Seven minutes seemed like seven hours but City’s ‘59 heroes held on...just
- Credit: Archant
At half-time in the first round of the FA Cup against Ilford it wasn't looking good for Norwich City.
It looked like the Canaries were about to start a trend which carries on today where more often than not City tumble out of a cup competition at the first opportunity.
However, City recovered from their 1-0 half-time deficit to win 3-1 and embark on a run that re-established Norwich as a force in the football world.
At the end of a thrilling season, City so nearly won promotion to the Second Division in addition to a long and glorious trail that so nearly ended at Wembley.
The quarter final replay against Sheffield United at Carrow Road goes down as one of the greatest matches in Norwich's history.
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The Canaries had already dispensed with the Busby Babes at Manchester United in the third round before claiming another scalp in the fifth round in Tottenham after a replay.
But the 3-2 replay win over the Blades at Carrow Road went down in City folklore. City had fought out a 1-1 draw at Bramall Lane days earlier when they responded to going behind in the second minute to seal a replay thanks to Errol Crossan's 75th minute equaliser. The real hero of the day though was goalkeeper Ken Nethercott, who played the last half hour with a dislocated shoulder. A chap named Sandy Kennon came in for the replay and the South African would of course go on to become one of the club's all-time greats.
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So 38,000 fans packed into Carrow Road for the replay and for half an hour City had looked like they were going to stride into the semi-finals. Bobby Brennan put Norwich in front in the 14th minute when the winger unleashed an unstoppable left-footed strike past Alan Hodgkinson. The Canaries took a firm grip on proceedings when Terry Bly fired home after he latched on to Terry Allcock's cross.
The City faithful knew they weren't going to have it all their own way when Derek Pace capitalised on a mistake by Kennon to reduce the arrears.
The two-goal cushion was restored by Bly in the 71st minute but a nervy finish was ensured when Gerry Summers headed home.
The final seven minutes seemed like seven hours but come the final whistle a pitch invasion ensued. But City's heroes didn't care - their cup adventure was set for another chapter.