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Derby County 2 Norwich City 2

14:12 20 December 2014

Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker slammed home an 89th minute Championship equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Derby County. 
Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker slammed home an 89th minute Championship equaliser in a 2-2 draw at Derby County. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich City defender Steven Whittaker salvaged a battling point for the Canaries after Derby’s Chris Martin threatened to haunt his old club in a 2-2 Saturday lunchtime Championship draw.

Martin carved out the Rams’ opener for Johnny Russell and then slotted a second half penalty after Cameron Jerome had levelled but Whittaker grabbed a deserved equaliser in the final minute of normal time.

Neil Adams’ men could have then won the contest with Lewis Grabban and Jerome carving out chances in a stirring finish from the visitors.

Adams named an unchanged starting line up for the third consecutive game, with Gary O’Neil retaining his place in a midfield which again echoed the manager’s search for solidity. Nathan Redmond was included on a substitutes’ bench alongside the returning Ryan Bennett. Wes Hoolahan and Grabban were additional attacking options.

Beccles-bred Martin was in the Derby line up that showed three changes from the midweek Capital One Cup exit to Chelsea. Ryan Shotton replaced the suspended Jake Buxton with Jeff Hendrick and Liverpool loanee Jordan Ibe also in the Rams’ line up.

Russell looked to have the beating of Carlos Cuellar down the right inside the opening five minutes but the experienced Spanish centre-back did enough to force Russell to run the ball out of play.

Bradley Johnson’s frustration was evident when he planted a free header wide from Alex Tettey’s deep angled cross with Cyrus Christie guilty of letting the midfielder jump unimpeded.

Cuellar’s lunchtime dipped even further when he was cautioned in the seventh minute for a lunging challenge on Jeff Hendrick but the official evened up the crime count seconds later when Craig Bryson cut down Whittaker.

Jerome and Gary Hooper’s growing understanding fashioned another visiting chance in the 10th minute but Hooper poked well wide from 20 yards.

Ibe exposed Whittaker’s lack of pace in the 18th minute but Johnson had tracked the late-arriving Hendrick before Martin glanced over at the near post in his first sighter against his former employers.

Martin’s assured control and layoff invited Ibe forward again but Whittaker held up the Liverpool teenager sufficiently for him to slam a low cross in to the side netting.

Norwich’s most profitable route in the opening quarter appeared set pieces with Gary O’Neil’s deep cross forcing Lee Grant to punch clear after rising above his captain Richard Keogh.

Ibe was Derby’s out ball in the opening period but the youngster this time opted to roll in Omar Mascarell who attempted an ambitious long range curler John Ruddy watched over his bar.

Tettey did roll the ball home in the 32nd minute but Jerome was adjudged to have interfered with play standing in an offside position in front of Grant, but the approach work from Norwich was admirable with O’Neil and Howson combining well.

O’Neil was then convinced he deserved a corner when his clipped right-footed effort drifted wide following a sharp one-two with Hooper.

Ruddy denied Bryson at the other end although Johnson’s deflection took the sting off the angled far post shot.

Jerome was fortunate to escape a caution for a frustrated swipe at Keogh but escaped with a lecture from Mr Tierney.

Derby tempted Johnson to cut inside on his weaker right foot but the rising shot had Grant diving full length before it cleared his bar.

The hosts went in front two minutes from the interval with Martin prominent after powering away from Cuellar before rolling in Russell who arrived unmarked to bury past Ruddy eight yards out.

Derby introduced the highly-rated Will Hughes for Kendrick at the interval but it was City on the front foot with O’Neil and Tettey convinced they deserved a penalty when Hooper was levered off the ball.

City levelled in the 51st minute when Jerome slotted at the far post from Howson’s stabbed cross following patient build up play from the visitors.

The lead lasted barely three minutes when Cuellar was adjudged to have kicked through Martin in his attempt to clear the ball two yards inside his own box. Referee Tierney waved away loud protests from the Canaries before Martin send Ruddy the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Tettey’s frustration earned him a caution before the game could restart. Adams’ side poured forward again in the aftermath of the setback with Ryan Shotton fortunate to get away with a miscued clearance from Olsson’s low cross.

The Norwegian made way for Redmond in the 62nd minute as City strived to get back on level terms for a second time.

Redmond’s first intervention was to service Jerome but the striker’s slip proved costly as his close range shot dribbled out of play.

Jerome then tried to wrong-foot Grant by deflecting Johnson’s long range strike but it veered past the post. Hoolahan replaced Hooper on the 70 minute mark with City looking to turn growing possession into another goal and Grabban joined him shortly afterwards as Adams went for broke.

For all City’s firepower now on show it was Whittaker who went close in the 79th minute when he cut inside and unleashed a left-footed shot that brushed the side netting.

Olsson stayed on his feet in the 82nd minute when clearly clipped inside the Derby penalty area which prompted first team coach Mike Phelan to plead with the fourth official after the referee waved play on.

Redmond tried his luck on the left flank in the closing seconds to force a corner and that persistence paid off when Whittaker slammed home a bouncing half-volley at the far post.

Grabban was then denied by Grant with a fine low stop in the first of four additional minutes before Jerome volleyed over eight yards out as City looked to complete the comeback.

• Derby: Grant, Christie, Keogh, Shotton, Forsyth, Mascarell, Hendrick (Hughes 45), Bryson (Dawkins 74), Ibe (Coutts 83), Russell, Martin. Subs (not used): Roos, L Naylor, Best, Calero.

• Booking: Bryson (foul on Whittaker, 8)

• Goals: Russell (43), Martin (54)

• Norwich: Ruddy, Whittaker, Martin, Cuellar, Olsson, Howson, O’Neil (Grabban 72), Tettey (Redmond 62), Johnson, Hooper (Hoolahan 70), Jerome. Subs (not used): Rudd, Turner, Lafferty, Bennett.

• Bookings: Cuellar (foul on Hendrick, 7); Tettey (dissent, 54)

• Goals: Jerome (51), Whittaker (89)

• Added on time: 2 minutes / 4 minutes

• Referee: Paul Tierney (Lancashire)

• Attendance: 27,974 (1,478 away fans)

52 comments

  • Interesting how everyone is enjoying our football more despite the more defensive first half set up for the last few games... playing to our strengths is what it looks like to me... first close them down and drain them then blast them with pace. Could be AdamsPhelan partnership is starting to click well.. remember Phelan is a very experienced defensively minded excellent number two, but has he ever stated intent to manage outright or are we just presuming it. It could be Adams inexeperience, but more attacking mentality and greater ambition to lead and be in the spotlight is the perfect compliment to Phelan's more conservative approach both on and off the pitch.

    Report this comment

    jops

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • @trevorkeith I hope point 7 in your list is some kind of typo

    Report this comment

    jops

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • Very good game to watch,you played very well deserved your point. Merry xmas from south of the border

    Report this comment

    saxon

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • I agree irongloves. At last we are moving the ball forward and quicker. Disagree over Whittaker. Great goal, and tries hard, but we desperately need a decent right back in January. The man is a liability in defence. Need all six points over Christmas as it looks like the top six are starting to open up a little gap between us and the rest. Fair play to Ipswich by the way. Don't be yellow with jealousy fellow Canaries. They deserve to be where they are. Merry Christmas everybody

    Report this comment

    Erpingham Tractor

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • We really don't need to worry about the forward line. We suddenly look dangerous. The defenders are getting pulled around and chances are falling to strikers, midfielders and even defenders. That's what the good movement up front has created. They don't have to always score themselves as it's a team game. The facts remain that we are scoring goals. Hooper and Jerome are working well together which has resulted in Jerome scoring the goals in the last couple of games but who cares. Another day it will be Hooper. Hooper has a great first touch and a very quick eye for a pass as was seen for our first goal. The future's bright! OTBC

    Report this comment

    baguio

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • I notice that young Murphy has not been included in the last couple of matches, is he injured or just not picked

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • Whether down to Phelan or not,since his arrival the play has been more direct at a faster tempo and with better off ball movement.Also good to see Johnson getting forward more.Martin is in his best position at CB.Whittaker's ability going forward more than makes up for the lack of pace which sometimes leaves him struggling defensively.If he had more pace he wouldn't be playing at Championship level anyway.There is a lot of leeway to make up but it's looking brighter.OTBC

    Report this comment

    irongloves

    Sunday, December 21, 2014

  • Martin still isn't a CB and never will be. Plus he lost Russell for the first goal.

    Report this comment

    A fine city

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Well said DCL I think we are heading in the right direction. OTBC

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Chris Martin was excellent today. Really held the ball up well. He was good for Norwich but has got better and stronger, good luck to him. Norwich were the best side by far. Good signs for the rest of the season. I wonder if Warkys Tash is starting to twitch with nerves as the Canaries are starting to look again like a promotion force.

    Report this comment

    Double D

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Welcome back Warkys Tosh, still seeing your writing rubbish on here, by the way spelling lesson in the context of sign, I think your meant to say sing my six toed adversary.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Back again ay walky? You just can’t get enough Yellow and Green you cheeky monkey! 2nd in the league and yet we’re still no 1 in your heart; your dedication makes me blush. Careful your boys don’t get a nose bleed being that high up the league table; it’s been a while now since you last reached the Promised Land after all. Do you think you’ll still be there come May? As for the rest of my fellow yellows – even with this being the season of good will to all men (even the ones in blue) and after a very solid performance from the boys, I see some of you are still bickering away! Good stuff! :) My two cents: Wigan performance was better than Reading, Huddersfield was better than Wigan, Derby was better than Huddersfield – definite progress being made in my mind. Derby are a good side but we controlled the game throughout – I loved the way we constantly pressured them when we didn’t have the ball. Shame an unfortunate pen and one defensive slip (6v1 in the box - personally think RM could have done more – they were all too busy ball watching) cost us 3 points. Still need to work on creating more chances and taking them but we’re going in the right direction again, so credit to Neil and the boys. Merry Christmas all!

    Report this comment

    DeanConeyLegend

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • AC Canary, he has always been a bit of a lout but when he was one of your own, you were loving him!

    Report this comment

    Warkys_Tash

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Wasn't exactly a respectful muted celebration by Martin. Used to like him but gone off him now. Anyway a good performance and I thought 3 points were ours. Team were passing well and seemed organised. Redmond was good when he came on and his final ball was impressive.

    Report this comment

    AC Canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • DB56, the same saddos that booed the team off at half-time against Hudds & then proceeded to sign Holt songs once 3-0 up! Fickle bunch those Norfolk folk!

    Report this comment

    Warkys_Tash

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Looks like City's bunch of multi-million pound signings have finally woke up. Thanks for doing us a favour so we could claim our 2nd place in the league back again. Good work Neil!

    Report this comment

    Warkys_Tash

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Short memory TK. Think Friday and your comment if Martin was to play CB.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • A point away at Derby AND a much improved team performance! Excellent!! Well done!!!

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • I also posted a couple of games back (his 200th?), that I thought Martin had one of his best games for NCFC, when he was leading by example, so I am baffled as to why I owe him an apology. I have been more critical of Whittaker of late as he has looked off the pace during a number of games and that plays a part in wanting Martin at right back with one of our bench warming centre backs one the field. However, I will give Whittaker full praise for scoring our second goal as he took it so well.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Sharky you couldn't manage Toytown Utd in the Lego League. You carry on TK - respect. Shame the other scores didn't go our way today. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Sharky, I have no hate campaign against Martin, get real, you were the one who suggested I owned him an apology for some strange reason. I can only think it is because in the past I have stated that I prefer to see him at right back rather than centre back. It is all about opinion and I am certainly entitled to mine as you are to yours.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • So where are all the saddos that were so critical, with the same team, only a few short weeks ago? Could it be possible that the manager knows what he is doing?

    Report this comment

    davidbrian56

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • So where are all the saddos that were so critical, with the same team, only a few short weeks ago? Could it be possible that the manager knows what he is doing?

    Report this comment

    davidbrian56

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Good performance. Few things need looking at like accuracy of long passes, too many in the right corner stand. Perhaps a little indecisive on the ball at times too, giving time for Derby to close down. Would have taken the point before the game though, and the crowd roared at the equalisers like they were winners. At least we don't only sing when we're winning too!

    Report this comment

    Chris Mugglestone

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • TK, so you dont think their first goal was a brilliant goal. You're h@te campaign against Martin is shameful.

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • All this talk about Phelan as though it is all down to him. What would be said if he didn't improve things? Surely that is the intention when anyone is brought to the club, players or staff.

    Report this comment

    Eddie Kerridge

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • s##m 2-0 up at mo against a poor looking boro side!Has their bubble burst?

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • I simply raised the question as it was put to me. The rules state •A direct free or penalty kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following ten offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force: 1. kicks or attempts to kick an opponent 2. trips or attempts to trip an opponent 3. jumps at an opponent 4. charges an opponent 5. strikes or attempts to strike an opponent 6. pushes an opponent 7. tackles an opponent 8. holds an opponent 9. spits at an opponent 10. handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area) I am not sure why Sharky thinks I need to apologise to Martin, however, he was marking space rather than the player for their first goal, watch it tonight and judge for yourself.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • An all round good performance, didn't expect us to win this time round (not fixed our issues yet) but seems Phelan has brought consistency back to the club. Onto the next game boys! NCFC going up!!

    Report this comment

    21

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Great performance all round. No apology from TK for Russell Martin. OTBC

    Report this comment

    sharky

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Excellent performance and to have lost would have been a travesty. TK, can't see where your referee friend is coming from. That was a nailed-on penalty due to Martins speed and Cuellers lack of. HfSq, who says Phelan wants to be a manager anyway. Plenty don't make the transition. His arrival certainly has had an impact though and if we continue to play like that, we will will plenty from here in. Actually found another city fan in FatBoys, Brussels - no one else in town apparently interested. Still would be looking for a quick CH in January even with Bennett back.

    Report this comment

    DJ_FRAMBOISE

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Really good point away from home. Having a settled team and using the subsitutes early is working. They couldn't handle Redmond at all. Beating Millwall is not set in stone but if we play like that we've got every chance.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk boy in Hackney

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Very pleased with the performance everyone played as a unit, also nice to see a 90 minute performance for a change. Certainly a lot to build on from this and a well earned point, bring on Millwall and 3 points.

    Report this comment

    Bald Canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • I sat watching this game with a former referee and he said he would not have given Martin the penalty. I agree, that had it been the other way then I would have been screaming for one but saw the point he was making. Mind you, I still think there was a handball the other end as well but again the ref failed to see that one. Overall though, a very good result for the boys, especially as we usually play badly over the Christmas period so lets hope this is a new beginning for us and we can continue what is now a good run of 7 points from three games.

    Report this comment

    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Well played Norwich. Now we need to push on and get back into the automatic places. Its finally starting to click. Feels like a Leeds or Huddersfield away moment. Hope the board push the boat out a bit in January rather than sell important players. If we get a good haul of points over the Xmas period we're right back up there with momentum behind us.

    Report this comment

    suffolkcanary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • A solid performance, the belief is coming back, Phelan looks like the difference. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • If we can maintain that performance there is no reason to believe that we won't be in the hunt for promotion. No co-incidence this run started with Phelan's appointment, which was exactly what Adams needed all along. Our pass and movement has improved immeasurably. Watching the game on Sky my only concern is Ruddy's kicking which never seems to improve. How many times did he put the ball straight into touch? But that aside, great game, fantastic display of effort and commitment.

    Report this comment

    malaga flier

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Whilst taking your point Trevor, when I watched the replay, it looked to me like a very agricultural attempt, had he had a bit more guile, I think he had time to pull out of the challenge. With situations like this, I always try to imagine if I was watching it the other way round, as in if the challenge had been made on one of our forwards, in which case, I'd be screaming penalty. Be interesting to see it again tonight. I did think we had a case when ? Olson was tripped at the other end

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • cuellar was slow to the ball for the pen and martin made a meal of it,at first I thought he had just fallen over but probably the right decision.When was the last time Ruddy saved a pen?

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Maybe he didn't see the hand ball?

    185478818

    Report this comment

    canarysounder

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • A very well earned point and full marks to Whittaker for taking his chance. I said earlier in the week that I would settle for a point and we have to be happy with that but could even had had all three. Just a small point but considering Cuellar was already swinging his leg to clear the ball, when Martin jumped in front of his leg, should that have been a penalty or a free kick the other way.

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    TrevorKeith

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • hfq. phelan is the real manager.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Sloppy penalty to give away, otherwise excellent performances, particularly in the latter stages of the second half. Plenty of attacking play that did not leave us vulnerable on the counter. Also, really pleased for Whittaker. Decent goal and unlucky with his other shot

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Exciting game to watch on TV in US. Lack of pace in defence and a tendency to hoof the ball forward from midfield after neat buildup from the back worrying, but overall very positive -- winning 50-50 balls, creating chances, and not giving up -- all against a very good team. OTBC

    Report this comment

    atlanta canary

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Where have the "Adam Out" crowd gone? Eating Humble Pie, perhaps?

    Report this comment

    Heading for Squalor

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Cracking away performance against a good home side. We were the better team today and deserved to win - performance says so and the stats back that up. Chris Martin was excellent for Derby and without him in their side they would have lost. He is such a focal point for their style of play that I feel certain they would slide down the table should he get injured.

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    SplatTheCat

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • could have won but a good point in the end.Nice to see a battling performance,no individuals just a good team game.What a decision Adams has now as who to start v millwall.As Birtles said Norwich have to many options!

    Report this comment

    tonyb

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Nicely played by our side. Always good to pick up a point at one's major opposition's home. We did get a bit of a break when the hand ball was not called.

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    canarysounder

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Agreed! Even the text coverage made it clear, and the shots on target were a big improvement.

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    MGNdweller

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • I can only echo what rament said, thoroughly deserved point

    Report this comment

    Derek McDonald

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • Exciting and much deserved result. Don't think any of the lads had a bad game. Made them look average and was on sky which was even sweeter!

    Report this comment

    NCFC1978

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

  • What an enjoyable game! If this is what City fans can look forward to. for the rest of the season then promotion must surely be inevitable. Watching the game in Oz on livestream it is difficult to pick out individuals but what I saw a was a complete team performance; working for each other; closing the opposition down into making mistakes in order to regain possession. Our one- touch play was a joy to watch. Even had we lost, I still think we were the better side. No groans from me re. the Derby goals.

    Report this comment

    rament

    Saturday, December 20, 2014

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