A drab affair to be honest with both sides under-performing. A first win in four games for Bristol City was very welcome and keeps us in touch with the play-off pack. Norwich started brightly enough and we saw evidence of the crisp passing that impressed at Ashton Gate last season. Bristol City created the better chances and slowly got a grip on the game. It seemed that they were not going to score though until the returning Boom Boom Jamie McCombe seemed the only player interested in Jamie McAlisters pumped free kick from inside his own half; latching on to it to finish like an accomplished striker, past the excellent Marshall in the Norwich goal. In the second half Norwich had been restricted to one Lita effort which was straight at Basso from the edge of the box. Glen Roeder persisted with Lita as the lone striker despite being one nil down which allowed Gary Johnson to bring on Nicky Maynard who was lively but still goal shy. The standard of refereeing deteriorated in the second half and Bradley Orr, strangely off his game on Saturday, picked up a booking and will serve a two match ban for a professional foul on the half way line, any nearer the goal and it could have been a straight red.
Gary Johnson told Bristol City World ‘It was important we got a victory today. The lads rolled their sleeves up, worked very hard and put men behind the ball because Norwich are dangerous on the break. We played some good football today and created some really good opportunities but just didn’t finish. In all, I think we had six or seven really good opportunities, but the boys kept going and just had to make sure they didn’t let anything in at the other end. With all the chances we had in the first half it was looking it was going to be something unusual that got us into the game. They were going down like flies at times so I don’t know whether he’ll get any more loans in to add to the 27 he has got already! But we kept in there. We had a lot of free kicks and corners and it was one of our set plays that we work on that brought us the goal. Jamie McCombe came back from injury and scored and it wasn’t his head this time, it was a deft flick! It was a great goal and we work really hard on our set plays. It was good to have him back, he gets that first header in, but sometimes that extra six inches – as we all know – we can make all the difference.
Norwich manager Glenn Roeder says he was disappointed with the nature of his sides defeat at Ashton Gate. “It was a horrible goal. A straight ball down the middle of the pitch from their own half. It was a particularly poor goal to concede, probably reminicent of a few goals we’ve conceded this year apart from the wonder goal at Southampton. It’s really disappointing because there again there’s another game where chances have come in the first half – if we’d score first, I believe we would win the game and I’ve got no doubt about that”. Roeder said that he did not read his players the riot act after the game. “They’ve run their legs off, we’re an away team which makes it a bit more difficult, and the ball was down their end as much as it was down our end. Marshy admittedly had to pull off a couple of good saves but all in all, I don’t believe Bristol City deserve to win but they have and we should have got something out of this game. We have to pick ourselves up and carry on working hard. Glen Roeder must be one of the biggest whingers in football, a decent player in his day, but I just find his dour slapped arse of a face irritating.