A DRAMATIC equaliser from Darel Russell in the 94th minute of a heated match at the Priestfield Stadium saw ten-man City grab their second gutsy point in the space of seven days.
The Canaries were controversially reduced to ten men and found themselves a goal behind in the 33rd minute as Fraser Forster was adjudged to have brought down Curtis Weston after he pushed the ball wide of the Norwich ‘keeper.
Referee Paul Taylor decided not only had contact been made – something Forster later denied – but that the offence merited a red card for the on-loan Newcastle stopper.
When Simeon Jackson slammed the penalty past sub ‘keeper Declan Rudd it left City facing an uphill task against a feisty Gills side promoted from League Two last season via the play-offs.
But Norwich have displayed a steely resolve of their own in recent games. After youngster Declan Rudd made some fine saves to keep them in the game, Russell sent the Yellow Army into raptures by heading home the rebound after Grant Holt’s header bounced off the top of the crossbar deep in injury time.
After the match City boss Paul Lambert said he was delighted once again by the strength of character his players showed to fight right to the very end and claim a well-deserved point.
He told First News: “I thought they were brilliant and carried on where they left off last week. They battled really well, especially as we were down to ten men for most of it, and I felt they definitely deserved something out of the game.
“They never wilted and kept on going and going and going, which is really pleasing.”
Lambert said he didn’t have a clear view of the incident which saw Forster sent off and the Gills take the lead from the spot – but he did feel City might have had a penalty of their own after Grant Holt was challenged by home ‘keeper Simon Royce in virtually the last action of the game.
He commented; “I didn’t see the first one so I can’t really comment until I have had a look at it. Fraser says he didn’t touch him, but I will have to see it for myself. After the game I asked the ref but I was more concerned with why if he’d given that one he didn’t give the one against Grant right at the end there.
“Some you get and some you don’t, but it does seem that decisions on penalties are going against us at the minute.”
Picture courtesy of Fred Robinson
Source: Norwich City
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