The facts and opinion ahead of a possible penalty shoot-out between Norwich City and Ipswich Town

Norwich Citys players in customary pose during the 2002 penalty shoot-out duel against Birmingham.

Norwich Citys players in customary pose during the 2002 penalty shoot-out duel against Birmingham. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2002

The dreaded lottery of the penalty shoot-out is looming over the horizon. Gavin Caney presents the facts, and some opinion, ahead of a possibile derby showdown from 12 yards.

Norwich City's penalty stats - penalties for

Norwich City's penalty stats - penalties for - Credit: Archant

Daryl Sutch stepped up – just like he had done a million times before.

He placed the ball down. He walked back. He turned. He paused. He ran forward. He kicked the ball. It was a process the versatile player had repeated time, and time, and time, and time again. This time however, it was different.

Because the eyes of 71, 597 supporters – and millions watching at home on their televisions – inside the Millenium Stadium were on Norwich City's penalty taker. And on this occasion everything was at stake.

Sutch was involved in the famous 2002 Division One (Championship) play-off final shoot-out between the Canaries and Birmingham City. The winners progressed to the Premier League. And of course we all know what happened next.

Norwich City's penalty stats - penalties against

Norwich City's penalty stats - penalties against - Credit: Archant

City's number 17 struck his effort to the left but could only watch in agony as his attempt suffered the same fate as Phil Mulryne's before him. The ball failed to hit the target and with it, in reality, went Norwich's hopes of triumphing. Darren Carter became the hero, netting the Blues' fourth spot kick, to leave the yellow army heading back across to Norfolk in floods of tears.

'In practice I never missed,' said the now 43-year-old who knows better than most the intense spotlight the current Norwich players and their Ipswich rivals could be under if Saturday's semi-final second leg needs to be decided in the same way the club's trip to Wales did.

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'That's just how it is. Some people will score, some will miss, and it'll be different for every single player. It didn't work out for me and that's the way it was. It was a fantastic experience playing in the final, the atmosphere was incredible, and it is a day I'll never forget – maybe for the wrong reasons.'

With the tie delicately poised at 1-1, fears of a heart-stopping penalty showdown are increasing ahead of the weekend's second East Anglian derby.

Ipswich Town's penalty stats

Ipswich Town's penalty stats - Credit: Archant

Many players, such as Gary Hooper – who has scored twice from 12 yards this term – are likely to be called upon if they're still on the field of play come the end of 120 minutes. For them the line between delight and despair will be an incredibly thin one.

The likely keepers on show, John Ruddy and the visitors' Bartosz Bialkowski, at least know they can only become the heroes rather than the villains. But their records this season and in years gone by, as well as their attempts to prepare for the situation, will count for little according to Sutch.

'They'll be practiced and there should be a set five named and ready to be used,' said the man who made more than 300 appearances for the Canaries.

'The names will be known but as experience tells, when I was there (in Cardiff), certain people didn't step up on the day. That's why myself and others ended up coming forward.

Norwich City and Ipswich Town penalty shoot-out records

Norwich City and Ipswich Town penalty shoot-out records - Credit: Archant

'The staff had done their bit and were hoping those five stood up to be counted. Certain ones did, others didn't want to take one. It's then left to others to put their hands up.

'There's nothing you can ever do that can replicate being in that situation, despite planning for it, and the same goes for when you're taking the penalty.'

Of course a winner may be decided long before the whole of Norfolk is forced to hold its collective breath on a minimum of six occasions. And Sutch is sure that Alex Neil and Mick McCarthy, plus their players, will be doing everything they can to avoid stepping into the biggest play-off pressure – other than doing it in a final – cooker available.

The former City player added: 'Penalties are something you just don't want to be thinking about going into the game. The focus will be on 90 minutes first, then extra time and only then will it turn to penalties. The aim will be to get the job done in normal time.'


It's been almost 17 years since Carrow Road witnessed the tension of a penalty shoot-out at senior level.

The Canaries lost on October, 27, 1998 to Bolton Wanderers and have suffered the same fate in three more of their nine showdowns from 12 yards. Ipswich Town's record is considerably worse with the Tractor Boys having suffered heartbreak in eight of their 10 game-deciding duels.

Both sides' last first-team forays into a sudden death situation came in 2009 when City lost at Southampton and their Suffolk rivals triumphed at Shrewsbury.

And their records are mixed this season too with a handful of players, and goalkeepers, from across the divide suffering differing emotions with spot-kicks.

But home inspiration can be at least drawn from the last time one side in yellow entered the deadly battleground.

The Canaries' FA Youth Cup winning crop of 2013 saw off Nottingham Forest in front of almost 10,000 of their own fans who revelled in the sheer joy being felt in front of them.

Both teams had a 100pc record going into the latter stages – a situation which would send heart rates through the roof this weekend – with Norwich's Harry Toffolo, Cameron McGeehan and Josh Murphy not fluffing their lines. Forest's Kieran Wallace, Aristote Kamaneno and Kieran Fenton showed similar nerves of steel before City's Will Britt guessed correctly and dived low to his left to save from opposing skipper Jack Blake.

It gave Reece Hall-Johnson the chance to win it, which was an opportunity he duly grabbed with one boot. Progression to the final was secured and a memorable victory over Chelsea quickly followed.

Neil Adams, boss of the City youngsters at the time, said after the do-or-die drama of the clash with Forest: 'We've been through every emotion going. A sending off, extra-time, penalty kicks – it's everything you want in a game of football.'

Many supporters might disagree with Neil's sentiments, but there's little they'll be able to do if Norwich and Ipswich still can't be separated come 2.30pm.