IT’S TIME TO TAKE FLIGHT, CA­NARIES

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Sean Davies

ALEX NEIL has chal­lenged Nor­wich City to kick on and put to­gether a run of re­sults af­ter they bounced back from five Cham­pi­onship de­feats in a row with a dom­i­nant per­for­mance against Brent­ford.

John Egan’s own goal opened the scor­ing for the the home side be­fore Gra­ham Dor­rans added a sec­ond, tap­ping home the re­bound af­ter Daniel Bent­ley saved his penalty.

Rob­bie Brady hit the third be­fore Nel­son Oliveira and Alex Pritchard com­pleted the scor­ing late on.

The home side dom­i­nated the game from start to fin­ish as Brent­ford un­der­whelmed, fall­ing to their fourth league de­feat on the bounce.

Neil said: “That was a re­ally good per­for­mance, ev­ery­thing came to­gether. Novem­ber is a tough month for ev­ery­one, and hope­fully that is us see­ing the back of that and we can push on.

“We have scored five goals, cre­ated more chances than we prob­a­bly did in the last four games put to­gether.

“The play­ers knew the im­por­tance of the game, for the fans, for every­body con­nected to the club, for my­self.

“We re­ally at­tacked the game, went 2-0 up and the im­por­tant thing is we pushed on and ham­mered home our au­thor­ity.”

Nor­wich started the game as they meant to go on when Oliveira should have opened the scor­ing in the third minute but put his header over.

An ex­cel­lent whipped cross from Brady saw Nor­wich go ahead, as the de­liv­ery evaded Oliveira at the near post only for Egan to bun­dle the ball into his own net af­ter six min­utes.

Dor­rans dou­bled the home side’s lead in the 16th minute, tuck­ing home the re­bound af­ter Bent­ley saved a weak penalty from the Nor­wich mid­fielder.

Ja­cob Mur­phy did well to earn the spot-kick, burst­ing into the box and forc­ing a chal­lenge from Brent­ford cap­tain Har­lee Dean.

Scott Ho­gan pro­vided Brent­ford’s only bright spark, but twice failed to hit the tar­get when headed chances pre­sented them­selves.

Nor­wich con­tin­ued to dom­i­nate at the start of the sec­ond half, rounded off by Brady tuck­ing home from a clever Pritchard through ball.

Ho­gan wasn’t far away from the spectacular as he took on a first-time vol­ley from just out­side the box, but the well-struck ef­fort failed to hit the tar­get.

Oliveira added a fourth in the 79th minute, re­ceiv­ing the ball with his back to goal on the penalty spot, he turned and fired home.

Pritchard rounded off a qual­ity per­for­mance – play­ing the ball wide to Ja­cob Mur­phy, latch­ing onto the re­turn and slid­ing home from 12 yards out.

Bees boss Dean Smith was par­tic­u­larly left dis­ap­pointed by the way his side was caught cold in the early stages of the game.

Smith said: “We have per­formed quite well through­out the sea­son and it was the po­lar op­po­site of our per­for­mance last week against Birm­ing­ham City.

“We got beat last week but our per­for­mance lev­els were out­stand­ing and we should have got the win, that’s why this per­for­mance came as such a shock.

“We knew that Nor­wich have got play­ers that we wanted to frus­trate but our de­fend­ing for the first 15 min­utes threw the game plan out the win­dow.

“If you’re los­ing af­ter 15 min­utes and have to try and chase the game, you can get picked off by the bet­ter play­ers any­where in this league.”

PICTURES: Nigel Cole/ProS­ports

IR­ISH EYES ARE SMIL­ING: Rob­bie Brady wheels away af­ter scor­ing Nor­wich’s third

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