Norwich City v Leicester City
Saturday, February 18th 2012
FA Cup 5th Round, 3pm
By Andrew Daffern
1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):
Well it all started one Sunday afternoon in February, when the draw was taking place for the fifth round of the FA Cup. In our minds we wanted an Premiership away trip like Chelsea, Norwich City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool…. & then it came, away to Norwich. I jumped in the air with excitement, Norwich was a ground I always wanted to visit. The nearest I been to the ground was in August 2008 when I had been on holiday in Great Yarmouth and fancied visiting Norwich for the day and had time to visit the Club Shop.
Anyway before the journey we checked online to see how much a train would be. It came to the cost of £80 for me and my Dad (which is extremely dear for a day trip) so after splitting the tickets like Nuneaton to Peterborough, Peterborough To Norwich the price came down to £40! That’s much better!
So on the day we left early, in fact it was still pitch black when we got up as it was 7’o’clock in the morning! Our journey tp Norwich seemed to take ages. It took just over an hour to get to Peterborough and then onto Ely. On arrival at Ely we realised we had an half an hour gap until our train, damn! Nothing to do, if you been to Ely railway station you would see what I mean.
Eventually our train arrived and it took over an hour to get Norwich. Never realised Ely was so far from Norwich! It was around 11am when we arrived and with plenty of time on our hands we set off to look around the city and find somewhere for a bite to eat and a meal.
3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?
To be fair there isn’t many pubs near the ground, probably because the city centre is so near. Mainly we had our pre match beer in city centre the weetherspoons in town was packed with yellow and green shirts.
4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?
Having seen the outside of Carrow Road before I knew what to expect. The ground is not as imposing as some, I mean like Villa Park or the Emirates. The club shop is quite small and to be fair there’s isn’t much in there as some others, not even an programme selection.
After that we went towards the away section, on arrival it was still early it was about 2’o’clock something like that and the Norwich players where just arriving, doing usual pre-match of signing autographs and having pictures with the fans what I think is nice, it’s not like some clubs who put metal fencing, where you are distant from the players. The players actually enter via the away gate, which is quite rare.
On entrance to the ground the actually food area is quite small, and you can imagine that getting packed with a big away following (I’ll tell you about that later), after having a drink in the concourse we went to our seats. Are seats were front which is great. Carrow Road is quite closed in, away fans are housed in the corner like many others.
5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, facilities etc..
The game was certainly a classic, a splendid atmosphere from both sets of fans, though to be honest I think Leicester sang the most songs. Leicester took an early lead after a great header from Sean St Ledger! 0-1 to the foxes! Not long after Norwich earn a pen wasn’t sure if it was one, but never mind the ref is the boss, Hoolahan took then pen only for Kasper to save it and then Hoolahan got the rebound to make it 1-1! During the first half it began raining. As we were in the front row we got soaked as the stand cover didn’t cover us.
At half time it was 1-1 the game could go ever way, though to be honest Leicester looked slightly the better side also for the first time this season Leicester had most the possession away from home! Norwich had a strong team out, but the only one who was missing I think was Grant Holt.
During the interval I went to the toilet to found the concourse packed it was incredible tight. There were screens showing highlights of the first half and the Leicester fans weren't impressed on seeing an incident where the ball looked to have crossed the goal line but it wasn't given. I wasn't impressed to find people smoking in the toilets. As I left a steward was going in to investigate.
The stewards and police were friendly and welcoming, I don’t think they had much trouble from us apart from the chant “You stole all our seats” and “We’re High Risk!”
The Second half kicked off Norwich started off brightly having one or two chances, Leicester were having their fair share aswell. After Norwich corner that went straight Kasper, Kasper got the ball forward to find Beckford who cached the Norwich defence at the weakest with just two back, he passed it Nugent who passed one of the defenders that shot passed the Norwich goalie to make it 1-2 Leicester.
It was extremely noisy from the Leicester end after that. For last twenty minutes Norwich didn’t create much, it was the matter of Leicester keeping possession till the final whistle.
6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:
Once the final whistle had went, noise of “We’re, We’re Leicester” was the only thing heard around the stadium. The players came up to fans thanking us for our fantastic support. The camera’s were taking pictures of us, on this splendid day. On leaving the ground I bought the match scarf from this memorable day, that I will never forget.
The home fans were disappointed on going out of the cup, but many of them said “that Premier League survival is more important” I don’t think there was any trouble from any sets of fans.
On board a train, who were happy singing out loud, after enjoying a classic football match.
7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:
Norwich is probably one of the best away trips I’ve been too, I could possible say it was the best one! Mainly down to a great football match with a great atmosphere. Next day the draw was made we were off too Chelsea in the next round!
P.S all I’ve uploaded a video on you tube with all the pictures from the game http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5jg0pDtME0&feature=plcp.