The day a Canadian saved City’s bacon – with a little help from Robbie
EDP pics © 2011
Norwich City 3 Derby County 2
April 25, 2011
It would be far too easy to take the focus of this match away from Simeon Jackson and pile it on to one Robert William Savage – but it is fair to say that one would probably not have happened without the other.
Best get the prelims out of the way: Norwich were in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League – basically they were competing with Cardiff to claim second spot behind QPR.
Jackson had put the Canaries ahead a minute before half-time, only for Steve Davies to level nine minutes after the break.
Jackson then struck again on the hour mark, but again Derby fought back, levelling through Alberto Bueno just three minutes later.
It was cracking stuff played out on a glorious afternoon at Carrow Road – although hardly suitable for those of a nervous disposition.
But then came the genuine showstopping finale.
With two minutes of the game remaining, Derby opted to make a change. Jeff Hendrick warmed up on the touchline as Derby boss Nigel Clough decided to make a change. Savage was going to get the hook.
He saw the board go up and, as an old pro, knew exactly what he should do.
He dallied, he waved to the travelling Derby fans, he may even have stopped to tie up his laces a couple of times. It took him a lifetime to leave the field of play. Typical old pro.
However, while his antics may well have played in Derby’s favour, referee Andy Haines was wise to it all and ensured there was plenty of time – five minutes – added on, and even then Derby made another change after normal time had been and gone.
And that’s where Jackson comes in. The Canadian wasn’t always first choice at Carrow Road and the fear was that, if Grant Holt suffered an injury, City would still be in need of a front-line striker.
But Jackson was in a rich vein of form going into this game. He had bagged five in five games and with time running out was looking for his second hat-trick in the space of three home games.
Five minutes into stoppage time, Russell Martin’s shot was blocked by Bueno, the ball hit Jackson and went in.
Cue utter pandemonium. And one foot in the Premier League.