Roberts doesn't play for them any longer

Last updated : 27 December 2005 By Tony Scholes
Alan Moore - on top form before his injury at Norwich
It’s been worse than just losing, we’ve also had the knack of returning with players nursing serious injuries, and that came with a double dose in the autumn of 2001 as top took on third.

We’d started the season like a house on fire, winning seven of our first eight games and looking down on the rest of the league. Glen Little and Alan Moore were in sparkling form on the two flanks and we had high hopes at Carrow Road.

It didn’t start too well when Gary Holt latched onto a poor clearance from Dean West in only the 3rd minute and crashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner to give the home side the lead. Nik Michopoulos had no chance.
We were soon into the game and Alan Moore was again on top form and prompting most of Burnley’s attacks. He set up Glen Little midway through the half only for Glen to be brought down but referee Alcock waved play on.

There was a blow for us right on half time when Moore, who had been the game’s outstanding player, was chopped down with an injury that was to keep him out of the side for some three months. He’d signed a long term contract with us only that week and many would suggest he was never the same player again after this injury.

Early in the second half there were two more goals. Firstly Norwich doubled their lead when Iwan Roberts got the better of Steve Davis to score but within three minutes we pulled one back through Gordon Armstrong who volleyed home from a corner.

We piled on the pressure but there was to be no equaliser, just another injury, this time to Glen Little who was caught on the edge of the box. It ended in defeat and we were facing the next few games without either of our two top players.

By the time we got there for the 2002/03 season we had decided to call it a day, with poor result following poor result as it all petered out after the cup defeat at Watford. We lost this one 2-0 and there’s very little that can be said from the game other than we collected another serious injury, this time to Lee Briscoe who was carried off in what was his last appearance for Burnley.

Richard Chaplow - first team debut at Norwich
Gordon Armstrong, the scorer in the previous season, replaced him but he too was replaced just after half time when a youngster with a mop of hair came on for his debut, none other than Richard Chaplow. He did well enough in what was a generally poor performance.

On our last visit two seasons ago we had finally hit some sort of form and went there on the back of three successive victories. Three loan players, Gareth Farrelly, Delroy Facey and Andy Todd had played the week before at Stoke and hopes were high.

It didn’t quite work out that way and it was one of the Norwich loan players who opened the scoring. Todd made a mistake on the edge of the box and allowed the ball to run through to Peter Crouch who turned it in to give the home side the lead.

We didn’t play too badly but never really looked as though we would pull it back and in the last minute Iwan Roberts scored to repeat the 2-0 scoreline of the previous season.

That covers three of our four games there since we were promoted in 2000, the other was the best of the lot when we won there for only the second time, and the first since 1934. As was the case those 66 years earlier the score was 3-2 and we twice had to come from behind to win it.

Kevin Notman gave the home side the lead but then there was something of a rarity that saw the Clarets draw level, a goal from Kevin Ball. I’m sure Bally would love me to say he hit a 35 yard rocket into the top corner but in reality it was a mis-hit shot from outside the box that goalkeeper Robert Green somehow managed to fumble into the net.

It was end to end stuff but penalty decisions at either end swung the game Norwich’s way. There was no argument when Matt Messias pointed to the spot after Paul Smith fouled Notman. Roberts, yes Roberts again, converted the penalty but within two minutes Ian Moore was brought down by Green at the other end for an even more blatant penalty. Play on said Messias.

We felt hard done to but came out for the second half with great resolve and took the game to them with Glen in outstanding form down the right hand side. Gareth Taylor brought us level and Moore, who was booed throughout by the Norwich fans for turning down the chance of signing for them, grabbed the winner on the hour.

We played really well that day and a performance anything like that would be more than good enough as we go looking for win number three at Carrow Road – that is if we can get through the snow.