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Canaries overdue some home cup comforts

PUBLISHED: 14:20 13 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:14 06 July 2010

Norwich City supporters will be hoping for some overdue luck of the draw at the weekend as their side continue to chase cup glory on two fronts.

The Canaries moved to within two rounds of a dream date at Wembley on Tuesday night when they beat Swindon Town on penalties to reach the southern area semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Norwich City supporters will be hoping for some overdue luck of the draw at the weekend as their side continue to chase cup glory on two fronts.

The Canaries moved to within two rounds of a dream date at Wembley on Tuesday night when they beat Swindon Town on penalties to reach the southern area semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

They are also just one step away from what was, for nearly 50 years, their right - a place in the third round of the FA Cup - after hammering village side Paulton Rovers 7-0 in front of a live television audience at the weekend.

While promotion to the Coca-Cola Championship is obviously the priority for manager Paul Lambert and his in-form side, the fact remains that these are also exciting times for the Canaries on the knock-out front. It just makes you wonder what they could achieve if they started getting home ties on a regular basis.

City have already been involved in seven cup draws this season and, in keeping with the club's wretched luck in recent campaigns, only two of them have thrown up a game at Carrow Road - Sunderland in the second round of the Carling Cup and Brentford in the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

All the other games, against Gillingham, Swindon, Yeovil, Paulton and now either Morecambe or Carlisle have been away from home - and it speaks volumes for Lambert and his men that they have maintained progress on two of three fronts, without so much as conceding a goal. The standard of opposition may have been varied to say the least, but it's still some achievement.

Should City win their second round FA Cup tie in the north west, everyone connected with the club will be hoping luck evens itself out with a glamour home draw in round three - while they will also be hoping for a change of fortune tomorrow morning when the pairings for the regional semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy are decided. It certainly would be tough on the team - and their loyal supporters come to that - if Norwich were handed yet another trip, to either Hereford, MK Dons or Southampton, next month.

If Lambert's men finally receive some home comfort they will then have the luxury of knowing a win will guarantee another Carrow Road date, with the southern final played on a home and away basis.

This season's low percentage of home cup games is nothing new for City. Since playing three out of four knock-out games at Carrow Road during the 2002-3 season they have been involved in 28 cup draws, and have received a home tie in just seven of them, a miserable figure of 25pc.

The Canaries have had the occasional replay, but generally speaking fans have had to dig deep to watch their side battle against the odds on away territory. The law of averages suggests a change of fortune is inevitable - but only time will tell.


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