Paul Lambert returned with Norwich in a hotly-anticipated encounter three years ago today
It’s three years ago to the day since Paul Lambert’s only managerial appearance against the U’s since his acrimonious departure at the beginnin of the 2009/10 season.
Having walked out on the U’s for Norwich City following the famous 7-1 opening-day victory at Carrow Road, Lambert sharply ended up in the Canaries’ hotseat himself following the dismissal of Bryan Gunn.
With much bitterness surrounding the move, 16th January 2010 was a date on every U’s fan’s calendar that season when Lambert would return to the Weston Homes Community Stadium with his new side.
The pre-match hype was extraordinary, with both sides battling away at the top of League One. The U’s had won four league games on the bounce, despite a 7-0 defeat at Preston in the FA Cup, whilst Norwich had steamrollered their way up the table with thirteen wins from sixteen, and just one defeat in four months.
It was a sell-out, five-figure crowd at the Weston Homes Community Stadium as the U’s, sat fourth in the table, welcomed Lambert, whose side were second. City were six points ahead of the U’s, but having played two games more and both sides knew victory could prove vital.
Ultimately, however, it proved to be an afternoon to forget for Aidy Boothroyd’s side, with a Chris Martin brace giving the visitors a two-goal lead going into the interval in extremely wet conditions.
Arguably the game wouldn’t have gone ahead had the profile of the match not provided such concern to the local authorities, such were the conditions the game was being played in. Indeed, the pitch was ruined for the remainder of the season after the game.
Despite Boothroyd’s best efforts, a third Norwich goal from Gary Doherty just after the break all but killed the game as a contest, and two late goals from Oli Johnson and Grant Holt wrapped up a comprehensive thumping for the U’s.
Norwich would go on to win the League One title, before a second successive promotion took Lambert and his side to the Premier League.
Other Notable Events Today:
1998 – Tony Lock nets a late winner for the U’s at home to Torquay, with the two sides eventually meeting again in the Play-Off Final.
2010 – Ian Henderson makes his debut in the Norwich defeat, only to be sent off for a late tackle.
With thanks to Col U Day By Day for supplying these dates.
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