Norwich's Pearce accepts own goal blame

CANARIES defender Alex Pearce has accepted full responsibility for his part in allowing Ipswich a way back into the East Anglian derby yesterday.Having seen Ched Evans get the Canaries off to the best possible start with a goal after just four minutes, Pearce then suffered the ignominy of putting Danny Haynes' cross through his own net with just 12 minutes on the clock.

CANARIES defender Alex Pearce has accepted full responsibility for his part in allowing Ipswich a way back into the East Anglian derby yesterday.

Having seen Ched Evans get the Canaries off to the best possible start with a goal after just four minutes, Pearce then suffered the ignominy of putting Danny Haynes' cross through his own net with just 12 minutes on the clock.

Pearce's muffed clearance from five yards was avoidable, and the 19-year-old accepted full responsibility for his part in Ipswich's comeback.

“I take complete responsibility for their first goal,” said the on-loan Reading youngster. “The ball has come in and I've tried to clear it. It's come off my left on to my right, so, what can you do about it now in hindsight?


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“You have to forget it as soon as you can really. When something like that happens you can't let it affect you and I tried not to let it effect me as much as I could, but it is just a disappointing day all round really.”

City never built on the lead Evans had given them, and when Pearce put through his own net it signalled the start of almost constant Ipswich domination of the game.

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“It's a disappointing day for everyone at the football club,” Pearce added. “To get off to such a great start as we did - we didn't really kick on from that and we let them take control of the game, which is disappointing.

“We got off to a good start and then for 10 minutes we seemed to lose our heads a bit, whether that be because we were still focussing on the goal or whatever, I don't know really, we just looked ragged for 10 minutes, which cost us in the end.

“I don't know what was really going through our heads at the start of the game; we prepared for it in the right way.”

Pearce, playing alongside the recalled Gary Doherty in the centre of City's defence, struggled to keep tabs on Ipswich dangerman Pablo Counago who, when not pestering them directly, was going deep to collect the ball before playing defence-splitting passes.

“He got the ball a lot of times and got a turn and he was facing us, me and Doc, and he kept slipping balls in between us, which was hurting us to be fair,” Pearce added. “.He's a good footballer and he played well today.”

The consolation for the Canaries is that they are still ahead of a pack of half a dozen clubs all trying to keep out of the drop zone - and have consecutive home games, against West Brom and then Queens Park Rangers, in which to stay there.

“Next week we have another big game against West Brom at home and hopefully we can get the three points there,” Pearce added.

Meanwhile, City boss Glenn Roeder, whose team are only four points clear of the bottom three, refused to accept his side were in a relegation scrap.

"We've got nine points to play for and we will try to achieve all nine points,'' said Roeder. "We will stay positive.

"It's a disappointing performance, especially after we took the lead so early.

"We couldn't have asked for a better start but didn't get to grips with the game.

"It was a very lucky equaliser and that put us on the back foot. It was a very disappointing game for everyone at the club.

"Just recently, we went to Bristol City and ripped them apart and lost the game in the last two seconds. Today it was the same scoreline but a completely different game.

"We didn't put them under much pressure. We don't make excuses.''

Derby day own goals

2007/8

Apr 13 - Ipswich 2 Norwich 1: Danny Haynes' right wing cross is diverted into the net by City's on loan Reading defender Alex Pearce to equalise the scores within the first quarter of an hour.

Nov 4 - Norwich 2 Ipswich 2: Owen Garvan's 56th minute own goal sparks a comeback for Norwich who draw the game courtesy of a Jamie Cureton strike after Town had led 2-0 at the break.

2005/6

Feb 2 - Norwich 1 Ipswich 2: Gary Doherty, under pressure from Danny Haynes, diverts Alan Lee's header over the line from close range with just two minutes left.

1997/98

Sept 26 - Norwich 2 Ipswich 1: A 56th minute own goal from Jason Cundy ultimately gave Norwich the win as Town could only find one in reply after going two goals down.

1995/96

Apr 14 - Ipswich 2 Norwich 1: In the most iconic derby day own goal ever, City left back Rob Ullathorne's back pass bobbled over unfortunate keeper Bryan Gunn's attempted swing at the ball and rolled into the net with just four minutes remaining.

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