Norwich v Middlesbrough: Never boring; often important…

MIDDLESBROUGH 0 NORWICH CITY 1 | 🔰 Where city’s latest defeat of Boro will stand in the grand network of matches between the sides I don’t know, but if City can continue the way they are, it could be part of a special season.

Middlesbrough (H) 2005: 4️⃣ – 4️⃣

Middlesbrough (H) 2015: 0️⃣ – 1️⃣

Middlesbrough (Wembley) 2015: 2️⃣ – 0️⃣

When thinking about Middlesbrough, three memorable games from relatively recent times immediately jump to mind.

Adam Drury’s last-minute equaliser at Carrow Road during Nigel Worthington’s Premier League year was a special moment for a number of reasons. Not only because the city skipper rarely scored. Nor the fact everyone in the stadium knew he was going to score as soon as he went up for the corner. Or because just 10 minutes earlier the canaries were 4-1 down. But because it was in front of a half-empty Carrow Road, with many streaming out the gates with 80 minutes on the clock.

While many were soon made aware of the error of their ways as they walked away from FCR, I’m still sure some plonker rang up canary call to moan before being told of the final outcome live on-air!

The moral of the story? Never leave a game early. Unless Chris Hughton’s in charge. Then it’s probably not worth attending in the first place.

Patrick Bamford’s time-wasting at FCR five years later also sticks in the mind. Like Andrew Johnson repeatedly diving at Selhurst Park, or Danny Haynes putting the ball in with his hand in front of the Barclay, blatant cheating tends to be remembered. As does celebrating on our pitch as if you’ve won the fucking league. They hadn’t. They didn’t. And they didn’t even get promoted. Because…

Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond scoring against the Boro at Wembley have me and thousands of other Norwich fans one of the greatest days of our lives. That Bamford and Co’s theatrics had come just weeks earlier made this result even more satisfying.

It’s a funny old game

Football’s made for moments like these. The elation of an equaliser in the most unlikely of circumstances. The frustration of someone cheating in front of you and getting away with it. The retribution and delirium of beating the offending side in one of your club’s biggest ever games.

Where city’s latest defeat of Boro will stand in the grand network of matches between the sides I don’t know, but if City can continue the way they are, it could be part of a special season.

Huckerby. Redmond. Maddison…

The games mentioned above all featured players just that little bit more special than their teammates. Everyone knows what a legend Darren Huckerby is in these parts. A player that was probably too good for us, Hucks tore up defences for fun, even in the Premier League.

Now a full England international and Premier League regular, Nathan Redmond will always know the part Norwich, and Chris Hughton to give him his dues, played in getting him to the top.  One of the best players to have played for City, Redmond has all the tools to go right to the very top.

Which brings us on to young James Maddison. Sent to Scotland on loan last season, the 20-year-old looks at home back in the English leagues. His strike against Boro was the latest in a line of special moments for the former Coventry player this season.

Unfortunately, unlike the other former Sky Blue mentioned in this paragraph, Maddison is young enough to not fall in love with the City and never leave. He may return when he retires, who knows. But like Redmond, Maddison has star quality and is heading to the top.

The other two managed to fire City back to the big time. Can Maddison do the same?

Enjoy him while he’s here. He’s a gem.

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