The Budgie View
What can you say? Typical FA Cup, end to end play. And both sets of supporters can rightly wonder if the ref doesn't take regular holidays in the opposition' part of the country.
Blackpool's penalty appeal was cancelled out with City's left full back and skipper also being booked for diving in the box. According to the player, himself, it was a nailed on penalty, but turned down because of the earlier mistake.
The real possibility of a defeat played on the mind. Home advantage with a pitch that curtailed the passing opportunities for the visitors certainly made it seem that Norwich were fortunate to earn the replay.
It must irritate the Blackpool supporters somewhat, to think that ex-City's Adrian Forbes was responsible for the error that led to the opening goal from Darren Huckerby. A rare case of the ex player not coming back to haunt his old club.
It was another display of failing to defend against the set piece play that allowed Blackpool to get the equaliser, but loan 'keeper, David Marshall, showed why he has Peter Grant's attention by denying Blackpool's winner with his fingertips.
Wily old Dion Dublin has previously demonstrated how he will bend the rules to breaking point when up against less experienced opponents, which would annoy City fans if it was against us, but often leaves others thinking that the ref has been too soft on the old man. Dublin has proved a threat up front and in defence, and it is a real concern that he went off injured.
Chris Brown picked up his red in his first full debut for the club. The radio commentators, including ex-City's Neil Adams, stated that Brown's first yellow was unnecessary; a sentiment echoed by Peter Grant in his post match interviews. The second yellow, leading to his dismissal, though, was the act of a youngster keen to impress, and deserved a booking.
The biggest problem that we at Norwich face, is a serious shortage of players. A final legacy of Nigel Worthington. There is no back up for Adam Drury, who will now be suspended for 5 yellow cards, and with Dublin's injury and Jason Shackell still missing with an ankle injury, along with Brown's suspension and Earnshaw ruled out until April, Peter Grant has real selection problems on his hands. Not only for the replay, but in the continuing struggle to avoid relegation.
The replay is frustrating for many Blackpool supporters must be longing to witness the outcome, but Norwich is an awkward place to get to at the best of times, and the replay will more than likely be a midweek, evening fixture. It is a pity, because it would have been interesting to hear what songs come out of the Barclay end that shares the common misfortunes of Worthington's spell in charge. As for the game, though, Norwich will have the benefit of having the pitch prepared to their liking, and with the almost brand new surface is said to be one of the best in English football. City's passing skills will come to the fore, but it will be no walk over. Blackpool could still pull this one off because the home support has been on edge over performances for a long time and this effects the players.
Let's hope that the sub-tropial heat of being so far south disrupts the Seasiders on the night; whatever, let's hope for as entertaining a replay, and may the best side on the night win.
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