New coach gets off to a flying start

Peterborough Reserves 0, Norwich City Reserves 4: Paul Stephenson enjoyed a winning start as coach of Norwich City's reserves when he oversaw an comprehensive away victory over Peterborough.

Peterborough Reserves 0, Norwich City Reserves 4

Paul Stephenson enjoyed a winning start as coach of Norwich City's reserves when he oversaw an comprehensive away victory over Peterborough.

Following the completion of his drawn-out move from Hartlepool, Stephenson has been been handed the task of looking after the players not in the first team, as well as working with those who are.

And goals from Matthew Halliday, Simon Lappin, Michael Spillane and Chris Martin left him well satisfied after his first game.


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“It's nice to win and good to score goals and keep a clean sheet, but it's important that we get the right performances off people,” he said.

“The boys who were involved showed that they are playing and working to put pressure on the first team.”

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For his first match in charge Stephenson had 11 professionals at his disposal, as well as trialist goalkeeper Ashley Timms.

It took all of 18 minutes before either goalkeeper was really troubled, with Chris Martin's low shot just the wrong side of the post. Then, on 32 minutes, Matthew Halliday put City ahead following a free-kick from Simon Lappin, after both Martin and Chris Brown had caused confusion at the near post.

A few minutes later Brown headed narrowly over from a Julien Brellier corner.

Peterborough had rarely threatened but they closed the half with a goalbound shot that was blocked on the line. It did not take City long to double their lead in the second half when, on 48 minutes, Lappin headed home after Brown's shot had been blocked on the line.

Lappin continued to cause havoc down the left, creating a number of chances, including one for David Strihavka who had a good shot saved at the foot of the post.

With 70 minutes on the clock Stephenson made his first substitution when Ross Kelly came on for Strihavka.

Kelly had an immediate impact on the game as his blocked shot from a Lappin corner fell kindly to Michael Spillane, who gave the keeper no chance.

City created more chances but had to wait until the third minute of injury time to complete the scoring when Martin turned in the box to score, shortly after Timms had pulled off a smart double save to deny Posh a goal they hardly deserved.

The 22-year-old keeper, who was once on Manchester City's books, is currently looking for a club, having spent much of his career so far on loan. He started the year with Barrow, who play in the Blue Square North, and recently had a spell with Blue Square South outfit Tamworth.

t Peterborough Reserves: Jalal, Synott, Blackett, Strachan, Jirabandy, Andrew, Newton, Gain, Howe (Araba 60), Ginty, Low (Kouassi 60). Substitutes not used: Reed, Crook, McKeown.

t Norwich City Reserves: Timms, Spillane (Cave-Brown 80), Eagle, Brellier (Lathrope 73), Halliday, Murray, Martin, Rossi Jarvis, Brown, Strihavaka (R Kelly 70), Lappin. Subs not used: Miller, Daly.

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