Norwich City failed to win away from home yet again as they slumped to a dismal 2-1 defeat at the New York Stadium against Rotherham.
With Martin Olsson about to sign for bottom of the Premier League, Swansea and Robbie Brady suspended, Alex Neil picked Steven Whittaker as his left back.
The Canaries were up against two sons of Norfolk in the shape of Millers manager, Paul Warne and ex-Norwich player, Tom Adeyemi and both men would have a big say in the outcome of the game.
Prior to today, Rotherham had won just three games all season and found themselves 12 points adrift at the bottom of the table and then, along came Norwich.
Before the game, Warne had said that he would set up his team to have a go and try to win the game. In their desperate position, there’s no point in doing anything else, is there?
City were unable to cope with the ‘get in their faces’ approach adopted by Rotherham and used so effectively against the Canaries by Barnsley in December.
They don’t like it up ’em, as Corporal Jones used to say.
Norwich went behind on 7 minutes when Adeyemi ran onto a simple ball over the top on the right that completely bypassed Steven Whittaker. The former City midfielder’s cut back found Jerry Yates who slammed the ball home from six yards – a debut to remember for the young man.
Nelson Oliveira then lost his head in the 18th minute when he tangled with Kirk Broadfoot during a Jacob Murphy corner. Broadfoot pulled Oliveira to the ground but with the ref giving nothing and both men still on the floor, Oliveira swung an arm at the Rotherham defender appearing to strike him on the head.
The referee had no choice but to show the in-form Portuguese striker a red card – no arguments from me over the referee’s decision but what on earth was going through Nelson’s head?
It was a crazy decision and effectively cost his team the game.
Following the dismissal though and the introduction of Cameron Jerome, after Jonny Howson limped off on 24 minutes, Norwich got a grip of themselves and started to create chances.
The best of which saw Jerome surged down the left and his cross was met by Murphy’s header, which was palmed away by Lewis Price in the Millers’ goal. With the keeper down and nowhere, Timm Klose seemed certain to score but his shot was miraculously blocked on the line by Joe Mattlock before Tettey blasted wildly over the bar.
The Canaries carried on where they’d left off as the second half started and they had their equaliser just six minutes after the restart.
Some great play by Wes Hoolahan in the Rotherham area saw him clip a lovely pass to the far post which was met by Jerome’s diving header.
Unfortunately though, being back on terms lasted just 4 minutes before Tom Adeyemi powered a cross past Ruddy with a strong header.
Adeyemi had played like a man possessed against his home town side and with an assist and a goal, he was the best player on show.
Rotherham looked the more likely to score from then on and Ruddy had to save Forde’s shot with his feet and watch as Yates thumped an absolute sitter wide. Then, Russell Martin had to clear off his own line with a header from Jon Taylor to stop it becoming 3-1.
Norwich tried to get forward as the clock ran down but they were unable to test Price any further and when the final whistle blew they had slipped to eight points off the play-off points.