Blues end Neil’s lofty thoughts

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Blair Fer­gu­son

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.

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Images

HEAD-HUNTER: Nor­wich’s Cameron Jerome, partly ob­scured, heads in their sec­ond goal de­spite some close at­ten­tion

Reilly EC­STATIC: Blues’ Callum

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