The early bird may miss the traffic - but they still irritate me

File photo dated 02-04-2016 of Norwich City's Martin Olsson (second right) celebrates scoring the wi

File photo dated 02-04-2016 of Norwich City's Martin Olsson (second right) celebrates scoring the winning goal with team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday May 14, 2016. Norwich 3 Newcastle 2 (April 2) Newcastle did not even benefit from a dead cat bounce as new boss Rafael Benitez, having collected his first point from a derby draw with Sunderland the previous weekend, saw his team fight back twice to level, only to concede again in stoppage time on a day when defeat was not an option. See PA story SOCCER Premier League Relegation. Photo credit should read Chris Radburn/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

It's derby day weekend, so of course I will address the game we all look for first on fixtures day – but first I have something of an axe to grind.

Norwich City v Derby at Carrow Road. Simeon Jackson score his third and wins the game.Photo by Simon

Norwich City v Derby at Carrow Road. Simeon Jackson score his third and wins the game.Photo by Simon Finlay - Credit: EDP pics © 2011(01603) 772434

I'll be the first to admit that Saturday's game with Sheffield Wednesday was far from a classic. However, in 85 minutes one of my biggest bug bears reared its ugly head again.

For a stream of people made for the exits, desperate to beat the traffic. It doesn't matter whether it's a high scoring thriller or a drab affair, the loathsome 85th minute squad never fails to irritate – mainly as I sit at the top of a stairwell.

Now, I could launch into a full blown rant, about how one would never leave the cinema or the theatre before the end, or how the only real acceptable reason to depart is some kind of urgent family situation – a hatch or potential dispatch for example.

I could probably add that leaving early is fairly disrespectful to the players, the club and your fellow fans, who would rather not watch the closing stages of the match through the back of your head.

The new big screen in action before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture by

The new big screen in action before the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, NorwichPicture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 64026716/08/2016 - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Instead, I'll play it simple and remind all those who decide to wander off before the whistle of just a few magical moments that you've missed in person.

Simeon Jackson v Derby (2011)

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'Lansbury's corner… CHANCE! IT'S GONNA GO IN!' The moment my fellow columnist Chris Goreham entered City folklore – but in person you didn't need him. As Neil Adams pointed out, the place was going bananas.

Adam Drury v Middlesbrough (2005)

It was the comeback of the century – 4-1 down, less than 10 minutes to go, and we did it. What is more, you also missed something as rare as rocking horse manure – Adam Drury scoring a goal!

Dean Ashton v Newcastle (2005)

What a rollercoaster the end of this match was. Patrick Kluivert's stoppage time equaliser, then moments later Dean Ashton's winner. Wow.

Chris Martin v Leeds (2010)

A pivotal moment in City's League One promotion campaign. At this point it was a straight shoot-out between Norwich and Leeds for the title. This was the turning point as City claimed a crucial 1-0 victory.

Martin Olsson v Newcastle (2016)

It could so easily have been the goal that kept City up last season, and in that moment, it felt like it too.

Grant Holt v Everton (2013)

As with almost any Norwich City list, Grant Holt's name pops up. His late header capped a thrilling comeback, after Kei Kamara had levelled things up just before the 85th minute – you may have missed that one too!

Henri Lansbury v Millwall (2011)

One of many late winners in City's 2011 promotion charge under Paul Lambert. Stoppage time winners became somewhat of a habit, and this one was just as crucial as the others.

Grant Holt v Reading (2011)

Yet again, one from the promotion-winning campaign under Lambert, and again Holty.

The talismanic striker slid in with less than 10 seconds remaining, creating mass euphoria at Carrow Road.

David Phillips v Wimbledon (1992)

It's strange to think that there was ever a goal scored that put City eight points clear at the top of the Premier League – but that's exactly what this was.

Nobody likes sitting in traffic, but to live these glorious moments in the flesh, I'll take staring at brake lights with Canary Call any day of the week.

If you can think of a genuinely valid reason to miss out on such fun – please, do let me know.


Right onto the derby – the two occasions everybody looks for first when the fixtures are released.

I'm going to go on the record and say I hate derbies – absolutely abhor them. Well, in theory anyway.

Regardless of form, the gulf in quality, or how little (or how much) there is to play for, there is nothing more nerve-racking. They're bad for finger nails – as a City fan, nothing means more than beating the old enemy. Of course, I say 'hate' with tongue very firmly in cheek, because of course, I love them too – at least when we win.

These have become a bit less frequent of late, considering Norwich's last two visits to the Championship have ended in promotion, while Town have militantly insisted on staying put.

This just adds to the agony, as there is no way of telling how long bragging rights will last.

Sure the happy memories will stick for years to come – Holty's hat-trick, Leon McKenzie's dream debut, top of the league at Portman Road (on more than one occasion) to name but a few.

However, the painful ones hurt more than anything. Danny Haynes outright cheating his way to a last minute winner at Carrow Road still haunts me, and maybe it was just the injustice of it, but for me, that hurts more than Colchester, Fulham away or any other agonising moment of recent times.

I've tried to dig out an image to illustrate this, but trust me Town fans, I had to go back some way into our archives!

As for Sunday, my colleague Doug Faulkner – a tractor boy – summed it up pretty well from their perspective: 'Anything we take from the match will be a bonus,' he said.

Of course, those in yellow and green will feel slightly differently about that – anything other than a win would be a massive disappointment.

For this reason, it will be doubly nerve-racking for us – dominance isn't always a good thing!


I'm slightly worried about the BFG.

Sure he is currently tearing it up at the cinema box office – the film is great – however, he may struggle to keep in touch with his friends.

For you see, his mobile phone appears to have attached itself to a big post in the corner of Carrow Road – at least that's what it looks like.

All joking aside, it is actually quite impressive and it was a lovely moment on Tuesday night when the screen swivelled around to show the Barclay Jonny Howson's beautiful goal – the gasp at Wes's deft touch followed by a second cheer for the goal – lovely!


Sheffield Wednesday did themselves credit both on the field and off of it on Saturday.

While the team frustrated City with a well executed game plan, their fans were brilliant too. At no point were they not singing, making noise and having a good time.

And their songs were good too – fun, positive songs aimed at their players, as opposed to ignoring the game completely in favour of cynically berating the opposition fans, in the name of 'banter'. I'm all for it.


Few things that boil my blood more than hearing the term 'happy-clapper' used to describe fans who have the audacity to look for positives. A tweet, or a reworking of On The Ball City, made me chuckle.

'On the moan, City! Never mind the consequence. Steady on, now's your chance... Hurrah, we've booed again.'


Saturday was a good day to be a former Canary. It started with Robert Snodgrass then Nathan Redmond and finally, Leroy Fer. Even Ricky van Wolfswinkel helped himself to a goal – it's two in two for him at Vitesse. All of these players were signed by Chris Hughton, which goes to show he couldn't quite get that nasty goal scoring habit out of their systems – no matter how hard he tried!