Iwan Roberts: Darren Kenton saved my blushes after my Norwich City clanger at Bramall Lane
PUBLISHED: 19:00 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 08:31 15 September 2017
City head to Bramall Lane, the scene of the one and only own goal of my career, tomorrow.
It was back in 2001 in a Norwich shirt and it was one that would have been right up there with the best headed goals I’d ever scored – had it been in the right goal.
Luckily for me, Darren Kenton saved my blushes by scoring the equaliser four minutes from time to win us a point.
It was a textbook header from a corner kick, but I still maintain today that I was shoved by their big Australian centre-half Shaun Murphy, which was enough for me to misdirect my header into the top corner of Rob Green’s goal.
I’d been having a right ding-dong battle with Murphy, something that happened whenever we played against each other, and he gave me plenty of stick as the ball hit the back of the net.
I don’t know why, but I just didn’t like him. We’d first come across each other when he was at West Brom and I was playing 17 miles up the road for Wolves. He talked a lot, he liked the sound of his own voice – and he had the whitest teeth ever, something I was very envious of!
He gave me quite a bit of stick that night after my own goal howler, but I quickly shut him up when I reminded him of the three goals I’d scored against West Brom for Wolves at the Hawthorns back in 1996 when he was supposed to be picking me up. And I wasn’t finished there – I also reminded him of the header I scored at Molineux in the return fixture later that season when we beat them 2-0 and recorded the double over our fiercest rivals.
So, two clean sheets on the bounce now for City, so let’s hope the lads can make it three tomorrow in what promises to be a very stern test in Sheffield.
The Blades are flying, having won their last four league games, meaning they sit proudly in third position, having just returned to the Championship, so everyone is going to have to perform to their maximum on Saturday afternoon if the team are to come away with a positive result.
I saw last week that Robbie Savage got under many City fans’ skins with a comment about Wes Hoolahan after having a bit of a falling out with Eamon Dunphy, who works as a pundit for Irish channel RTE.
To cut a long story short after Lily – sorry, I mean Robbie – had thrown his usual insults of “I had to Google to see who you were” at Dunphy (who himself can be quite rude at times), Sav then came out and had a bit of an unnecessary dig at Wes which was completely out of line and which obviously wound up many Canary fans.
I’ve know Robbie for years and I’d call him a good friend. We’ve shared a room on more than one occasion when we’ve been on international duty. Robbie knows he’s Marmite and has made a good living in the media since he retired from playing, but sometimes he’ll say something controversial just to get a reaction from people – and this is exactly why he said what he did about Wes.
Wes doesn’t need me to defend him, his career speaks for himself. Maybe Sav should have Googled that before opening his mouth.
Wes is now at an age where he knows he has to be managed properly and he knows he’s not going to start every game, but what a fantastic player he’s been for both Norwich and the Republic of Ireland. Only last summer he put in some outstanding performances in the European Championships for Martin O’Neill’s men.
I don’t think Wales manager Chris Colman would have been best pleased about Robbie’s comments – as you probably know, Wales play the Republic in our last group game next month in Cardiff. The winners will probably earn a play-off position and after Robbie’s less-than-complimentary comments, Wes will have a bit more fire in his belly and incentive to ram those words right back down Savage’s throat.