Norwich City's Championship fate will hinge as much on events off the field as on it this season after the Canaries managed to slump to a 1-0 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday this afternoon.
With Plymouth winning at Blackpool, the bottom six merely squeezed themselves ever closer together as City remained out of the bottom three. Just. By a point.
And left all eyes on Tuesday's Football League hearing where Southampton's fate will be decided.
With the Saints having lost at home to Charlton today, should they be deducted the expected ten points they will take the second relegation spot – and leave everyone else to slug it out for the third and final slot.
As ever today's bitter home defeat came with the usual range of hard luck stories – Jermaine Johnson's 47th minute winner took a deflection off Jon Otsemobor en route to beating David Marshall at his near post.
More controversially, six minutes from the end of normal time and David Mooney had the ball over the line – only for a fire linesman to cut short everyone's celebrations as he flagged for a push on keeper Lee Grant. It left referee Mike Russell right in the firing line afterwards.
It was telling to note that there was no hint of a protest from the Owls' players as Norwich's celebrations were cut cruelly short.
“It wouldn't have been a goal anyway,” revealed the City boss, as yet another Canary game ended with the referee and his assistant taking centre stage.
“The linesman was flagging and he could see that the ball hadn't crossed the line anyway – and that it was a handball,” added the City chief, as an Owls defender clawed the ball out of the back of the net.
“So it would have been a penalty – but the referee has blown for a foul on the keeper.” Clear as mud?
“We've seen it again on the replay and we feel that we've been hard done by. But it wouldn't have been a goal anyway – because the linesman from where he was said it hadn't crossed the line and it was a handball anyway.”
Pen and a player off in the assistant's view; foul against the keeper in the referee's.
“The referee said it was a foul; the linesman would have said it was a penalty… But you look at their keeper and he didn't think he was fouled; the defender tried to keep it out with his hands – so he didn't think it was a foul on the keeper.
“But I hate coming in after the game and speaking about referees. But it appears to be happening too often – especially at Carrow Road.”
City were, he admitted, poor in the first-half. In truth they didn't deserve much more than a point for their spluttering efforts.
For while a big, bubbly crowd there might have been, but the first-half proved all a bit snatchy. There were moments of hope, moments of real alarm.
Jason Shackell would see a 34th minute header bounce up and into Lee Grant's knees; David Marshall would have to fling himself full-length to push a Marcus Tudgay effort away and beyond his right-hand upright.
Otherwise, the play was open enough; just lacked that one moment of quality from either side to make a difference. Slap, bang in the middle of events, Sammy Clingan's World Cup adventures appeared to be taking their toll, while at the back all concerned had 'a moment'.
Messrs Otsemobor, Shackell and Marshall had their's together in the 42nd minute as Francis Jeffers lurked. It was all too hurried, too hasty – and, all too often, too poor.
Wednesday's goal three minutes after the re-start proved that point.
Johnson was all-but by the corner flag when he twisted away from Lee Croft. His shot looked to lack both the direction and the pace to trouble anyone. Instead, fortune took a sickening turn as the ball flicked off Jon Otsemobor's out-stretched boot and Johnson's lame effort bobbled on to beat Marshall inside his near post. It was about as soft as they get.
It also demanded a response.
Gunn got it in fits and starts – Alan Lee's arrival added a bite and an edge to proceedings that would eventually see Tommy Spurr dismissed for two yellows after he chopped down substitute Cody McDonald.
The City chief even got a 'leveller' as Simon Lappin's deep cross in the 84th minute found Lee doing his bit at the far post. As the ball looped back into the mixer, so both Mooney and Korey Smith went in on Grant; the ball popped up and over the line.
Cue mass celebrations and the referee appeared to be pointing away for a re-start. Goal.
No. A far assistant was flagging and the goal was suddenly ruled out – the assumption being that Smith's enthusiasm had got the better of him. But it was a big, big call given the way the game was poised.
One, you suspect, that Mr Gunn would have an opinion on.
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