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Match Report Norwich 1 Fulham 1 (Norwich Fan's Perspective)

Sunday 1st January 2012
Sometimes I forget how much of a resilient and purposeful team we truly are. My head began to drop as we went in to 80mins+. I could see that we were pressing but I didn't think the equalizer would come. I'd forgotten how many times we've done this before in the last couple of seasons. My mistake.

Fulham took the lead in the 7th minute thanks to a wonderful individual effort from Orlando Sá. Fulham had started very well and deserved some reward for their efforts. We were up against it and it felt as if it was going to be a long day.

Norwich rallied, creating pressure on the Fulham back four and thanks to two goal line clearances and a superb save from Stockdale in the Fulham goal it remained 1-0.

Fulham then deliberately slowed the pace of the game in order to deflate the Norwich onslaught and the game began to settle down.  Norwich lost momentum and as the half drew on the match became rather stale with neither side managing to create clear cut opportunities.

Something was needed at half time. Fortunately for Norwich our manager knew that too and wasn't afraid to make the first move.  Holt came on for Fox and the game changed. Lambert had made the decisive move in the game.

To pour further praise on Holt seems pointless now. We all know he's a legend and that his appearance changes things. It happened again. Suddenly we were defending from the front and beginning to threaten rather than just flatter.

We challenged the Fulham centre backs with greater effect and the pace of the game quickened, which suited us. We began to see a lot more of the ball and continued to create chances but Fulham were still relatively comfortable at the back. That nagging feeling that this was going to be one of ‘those' days just wouldn't go away.

It was time for a second tactical move to complete the Norwich comeback. Holt was doing his job but now he needed support and supply. On came Jackson and Bennett and the shape of the team changed again.

The pressure continued and Jackson's movement began to put the Fulham defence under real threat. Finally, in the 4th minute of stoppage time, Martin saved a lost ball from going out, found Bennett who turned Riise and delivered well with his weaker foot. The ball skimmed the head of Whitbread and found its way to Jackson who headed in convincingly.

Cue Carrow Road eruption. Queue realisation that I'd forgotten how resourceful and resilient we truly are. I won't forget again, promise.

Today saw four changes from the starting eleven that played against Tottenham. Ayala made his first appearance since his injury and looked clam, assured and classy. He and Whitbread are both footballing centre backs and whilst you could tell that the communication needs a lot of work they still managed to look assured at times. We'll have to wait and see if we get in re-enforcements in defence but if not, then there's potential in what we saw today.

Johnson also found himself in the first team afgain and played very well against a strong Fulham midfield. Pilkington, also back in the team, played well but found it hard to beat his marker.

Naughton was the final change and played out of position at Left Back, not that you'd have known. The lad has real class and will be one hell of a player in a few years time. If we could bring him in permanently this season I'd push the boat out and do it. He'll be a Prem player for the rest of his career.

January is going to be a vital time for us. We'll see what re-enforcements we can get in and that may go a long way to defining our season.  We all have our opinions on which areas need additions and you could justify spending in pretty much every area. Whatever happens we must remember where we've come from, where we are and what this bunch of lads have already done for us.

For those that are disappointed with the result, remember that this time two years ago Fulham were on a run that took them to European football whilst we were on the bus to Yeovil.

That Fulham didn't seem too disappointed with a point speaks volumes. Stay behind the team, the club, the manager and remember how lucky we are to have all three at the moment! OTBC!

Bet here with the very best odds on Norwich City.
Will Burden

Total articles: 21

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