CA­NARIES FLY­ING HIGH AT THE TOP

Ten-man Brewers downed by hosts

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Blair Fer­gu­son

NOR­WICH City’s fourth league win in a row saw them take top spot in the Cham­pi­onship, but boss Alex Neil be­lieves there is still plenty more to come from his team.

Goals from Martin Ols­son, Ja­cob Mur­phy and Ivo Pinto did the dam­age as the home side eased to the win, with Rob­bie Brady also see­ing a penalty saved.

Lu­cas Akins had lev­elled early in the sec­ond half, but it lasted for less than a minute, while the send­ing off of Tom Flanagan all but ended Bur­ton’s chances.

“I think sat­is­fied is prob­a­bly the word, be­cause in any game you’ve got no right to win it,” said Neil.

“So be­cause we’ve won the game we’re sat­is­fied, and there were good per­for­mances within the team, but do I think we played well as a team? Prob­a­bly not as good as we should have done.

“Is there more to come? I think there is, and that bodes well for us, be­cause we are do­ing enough at the mo­ment to win the games we’ve played.

“I think we de­served to win the game, I think we cre­ated a lot of op­por­tu­ni­ties within the game but they made us work hard for the re­sult. They played well at cer­tain spells, but I thought we were the bet­ter side.”

Bur­ton would have come to Car­row Road ex­pect­ing a tough game, but the width of their for­ma­tion saw chances come their way, with Lloyd Dyer’s early ef­fort that went just over the bar their best in the first half.

The Brewers’ res­o­lute halfhour de­fen­sive dis­play fi­nally fal­tered when Ols­son was left free in the box. The left-back drifted in un­chal­lenged and, af­ter col­lect­ing the ball from Gra­ham Dor­rans, took his time be­fore ri­fling the ball high into the net.

Some slack Nor­wich de­fend­ing re­sulted in an easy tap in for Akins sec­onds af­ter the break.

How­ever, the scores were level for less than a minute thanks to Mur­phy’s shot de­flect­ing off of John Mous­inho, tak­ing it past Jon McLaugh­lin and into the left cor­ner.

Bur­ton were in the as­cen­dancy when Flanagan was sent off for a sec­ond yel­low card when he was ad­judged to have han­dled a long-range shot in the box. Brady stepped up to take the re­sult­ing penalty, but saw his ef­fort well saved by McLaugh­lin.

And the Ca­naries ended any chance of a Bur­ton re­vival when Pinto burst into the box be­fore lift­ing the ball high into the net.

Bur­ton man­ager Nigel Clough was left frus­trated at the ref­er­ee­ing dis­play and the de­fen­sive lapse in con­cen­tra­tion in a game he thought was there for the tak­ing.

“The send­ing off, whether it’s hand­ball or not cer­tainly wasn’t de­lib­er­ate and I don’t know how the ref­eree asses that,” Clough said. “Jerome han­dles one in the six-yard box in the first half and he wasn’t booked.

“So if he’s say­ing our lad han­dled the ball then it’s a hell of a save, we’ll have to think of him as a goal­keeper in the fu­ture.

“We thought we had enough goal scor­ing sit­u­a­tions through­out the game again, es­pe­cially early on. The first two goals we con­ceded were un­be­liev­ably poor, and that’s what has cost us. To get an equaliser a minute af­ter half-time and then go and con­cede within a minute is very poor in any cir­cum­stances.”

PIC­TURES: Nigel Cole/ProS­ports

MUR­PHY’S SCORE: Nor­wich cel­e­brate af­ter Ja­cob Mur­phy makes it 2-1

STAR MAN JA­COB MUR­PHY Nor­wich

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