East Anglian Football Roundup
Luck was on Norwich City’s side this past weekend as they held onto a 2-1 half-time lead to beat Sunderland
Norwich City held onto a 2-1 half-time lead to beat Sunderland at Carrow Road, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to nine games.
After Norwich went two-nil up through goals from Sebastien Bassong and Anthony Pilkington, Craig Gardner reduced the visitor’s deficit just before the break.
It prompted a second-half in which Sunderland somehow managed to miss chance after chance with Mark Bunn’s goal leading a charmed life.
As good as the Canaries’ defence has been in recent weeks, and they had their moments here, they were extremely fortunate not to concede.
They would have done had Stephane Sessegnon not wasted his own terrific work in creating a goalscoring opportunity by firing straight at Bunn, or had Matt Kilgallon not been in the process of wheeling away to celebrate as he missed an open goal and blasted over.
Good fortune is completely lacking from everything Sunderland and Martin O’Neill seem to be doing right now, which is why Norwich should make the most of the luck that is currently on their side.
As we have explored in this column in recent weeks there is much more to the good form of Chris Hughton’s men than a bit of luck, but it doesn’t hurt to have things go your way to the extent it has for them of late.
Norwich also picked up their first silverware of the season with the win – the Friendship Trophy!
The trophy dates back to the time of the 1985 League Cup Final which was contested between City and Sunderland.
Such was the camaraderie developed between the two sets of supporters, the Friendship Trophy was created as something to be won by the winner of any meeting between the two sides from then on.
Last week was a terrific one for Ipswich Town, as the upturn in form Mick McCarthy has helped inspire since becoming manager continued apace with two wins that saw them climb out of the relegation zone.
A midweek 3-1 defeat of Nottingham Forest at Portman Road was followed up on Saturday by Town going to Bolton Wanderers and taking all three points.
A DJ Campbell penalty brought the Tractor Boys level having gone a goal down early on in the game, before Michael Chopra scored only his third goal of the season to give them the win with just stoppage time remaining.
There are now five points between Ipswich and the relegation zone, a gap they will look to extend against Millwall on Saturday.
Colchester United and Cambridge United had the week off with the majority of lower and non-league clubs involved in the FA Cup Second Round.
Southend United will have to face Bury in a replay on 11 Dec at Roots Hall after a 1-1 draw between the two teams first time around, Gavin Tomlin cancelling out Matt Doherty’s opener.