City throw The Bees out of Trophy
Norwich comfortably eased past Brentford in the first round of the
Johnstone’s Paint Trophy courtesy of Chris Martin’s first half goal,
although the 1-0 score line didn’t reflect the home side’s superiority.
Afterwards, the City boss Paul Lambert described it as “a solid
workman-like performance” and paid special tribute to the home fans who
“turned out in their numbers on a wet night”.
He once again made wholesale changes to his starting line-up, giving
surprise first starts of the season to striker Goran Maric and
midfielder Darel Russell, who had looked as though he was on his way
out of Carrow Road in the summer.
He recalled Tom Adeyemi, Simon Whaley, Martin, Ben Alnwick, Michael
Spillane, with only defenders Michael Nelson & Jens Berthel Askou and
midfielders Simon Lappin & Stephen Hughes retaining their places from
the side that won at Hartlepool.
Andy Scott however, only made four changes for the visitors from the
side that drew 1-1 at home to Oldham.
The Bees kicked off but immediately a long pass went straight through
to the fit-again Alnwick, defending his River End goal.
In the third minute, as the rain began to fall, Brentford won the game’
s first corner, but the Canaries easily cleared their lines.
Within two minutes the home side won a corner as a Stephen Hughes shot
deflected off a defender. Hughes took it short and after a succession
of quick passes Berthel Askou spooned his shot over the bar.
City came back and Martin capitalised on Kevin O’Connor’s short back
pass, but then he neither shot nor passed to a yellow shirt and a clear
opportunity went begging.
In the 12th minute City came even closer to open the scoring as Whaley’
s shot from just inside the visitors’ half, sailed over Brentford
keeper Lewis Price, but defender Karleigh Osborne raced back to spare
his keeper’s blushes.
Within the space of two minutes Russell and Hughes both had shots from
distance, which drifted wide. Then Maric had a shot on target, which
Price comfortably held.
Brentford then had their first sight of Alnwick’s goal as Cleveland
Taylor held the ball up well on the edge of the area, before unleashing
a shot that skimmed the side netting.
In the 25th minute, Hughes swung in a free kick from wide on the right
with Michael Nelson getting his header on target to the far corner, but
Price was equal to it diving low to his right.
As the Bees began to force their way into the game, on the half-hour
mark City took the lead their early dominance deserved. Martin made no
mistake this time, as his shot from outside Brentford’s area, went in
off the far post.
It was his first goal in a yellow shirt since March 2007 when he
scored City’s only goal in a 2-1 home defeat to Derby County.
In the 39th minute Steve Kabba, with only Alnwick to beat, put his
shot from 6 yards well over after Taylor had picked him out with a pin-
Lappin, handed the captain’s armband tonight, led by example when he
bravely blocked a shot following Saunders free kick from the right.
HALF-TIME: City 1 Brentford 0
Both sides began the second half unchanged.
From Brentford’s 56th minute corner, Alnwick pulled off a superb
reactionary save to deny Leon Legge from scoring with a bullet header.
Martin came very close to doubling City’s lead heading Spillane’s
drifting right wing cross just outside the far post with Price beaten.
In the next minute his tiring strike partner Maric was replaced by Cody
The home side then had to defend two corners in quick succession,
before they went back on the attack.
Midfielder Hughes was back defending in the 68th minute to deny the
Bees a certain corner and from the throw in Norwich cleared the danger.
Russell, having a good game, was crudely blocked on the halfway line,
although from the resulting free kick the referee penalised City for a
foul in the area.
Lambert made his second change of the evening, bringing on Luke Daley
Lappin was harshly penalised for a foul, but from the resulting free
kick Marcus Bean was booked for a handball. Alnwick had in any case
saved the illegal goal attempt.
McDonald’s persistence then earned the Canaries a 79th minute corner,
which was initially cleared but they immediately came back through
Daley down the right. His run was abruptly ended, although Lappin’s
left foot free kick was too close to the keeper.
Martin’s persistence down the left then won City’s sixth corner.
Initially it was played short before being delivered to the far post
where Berthel Askou came so very close to scoring as his attempted chip
over the keeper had Price stretching to claim the ball.
In the last minute of normal time Alnwick was alert enough to prevent
the ball going out for a Brentford corner.
FULL TIME: City 1 Brentford 0
Alnwick (GK), Nelson, Hughes, Whaley (Daley 75), Spillane, Martin,
Adeyemi, Lappin ©, Russell, Maric (McDonald 59), Berthel Askou.
Unused Subs: Rudd (GK), Ostemobor, Stephens.
Price (GK), O’Connor, Bean, Saunders (Wood 89), Kabba, Weston, Taylor,
Hunt, Foster, Osborne, Legge.
Unused Subs: Bull (GK), Ferrell, Franks, McCluskey
Bean (Handball) 77