Donaldson heads Bees to victory

Norwich manager Chris Hughton insisted his side’s character was
crucial to bouncing back from their midweek defeat to Aston Villa
with a 2-1 win over Wigan.

Hughton admitted his side should have added to Anthony
Pilkington’s opener as they bossed the opening half, and Shaun
Maloney levelled the scores just after the break.

But a rare header from the diminutive Wes Hoolahan proved enough
to earn another three points for the Canaries.

“I’m really delighted because Wigan are a very good side and
play a similar system to Villa,” Hughton said. “They pass the ball
very well and when they got their equaliser early in the second
half we had to show great character.

“We had to get back in the game and make sure that we had a good
period ourselves, and I think we weathered it a little bit and came
strong.

“Certainly over the game we had the better chances, and should
have really made it a bit more comfortable for ourselves.

“We had really good opportunities to be further ahead at
half-time. Their goalkeeper had to make a couple of very good
saves, but Wigan showed why they continue to be in this
division.

They pass the ball very well, they have a system of playing that
gets them in the opposition’s final third, and they have got
quality. We had to match that today.

“I thought we were very, very good at times. Yes we could have
made it better for ourselves in that first half, but that’s the
game. Then we had to get back into it, but in the end I think we
got a deserved winner. It wrapped up a really good performance from
us.”

The 34-year-old striker placed a precise side-footed volley into
the corner of the net early on to lift the Dons to within two
points of top spot and leave hapless Pools without a win in 21
games.

Milton Keynes dominated the first half and the unmarked Lowe put
them ahead on the quarter-of-an-hour mark, tucking Darren Potter’s
cross past Scott Flinders as the Pools defence appealed in vain for
offside.

Flinders then brilliantly denied Angelo Balanta and Luke
Chadwick, while Dean Lewington curled a free-kick just wide and
Shaun Williams had a headed goal ruled out for a shove.

Hartlepool rarely threatened in the first half but Jonathan
Franks wasted a rare opportunity when he raced onto Jack Baldwin’s
long punt but could only lob straight at keeper David Martin.

Pools improved after the break and Charlie Wyke had a fierce
drive beaten out by Martin and Steve Howard nodded a decent chance
straight at the keeper.

But the Dons regained control and Chadwick had a low strike well
saved by Flinders, while Potter drilled a shot narrowly wide and
then blasted another effort against the crossbar at the death.

County started on the front foot and should have scored inside
the first minute when a slip by Shaleum Logan let Francois Zoko in
on goal, but Simon Moore saved the shot with his legs.

However, the pressure told after 20 minutes when Justin Kelly’s
low cross was turned into his own net by Bees defender Tony
Craig.

Brentford hit back after 36 minutes when Marcello Trotta
appeared to wait too long to play in Adam Forshaw.

But the linesman’s flag stayed down and the instrumental
midfielder tucked the ball away nicely under County keeper Bartosz
Bialkowski.

The second half was a more tepid affair, but Donaldson won it
for the visitors in the 88th minute when he headed in on the line
after County failed to deal with a Brentford short-corner
routine.