Date: 28th January 2017 at 10:19pm
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Before the match I met a friend and we had the chance to discuss the importance of this game. Norwich, arguably finding a little bit of momentum (particularly at home) and Birmingham on a run of eight games without a win, this was a big chance to really get the Carrow Road crowd back on-side and breathe some life into the Championship campaign.

The match started in much the same way as our other recent games. Norwich pressing hard but relinquishing possession and letting Birmingham really dictate the game. It felt like we`d concede with every attack and when, ex-Canary, Jonathan Grounds floated the ball plumb onto the head of Lukas Jutkiewicz, eight yards out with just Ruddy to beat it seemed like this could be a long afternoon. The ball smacked against the bar and 20k Norwich fans breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Forty seconds later that sigh turned into a rapturous cheer as, much-maligned, Cam Jerome reminded everyone just how good he could be.

Chasing down two defenders Cam nicked the ball of Morrison on the half way line and then powered into the box before rolling his foot over the ball to wrong-foot Shotton, make himself space and beautifully slot the ball into the bottom right hand corner past Kuszczak. It was the best goal we`ll likely see all season. Created, engineered and delivered quite majestically by a man with a point to prove as Oliviera serves out his three-match ban. Beautiful. Quite beautiful.

In what was proving to be a particularly eventful first 30 minutes Birmingham had, arguably an even better chance to score when Craig Gardner somehow managed to mis-judge a header from inside the six-yard box but then we witnessed the start of another Naismith hat-trick?..of misses.

Jerome was tearing the BCFC defence to shreds and another probing run down the left channel saw him release Wes into the box. Hoolahan cut it back to Naismith, unmarked, but somehow, he skied it. It was a shocking mishit. You can decide where to put the hyphen.

With five minutes of the first half remaining it appeared we had missed the chance to double our lead when Howson`s poked shot was parried away by the knees of a prone Jutkiewicz but when Murphy was bundled over, cynically, by Nsue, Robbie Brady`s exquisite free kick was flicked in off the head of Tim Klose, leaving a bemused Gianfranco Zola to say “The second goal we usually man mark and I need to see it again”. Gianfranco – trust me. You don`t want to see it again. Your defenders were shocking.

Half time – Norwich 2 – 0 Birmingham

Everyone around me was saying the same thing during the interval. We needed to keep the Blues at bay for 15 minutes?..and so it proved. Birmingham came out of the traps and pushed everyone forward looking for an early way back into the game. Norwich were primed for a counter-attack but they only had a couple of chances in that first 15 minutes of sustained Brum pressure.

On 60 minutes the game started to swing as Birmingham tired. Murphy, who had been very wasteful in possession, had a shot saved after Jerome had stolen the ball yet again, run 30 yards and squared to Naismith, who squared to Jacob. It was to be his last influence on the game. He needs a rest. He`s losing the ball waaaaay to much.

Naismith then really helped his standing with the Norwich faithful with two opportunities inside five minutes. A tame shot saved by Jutkiewicz was criminal but when he had the chance to make the game safe with an unmarked header from about two yards out he might have wished he had been locked away in Alcatraz such was the vehemence coming from the stands.

Jerome also found himself derided for a glaring missed chance when he had been set up my Josh Murphy but poked the ball neatly into the keeper`s midriff.

In stoppage time Birmingham hit the bar again but it would have been un-deserved as Norwich continued their decent home-form.

Other notable events from the game were Ben Godfrey`s league debut replacing Tettey (who somehow managed to go ANOTHER game without picking up his tenth booking of the season), a 60 second round of applause for Norfolk`s own Sir John Hurt on 77 minutes and the drunk guy next to me who threw his Fanta aggressively onto the floor after Naismith`s third major miss, splattering everyone with orange fizz.
Overall another quality performance from a team that have suddenly remembered how to win again.

 
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