Norwich City
Carrow Road

Ground No. 146
Visited - Saturday 29th December 2007
Result - Norwich City 1-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Competition - Coca-Cola Championship
Attendance - 24,324

For the past few seasons, Carrow Road had been a ground that seemed to elude me, with various fixture clashes/changes/night games, so I was glad to finally be able to add it to the list, with it being the last real ‘big ground’ that I had left to visit in England.

Wolves’ form in the weeks leading up to the game had been poor, but Norwich had been woeful earlier in the season at Molineux, so I set out on the long journey to East Anglia in a good mood, really looking forward to the match. I’d left early (6:40am train), so even though there was over four hours travelling, I still arrived early, just before midday, going straight down to the ground, which is conveniently located, just on the edge of the city centre and about a 5 minute walk from the train station.

From the outside it is quite impressive, standing on a relatively small site, then it looks fairly imposing with the two new stands (The Barclay End and South Stand) both looking particularly smart. The Norwich and Peterborough Stand is a little older dating back to 1979, although it’s flanked by a new corner filling in the space between the South Stand. Finally is the Geoffrey Watling City Stand which was built in the mid-80s, and is about half the size of the other three stands.

Having taken some pics, I wasn’t able to get inside, so set off back for the city centre to have a look round and grab a drink, ending up in a pub called the Complete Angler (not the best pub in the world to be fair), before coming back to go in the ground, or at least attempting to that is! The turnstile operator for some reason wasn’t letting anyone through, telling people to use other turnstiles, only to be turned away from them because it wasn’t the right one on the ticket! Queues were building up and he had ended up arguing with the police (although never seemed to give a reason why he wasn’t letting people in (according to one policeman he was like this every week!)). Eventually we all ended up having to go in via a different entrance, before going up to the seats.

We were in one side of the South Stand, which is a large single tiered stand offering good views and facilities. Both ends were similar looking two-tiered stands with a row of executive boxes running across the middle, whilst opposite was the Geoffrey Watling City Stand, which was also single tiered, and as mentioned, only half the size of the other three, running for the length of the pitch and wrapping around the corners to the lower tiers of the two ends. Finally, the south-west corner of the ground was filled in with a two tier structure, whilst the south-east corner was empty, but for a hotel that the club had sold land off to build.

After taking some pics and chatting to two stewards, I eventually went to my seat at the top of the stand, and the game got underway. The first 20 minutes were fairly scrappy, but we eventually got into it and finished the stronger side. In the second half we got our reward for the pressure, when Andy Keogh looped a header back over David Marshall in the home goal, and we could have gone 2-0 up shortly afterwards, but in the 56th minute, veteran striker Dion Dublin came on and changed the game, injecting a new belief into a previously dejected Norwich side. It was Dublin who had the assist in the equaliser, nodding a ball down to Jamie Cureton who fired a shot home from just inside the area, with Wayne Hennessey’s touch not being strong enough to deflect the ball past the post. They had chances to go on to win it after that, although it could equally have been us leaving with 3 points thanks to the enigmatic Jay Bothroyd, but it wasn’t to be, and the game finished 1-1.
Afterwards, I went back to the town for a bit, before the train eventually came, and despite having to stand up for some of the way, I got back home for 11pm, glad to have made the long journey.

Overall, the ground is a great place to visit, with four totally separate stands that all fit together well, creating a unique, yet modern venue. With it being a nice city as well, then you can certainly understand why people enjoy going there, and I’ll be glad to go back one of the days.

Welcome to Carrow Road

Rear of the Geoffrey Watling City Stand

The Club Shop

Rear of the Norwich & Peterborough Stand

Ticket Office and rear of the South-West Stand

Rear of the South Stand

Rear of the Barclay End

The South Stand

The Norwich & Peterborough Stand

The Geoffrey Watling City Stand

The Barclay End

The Barclay End

The Geoffrey Watling City Stand

The Norwich & Peterborough Stand

Carrow Road Panoramic 1

Carrow Road Panoramic 2