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On This Day in 2009: Hoolahan makes it four in a row

10 October 2019

Ten years ago today, Wes Hoolahan's fifth goal of the 2009/10 season was enough to give Norwich City a 1-0 win at Carlisle United, extending City's run of successive victories in all competitions to four.

There's more to the story of Hoolahan's goal than meets the eye, however. 

Just one hour prior to kick-off, City's staff were unpleasantly surprised to discover that they hadn't packed any shin pads for the match. They probably weren't in the best of moods either, considering the trip had taken them nine hours from Norfolk.

Off popped a couple of reserve players to the local sports shop in Carlisle to buy 20 pairs of shin pads for the squad. They arrived back at Brunton Park with just five minutes to spare before kick-off.

The Canaries strapped their new pads on and the problem was solved! The disruption this had caused to City's pre-match preparation wasn't apparent in their performance, as they ground out a hard-fought win in the North West.

Hoolahan was in the right place at the right time to capitalise on Chris Martin's cross from the left-wing, but it shouldn't have reached Wes, in fairness. Two scuffed clearances from Carlisle defenders gave the goal an element of good fortune for City, whose win lifted them into the top six in League One for the first time in the 2009/10 season.

Once the ball was in the back of the net, the celebration for Hoolahan was obvious. Take the shin pad off and toast it to the fans.

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