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Norwich 0-0 Town - Half-Time
Saturday, 16th May 2015 13:15

Town and Norwich remain locked at 0-0 at half-time in their Championship play-off semi-final second leg at Carrow Road, the first game at Portman Road having ended 1-1. Daryl Murphy headed an early chance over for the Blues, while Paul Anderson cleared Canaries' s skipper Russell Martin's strike off the line.

Paul Anderson replaced the injured Luke Varney in an otherwise unchanged Town side, the on-loan Blackburn man having suffered a ruptured achilles in last week’s match. David McGoldrick is again a sub.

Norwich also made one expected change with Wes Hoolahan replacing Graham Dorrans, who drops to the bench.

While the home crowd did their best to emulate the Portman Road atmosphere from last week, the Blues started brightly and created the game’s first chance in the third minute, 27-goal Championship top scorer Daryl Murphy nodding Kevin Bru’s freekick from the right over when he will feel he might have done better.

Town continued to have most of the early possession and on six Anderson crossed from the left but too close to Canaries keeper John Ruddy.

The home side began to see more of the ball and on 11, after a controversially awarded corner on the right, Steven Whittaker curled a 25-yard strike well wide of Bartosz Bialkowski’s goal.

On 13 Murphy seized on a moment of hesitancy from Canaries centre-half Sebastien Bassong on the right and crossed from the byline but too near to Ruddy, who claimed. A minute later, Bru scraped well wide from 25 yards.

First leg goalscorer Anderson was a Town hero again in the 17th minute when, following a corner on the right, the winger blocked Norwich skipper Russell Martin’s low shot from the edge of the box on the line with Bialkowski beaten.

But the expected early Canary pressure had largely failed to materialise with the Blues continuing to have the better of it.

On 20 Teddy Bishop claimed a penalty when skipping past Nathan Redmond as he brought a half-cleared corner back into the box but referee Roger East wasn’t interested. Video replays suggested the Town midfielder may have had a case.

As the clock turned to 21 the Blues support burst into applause in tribute to fan Chris Reynolds, who died aged 21 last month.

On the half hour, with the Blues still on top, Canaries midfielder Bradley Johnson picked up the game’s first yellow card for clattering Bru from behind.

The now-recovered Bru struck another effort from distance on 37 but this time high and wide, Anderson’s harrying having won the ball back deep in the Norwich half.

As in the first leg Cameron Jerome was proving Norwich’s greatest threat and on 41 the former Cardiff man flicked a header which sent Hoolahan away on the left. The Irishman squared to Jonny Howson breaking on the right, but his shot struck Tyrone Mings. Moments later, Johnson wasted a freekick, shooting well over when trying to catch Bialkowski unawares.

Norwich had a brief spell of pressure as the game moved towards injury time but without creating anything significant and the half ended goalless.

Town boss Mick McCarthy will have been the happier manager at the break, the Blues having started strongly and quietened the home support fairly quickly. Despite having threatened once or twice, Norwich had never really got into their stride.

But, while Murphy might have done better with his early header and Bishop may believe he should have won a penalty, the best chance of the first half was Martin’s strike which Anderson cleared off the line. However, after 135 minutes of football the tie is still anybody’s.

Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin (c), Bassong, Olsson; Redmond, Howson, Tettey, Johnson, Hoolahan; Jerome. Subs: Rudd, Hooper, E Bennett, Josh Murphy, R Bennett, O'Neil, Dorrans.

Ipswich: Bialkowski, Chambers, Mings, Berra, Smith, Skuse, Bru, Bishop, Anderson, Sears, Murphy. Subs: Gerken, Parr, McGoldrick, S Hunt, N Hunt, Tabb, Clarke. Referee: Roger East (Wiltshire).

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marco007 added 13:30 - May 16
Afraid season has now officially ended.
Cannot blame Berra but that one moment summarises our season......Mings so sloppy to give the ball away and the fails to win the ball back.......Chambers cannot tackle !!

marco007 added 13:31 - May 16
What a same as that was the best 45Mins we have played in ages.
We have to sort out our full backs for next season!

marco007 added 13:43 - May 16
Quality Mings defending again and it's 2 -1 !!
Awful positional play ......lots of promise but so much to learn!!

marco007 added 13:52 - May 16
Jay Tabb take a bow :)
Wonderful touch to lose the ball in midfield and set up goal number 3 !!

timkatieadamitfc added 14:07 - May 16
Fcuk fcuk fcuk

marco007 added 14:14 - May 16
Well to conclude:
1) We have over achieved this season with a small and limited squad
2) Norwich are not a good team and had to very little to do to win. In fact the sending off was the decisive factor.
3) Finishing 6th and 10 points behind The Scum we do not deserve to get promoted
4) Murphy's goals have made the difference
5) I have serious defensive doubts about Mings and Chambers
6) With a few tweaks we have to be optimistic about next season and can only improve
7) We have to retain the ball better and look into developing more creative players. To me there is a real gap between the way our youths and seniors play and we need to develop a consistent footballing philosophy so that the step up is not too vast.

Proud to be a Town fan and bring on next season
Finally UP the Boro !!! :)

WorthingBlue added 14:31 - May 16
For flip sake!
Did so well for 45 mins and then sloppy play from Mings and Tabb for their first two goals. Bru was immense, and we've missed McGoaldrick.
Absolutely gutted, but with a few additions looking good for next season.

battyblue added 14:35 - May 16
Hope we correct our weaknesses play players in correct positions and push on for automatics next season also hold on to mcgoldrick and Teddy Bishop have a good summer to all

dagenhamtown added 14:36 - May 16
gutted but very proud of our preformance chambers smith excellent.If top clubs are intrested in mings i promise i will come from dagenham and take him there appaling defending and general lack of intrest loads to lkearn as for tabb goood god let him go please .gutted but proud evans please put hand in pocket for next season.and well done mick and staff.

dirtydingusmagee added 15:12 - May 16
well thats it for this season,Gutted but lets just move on now, The team have worked hard and we finished higher than last season.Just hope that during the summer the team can learn to pass the ball and we dont see the hoof and hope tactics so often next season .That ploy was very evident again today,and it failed big time ..So THANKS Mick ,Terry and thanks lads for giving us hope this year even if it didnt end how we would have wished.UP THE TOWN .

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