Norwich City 2, Hartlepool United 1
SLIDESHOW: Debutant Michael Rose struck a superb winning goal to give League One leaders Norwich City a record-breaking 11th successive home victory. Carrow Road’s biggest crowd of season saw Paul Lambert’s Canaries come from behind to win for the second time in five days as they completed the double over Hartlepool.
Debutant Michael Rose struck a superb winning goal to give League One leaders Norwich City a record-breaking 11th successive home victory.
Carrow Road's biggest crowd of season saw Paul Lambert's Canaries come from behind to win for the second time in five days as they completed the double over Hartlepool.
All three goals came in the space of six minutes in the first half.
Neil Austin's fine 25-yard drive gave Hartlepool a 26th-minute lead, but City were level inside a minute when Cody McDonald headed home from Russell Martin's cross.
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The winner came five minutes later when Rose, who signed on loan from Stockport on Friday, scored with a stunning left-foot shot after a Chris Martin pass.
In truth, City were not at their best and it took a fine second-half save from goalkeeper Fraser Forster from Denis Behan to guarantee three points.
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The victory beat the run of 10 successive home wins secured by Ken Brown's City team in 1985-86.
It also stretched the Canaries' run to 16 league matches without defeat, 14 of them victories.
There were two changes to City's starting line-up after the 2-1 win at Walsall on Tuesday.
With left-back Adam Drury ruled out for several weeks by a thigh injury, Rose, signed on loan for the rest of the season, made his debut.
And striker McDonald, who scored a late winner at Walsall after coming on as a substitute, was preferred in attack to Oli Johnson, who returned to the bench.
It was the first time McDonald had started a league match since manager Lambert's arrival.
With two minutes gone, Hoolahan had an excellent opening after playing a one-two with Smith but tried to beat 'keeper Flinders from an unlikely angle rather than crossing and his effort was blocked.
Rose distinguished himself for the first time with a diving header to clear Larkin's cross and, with City looking a little sluggish, Hartlepool threatened twice more.
First Sweeney might have done better with a header, then Larkin pulled a shot across the face of the goal when he too should have at least brought Forster into action.
Next a cross from Humphreys to the far post posed problems and City were lucky that the header by Larkin struck Rose on the back before the ball was hacked clear.
The visitors were having the better of things in the opening 20 minutes and Liddle fired wide following a corner that Lappin was unable to clear.
Russell Martin's one-two with Chris Martin promised better things and the full-back's cross was nodded back by McDonald, but Hartlepool were able to clear their lines.
The game burst into life with three goals in the space of six minutes.
The visitors' bright start was rewarded when they took the lead in the 26th minute.
A throw-in from the left by Hartley was headed away by Smith, but City were unable to get the ball away and full-back Austin beat Forster with a well-struck left-foot shot from 25 yards.
City replied straight from the kick-off, however, when McDonald scored for the second game in a row, his fourth goal of the season.
McDonald found Russell Martin and headed for the penalty area where he jumped well to meet the full-back's cross with a firm header, out of reach of Flinders into the top corner.
The Canaries went ahead in the 32nd minute with a stunning goal from debutant Rose.
Russell made good ground before finding Chris Martin on the left, and he slipped a pass to the overlapping Rose, who struck a powerful left-foot shot past Flinders from the left-hand edge of the area.
Humphreys tried to respond in similar fashion but Forster was right behind his long-range effort.
Ten minutes before the break, McDonald tried his luck from further out, but his effort swirled off target. Chris Martin was next to create room for a shot but pulled a left-foot drive wide.
Monkhouse earned the first yellow card of the afternoon for a challenge on Russell, who reacted angrily by pursuing the culprit and had to be calmed down.
t Half-time: Norwich City 2, Hartlepool United 1
Little more than a minute after the restart, a long throw from Rose posed one or two problems and when the ball was cleared to the full-back, he fed Lappin, whose cross was met with a diving header by Smith, but it veered off target.
Humphreys was well wide with a long-range effort but Hartlepool were looking sprightly enough for City not to sit on their lead.
A determined run by Smith took him to the byline but his cross towards the edge of the six-yard box went begging, then Chris Martin's cross was just too strong for McDonald to make clean contact.
With 58 minutes gone, Forster preserved City's lead with a fine save from Behan.
Doherty and Nelson left a through-ball from Humphreys to each other and Behan was clean through, but Forster blocked his low shot to deny the visitors an equaliser.
Referee Taylor lectured Chris Martin and goalscorer Austin after an angry exchange between the two players as the game reached the hour mark.
Nelson missed the chance to score against his old club for the second time this season when he headed wide from Lappin's corner, but protested that he had been impeded by Liddle.
Lambert made his first change with just over 20 minutes left, replacing goalscorer McDonald with Johnson, then Hartlepool made a double change by introducing Jones and Boyd.
The visitors still looked lively and Monkhouse was close with a long-range effort after good approach work by Boyd and Larkin.
Boyd was shown the yellow card with 10 minutes left for a high challenge on Lappin.
Johnson's deft footwork earned a corner with six minutes left. Lappin took it short to Chris Martin and, from the return pass, crossed to the far post but Russell was just unable to get any power into his header as he arched backwards.
At the other end, Forster grabbed a far post header from Monkhouse on the bounce as City continued to live a little dangerously.
t Result: Norwich City 2, Hartlepool United 1
t Norwich City: Forster; Russell Martin, Doherty, Nelson, Rose: Russell; Smith, Lappin; Hoolahan; McDonald, Chris Martin.
Subs: Rudd, Whitbread, Gill, Hughes, McNamee, Kelly, Johnson (for McDoanld, 70).
t Hartlepool United: Flinders; Austin, Collins, Liddle, Hartley; Sweeney, Monkhouse, Gamble, Humphreys; Larkin, Behan.
Subs: Cook, Clark, Haslam, Fredriksen, Jones (for Humphreys, 70), Boyd (for Behan, 70), Bjornsson.
t Referee: Paul Taylor (Hertfordshire)
t Attendance: 25,506
t Goals: Norwich: McDonald (27), Rose (32). Hartlepool: Austin (26)
t Bookings: Hartlepool: Monkhouse (40), Boyd (80)