For City's loyal travelling army, Crystal Palace (a) is a fixture that really tests the patience. 'Nah, not for me,' was the reply when asking several of my friends whether they were making the trip to South London this year.
Come to think of it, that seems to be the reply every year so I shouldn't have been surprised. Stuck in a, shall we say, less salubrious part of the Capital, a visit to SE25 makes you realise how lucky we are to have Carrow Road, and Norwich for that matter.
With much of the away area in the Arthur Wait stand consisting of wooden seats and a view obstructed by pillars, it is like going back in time.
For all of Simon Jordan's millions, it is a surprise they haven't updated this tired looking stadium ? only the large Holmesdale stand behind one goal looks anywhere near up to scratch.
For supporter Clayton Green, from Old Catton, it was something of a culture shock to see Selhurst Park in almost exactly the same condition as his last trip to Selhurst over ten years ago.
“It was exactly the same as when I came here last time, except the stand was all terracing,” he said.
“The facilities are poor to say the least. If you're in the wrong place, behind a pillar, you won't be able to see a thing. It is not the best place to come and visit, especially as Norwich never do well here.
“I understand that ticket prices have been on the expensive side here before as well. One year they were as much as ?35. This year it was ?25, and that is still on the pricey side for the Championship.”
Another member of the Canary faithful, Matt Gooderham from Reading, agreed. As would most other fans who have sampled the 'delights' of SE25?
“The ground isn't the most inviting of places to go. The wooden seats are a culture shock and in this day and age, to have your view obstructed by pillars is a bit of a surprise.”
We haven't even started talking about City's recent record there yet. With the last win over the Eagles away from home coming in 1996, the Canary faithful travelled more in hope than in expectation.
It says something for their loyalty that as many as 1,295 made the journey for a fixture that, as a City fan, just has 'defeat!' written all over it.
Since that 1-0 victory eleven years ago ? where 2,500 travelled down from East Anglia to celebrate the departure of ex-Chairman Robert Chase ? Norwich have picked up a measly two points for their efforts.
One came in the Premiership campaign, when Andy Johnson's controversial late penalty earned the Eagles a point; the other in February 2001 when, ironically, a Darel Russell goal cancelled out a Palace opener in a 1-1 draw.
But yesterday, the Canaries really should have taken all three points back up the A11. In an away performance more confident and polished than most I have witnessed, there was a real opportunity to capitalise on a Palace side that looked jaded after two away games over the Christmas period.
With Mark Fotheringham back and bossing the midfield, City looked a much more solid unit and, as has already been discussed, Lee Croft was a revelation on his return to the side.
If the Canaries' finishing had been a bit more clinical then City supporters would have been celebrating that little bit more after the final whistle. Even if their New Year hangover told them otherwise.
They gave their heroes a rousing reception for giving them an unexpected bonus from their trip to the Capital. But from my seat ? wooden seat, that is – in the away end yesterday, there was a feeling that we could have been enjoying something as rare as a Nintendo Wii on the shop floor this Christmas – a Norwich victory in SE25.
“We were fantastic today and really should have won the game. The effort and determination was there for all to see and there were some excellent performances all over the pitch,” said City fan Green, some 90 minutes after our pre-match discussion on the state of the Arthur Wait stand.
“It certainly makes the trip home that bit more enjoyable. My last away game was at Manchester City in the Carling Cup and Norwich played well there too, hopefully I'm a lucky omen!”
Gooderham – who despite being exiled in Berkshire, manages to get to 5-10 games a season – had certainly forgotten about the surroundings at full-time and, like the rest of the travelling faithful, was suitably surprised and impressed with the Norfolk club's showing.
“City played with real confidence today. They showed a passion and belief that they can beat anyone in this league. At times, we out passed Palace and made them look very ordinary on their own ground.
“Now we need to keep our run going to get firmly away from the relegation zone, but the performance was encouraging.”
So maybe it's the nature of the recent defeats – including a 3-1, 4-1 and 5-1 ? more than the environment that has given Canary supporters a complex about the trip to South London. The mood was certainly positive as everyone made their way back to their cars and coaches.
You never know, City might win there next year. I said might.
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