What does a 95th minute equaliser mean to you? For Freddy on Canary Call it was ‘absolutely incredible!’. Over at the PinkUn, Lee Payne was left ‘exhausted’. In my new Suffolk home a little woop was released – a sure sign that at least some small tangible sense of relief was felt.
As City fans we’re no strangers to last minute goals. Grant Holt, Henri Lansbury and, of course, Simeon Jackson in 2011 helped get Norwich to the Premier League with 90+ minute winners. Likewise, Gary Hooper against Bolton in 2015. Martin Olsson’s effort v Newcastle in April 2016 should have been enough to keep them up. Saturday’s goal was not the kind that will be remembered in that company, coming as it did in the first game. But it may be as important in the context of this season.
Birmingham City (a): What Happened?
Birmingham City away is always a difficult game. A really horrible one to start the season with. Especially against this particular Blues side, still reeling from the recently lifted transfer embargo they’ve been operating under this summer. But it was a game City would be targeting as a win at any other stage of the season. The first game often throws up interesting results (see Norwich 1 Colchester 7) so to get away with a draw is no bad thing. Failing to defend corners effectively certainly is though. Those errors must be cut out if City are to do anything this year. This time though, Onel Hernandez was on hand to rescue the Canaries.
Seven months ago, City signed three players on the same day. While there were signs of potential, none did particularly much to impress last season. But in the sun at St Andrews all three played a part in a hard-fought point for the Canaries. The appearance of substitute Leitner and his fellow summer signing Kenny Maclean gave City more attacking impetus. The performance of Hernandez in particular cause for optimism.
Should Farke have started with this more attacking side? Possibly. Having a strong bench has it’s benefits though as proven here. Fans wanting more attacking football also got their wish. More crosses. Longer passes. Goals.
We also got the inability to defend crosses into or own box…
So, a good point. Some encouraging signs. And a last minute goal to keep Freddy and Lee happy…
Reasons to be optimistic? Strap in Canaries fans, this looks like being a season which is exhausting, woop inducing and maybe, just maybe, absolutely incredible.