THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Dorchester Town

icon weekendPremier League ~ Stoke lose at Norwich
Stoke City's 1-0 defeat at Norwich on Saturday means they have still won only one game this season. Bradley Johnson scored the winner for Norwich – who are now four games unbeaten – by heading in a Robert Snodgrass free-kick just before half time. Although they have one victory, this was also only Stoke's third defeat after losing at Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge and they have drawn all their other games so far. The result leaves them in 15th place with nine points.

Manager Tony Pulis was unhappy about the referee's decision to award the free-kick that led to the goal: "I have been in to see the referee to have a quick chat. I thought it certainly was not a free-kick, and the disappointing thing is when the lad falls, Andre [Marriner] and the linesman are so close to it. He has booked Charlie in the first half for diving – I have just had a look at that and Javier Garrido pushes him in the back, so that is a double kick in the teeth when he gets both those decisions wrong and even worse when they score from it. Referees give the decisions they see on the day, and he has seen it differently to what we have. When he sees it again on the television, he will have a different opinion.

Championship ~ New managers make their mark
There were six Championship clubs with new managers taking charge or watching their teams this weekend. Bolton Wanderers came from 1-0 down to beat league-leaders Cardiff City 2-1 in Dougie Freedman's first game as a home manager at the Reebok. Mick McCarthy's first game on the touchline for Ipswich Town saw them get their first win in 13 matches with a 1-0 win against Birmingham City at St Andrew's, though they remain bottom. Burnley beat Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 under Sean Dyche, with Charlie Austin getting his 19th goal of the season. Freedman's replacement at Crystal Palace, Ian Holloway, watched from that stands as the Eagles moved up to third with a 2-0 win over Blackburn, who were managed by Henning Berg for the first time. There was disappointment for Steve Thompson, who is now caretaker-manager at Blackpool – they were beaten 4-1 at Derby County.

Palace caretaker-manager Curtis Fleming said: "The players were fantastic. I think they should be playing with confidence but we should concentrate on what we do and not get carried away. Everyone has to work hard. Ian Holloway came in before the match. We have a video presentation at 1.15 at home games so he came down just before that to introduce himself. He was lively, as he is, and I think the lads quite enjoyed it and they will quite enjoy working with him."

FA Cup ~ Dorchester down Plymouth
Plymouth Argyle were knocked out of the FA Cup by non-League opposition for the second season in a row as Dorchester Town beat them 1-0. Conor Hourihane was sent off for Plymouth after two yellow cards in the opening ten minutes but it wasn't until the second half that Dorchester took the lead. Jake Gosling, a former Plymouth junior who is on loan from Exeter City, put the ball in the net from ten yards in front of 3,196 at the Avenue Stadium. The Conference South team will now face Luton or Nuneaton in the second round, a stage they haven't reached for 31 years.

Plymouth manager Carl Fletcher was aggrieved by the sending off: "The referee's got to use a bit of common sense. To lose a man like that so early in the game, in a tough game for us, was very disappointing. I understand the decision that by the letter of the law, that for whatever reason once the referee says 'you've got to wait for the whistle' and you play it in, it's a booking. But Conor said he heard a whistle and I think we has trying to move the ball back, and that's the whistle he might have heard." Tom Hocking

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