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Norwich 0 Southend 0.

The game was sponsored by a soft drinks firm. But after 90 forgettable minutes we were all depserately in need of a good stiff drink.

Frustrated punters leaving the ground described the game as mediocre. In truth it was not that good.

Following the midweek draw with QPR, Norwich have now let four home points slip away in four days and their disciplinary record is already catching up with them.

They were without the suspended Robert Fleck and Carl Bradshaw and Andy Johnson and Keith O'Neill were missing through injury.

That left Ade Akinbiyi up front on his own. He was totally out of his depth and no threat at all to the Southend defence.

The only Norwich player who remotely looked like making anything happen was England Under-21 ace Darren Eadie.

He set up a first minute chance that Akinbiyi headed wide, brought a fine save from Simon Royce and had another effort cleared off the line by Mark McNally.

Norwich passed the ball sweetly enough. But they invariably did it deep in their own half and Southend were more than happy with that.

Southend were equally ineffective in front of goal and Norwich keeper Bryan Gunn was seldom troubled.

One well struck volley from Mike Marsh caused him bother. He failed to hold it and John Polston cleared the danger.

Manager Mike Walker admitted Norwich need all their players back before they can get back on the winning trail.

"We set ourselves up perfectly with a tremendous victory at Bradford, then threw away all the good work with two home draws," said a disappointed Walker.

"I honestly expected all six points from these two games, and I'm disappointed that we failed to get them. I can't have my players trying to walk the ball into the net and we've got to be more positive in front of goal.

"I thought we might nick it with heavy pressure in the last ten minutes. But we'd not have deserved it, because we did not create enough."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Steggles, Jack
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 15, 1996
Words:336
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