Blues end Neil’s lofty thoughts
NORWICH boss Neil Adams was left ruing a missed opportunity to go top of the Championship, after being held by struggling Birmingham.
The Blues raced into a 2-0 halftime lead, thanks to a fortuitous strike from Callum Reilly, and Demarai Gray’s well-executed effort.
But, straight after the break, Cameron Jerome popped up to punish his old club with his fourth and fifth goals of the season.
The result leaves Norwich second in the table after Nottingham Forest were held at Millwall, while Birmingham – now without a win in seven games – stay 20th.
Despite his disappoinment at the result, Adams admitted he would have taken a point at the interval.
He said: “I look at it both ways. Certainly, at half-time it was a point gained but overall it was two dropped.
“We showed great charac- ter, virtually played in their half in the second half and couldn’t quite get the one that would have won it for us.
“Cameron’s on fire at the minute, with two fantastic goals again today.
“The first looked a tap-in but it’s not.
“He’s got to put it right in the corner of the side netting otherwise he doesn’t score.
“With the second one, he’s put the perfect weight on the header to put it over the keeper and in. He’s in a rich vein of form.” Meanwhile, Birmingham boss Lee Clark was left with mixed emotions, having let the twogoal lead slide.
“I’m delighted, frustrated and disappointed,” he said. “I’m delighted with the overall performance, to come here and get any kind of result.
“But I’m frustrated that we haven’t taken all three points after being two up and I’m gutted for the players.
“My lads regrouped and showed leadership after the two goals and they quickly got back into the game and nullified Norwich’s threat. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and we move on to the next game, but at least it was a good performance and a point on the board.”
Norwich started on the front foot, but it wasBirmingham who went in front with their first shot of the game.
Paul Caddis’ lay-off was lashed in by Reilly from outside the box, courtesy of a hefty deflection which wrong-footed John Ruddy in the Norwich goal.
The Blues found the net again four minutes before the break to double their lead, with Norwich paying the price for failing to clear a free kick.
The ball fell to David Edgar, whose roll back to Gray was expertly finished high into the top-right corner, to make it 2-0 at the break. But it took less than five second-half minutes for Norwich to get on the score-sheet.
Russell Martin picked out Jerome from the right, and the striker swept the ball across goal and in off the left post.
Three minutes later, Jerome was tormenting his old club again.
Nathan Redmond played a precise lofted ball into the box.
It was met by the head of Jerome, who sent it looping over Darren Randolph into the bottom left-corner.
Norwich continued in search of a winner and came close late on through both Jos Hooiveld and Redmond, but they could not find a way to seal the win.
HEAD-HUNTER: Norwich’s Cameron Jerome, partly obscured, heads in their second goal despite some close attention
Reilly ECSTATIC: Blues’ Callum