual and was dispossessed.
Christensen then sent a low ball across goal for Woodrow to tap home past the helpless John Ruddy. For those of you that play FIFA, I believe it’s what’s known as a ‘sweaty goal.’
Norwich had most of the ball for the rest of the half but couldn’t find a way through a determined Burton team.
City were back on terms in the 51st minute when a very wayward Whittaker shot struck Jerome and was deflected past McLaughlin and in. Burton complained it had struck Jerome’s arm but it looked to me as through the ball just hit Jerome in the head, with some force, and then bounced in.
Albion were only behind for four minutes though and it was Michael Kightly who scored the goal of the game and what turned out to be the winner.
Woodrow sent the former Wolves man on his way and a terrific first touch took Martin out of the game, giving Kightly the chance to lob Jon Ruddy from 20 yards.
Lloyd Dyer could’ve made the game safe but fired over late on and Jonny Howson had a long range effort bounce just wide.
The real contentious moment came very late when Wes Hoolahan was clearly pushed over in the box, only for Mr Probert to give nothing. It was a definite penalty but would have been harsh on Burton who recorded their third win of 2017.
So, what we have here then is probably the end of the line as far as a play-off push goes. It very much looks to me as though that boat has sailed. Certainly, failure to beat Ipswich might be the final nail in the coffin.
That might sound defeatist and I’m fully aware that there are plenty of games to go but our form is just not good enough. It hasn’t been all season, especially away from home.
The failure to beat any number of poor teams throughout the season is what continually costs us. Wigan, Rotherham and now Burton. As Vic Reeves might say, very, very poor.
I’ve not got too excited while this six game unbeaten run has been happening because we always have this sort of performance in our locker. The problems haven’t gone away and wins like those over Forest, Derby and Wolves have only masked the underlying problems at our club.