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Goal-hungry Dougie wolfs down Canaries.

WOLVES 5

NORWICH 0

DYNAMIC Dougie Freedman plundered a hat-trick as Wolves ran riot against shocking Norwich at Molineux.

Freedman overcame an indifferent start to destroy the Canaries and take his tally to eight goals in 15 games since his pounds 800,000 move from Crystal Palace.

Norwich were ripped to shreds, and it proved a nightmare return to senior action for veteran keeper Bryan Gunn.

The 34-year-old Gunn, playing his first game of the season, was left shell-shocked as Wolves rattled in four first-half goals.

The visitors were decimated by injury and suspension, and Mark McGhee's men took full advantage as they stepped up their First Division promotion challenge with a vengeance.

The only surprise was that it took the Molineux men 22 minutes to pierce the Norwich defence.

Super teenager Robbie Keane opened the scoring when he was left unmarked to glance home Simon Osborn's accurate free-kick from the right.

Within a couple of minutes Wolves had doubled their advantage. Darren Ferguson, who had Gunn as a babysitter when he was a youngster in Aberdeen, began the move with a darting run.

Mark Atkins continued the build-up, crossing for Don Goodman to head home.

Wolves underlined their superiority with two more goals in as many minutes just before the break, with sad Norwich simply having no answer.

Freedman, anonymous for much of the opening half, suddenly burst into life when he chested down a drilled pass from Stephen Froggatt, flicked it past Kevin Scott and beat Gunn from 25 yards.

Then Freedman darted unnoticed into the six-yard box to head home Goodman's cross from the right.

Wolves, not surprisingly, struggled to maintain their momentum of the first half.

They sent on Tony Daley as a substitute in the 73rd minute for the winger's first appearance in 23 months following injury.

Freedman then completed his hat-trick, and gave Wolves their biggest victory since November 1994, with a superb 76th-minute effort.

Hat-trick hero Freedman said: "That was a great win for us and takes us a step nearer our aim of achieving promotion.

"We muscled them around all over the pitch, and everyone was magnificent.

"If we continue to play like this, we're always going to score goals and the great thing is that we still have Steve Bull to come back.

"He is the sort who will always be around to give Don Goodman and I a kick up the backside and keep us on our toes."

Disgusted Norwich boss Mike Walker said: "I sent my players out early for the second half because I didn't see any point in letting them get warm in the dressing room.

"They had to go out and earn their keep which they didn't do in the first half.

"The opening 45 minutes were an embarrassment and just not acceptable.

"I thought we could make the play-offs, but the way we performed relegation is more of a prospect."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:White, Peter
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 11, 1998
Words:485
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