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Martin still miffed after City made to pay penalty

PUBLISHED: 11:27 16 September 2009 | UPDATED: 13:44 06 July 2010

Norwich City forward Chris Martin yesterday protested his innocence after playing a pivotal role in MK Dons' late penalty winner against the Canaries. The 20-year-old had earlier fired City ahead inside the opening minute of Monday's televised League One game but Martin was later penalised for an alleged trip inside the Canaries' penalty box on Lewis Gobern.

Norwich City forward Chris Martin yesterday protested his innocence after playing a pivotal role in MK Dons' late penalty winner against the Canaries.

The 20-year-old had earlier fired City ahead inside the opening minute of Monday's televised League One game but Martin was later penalised for an alleged trip inside the Canaries' penalty box on Lewis Gobern.

Referee Roger East initially indicated he felt Martin had played the ball, but quickly changed his mind on the advice of assistant Dave Naylor.

Dons' sub Peter Leven then slotted the spot kick home to inflict Paul Lambert's first Norwich league defeat since his switch from Colchester United.

"I definitely got a nick on the ball," said Martin of the incident which proved decisive.

"I was shocked when I saw the linesman right in front of me put his flag across his chest.

"I think you can tell as well by players' reactions. None of them claimed the penalty and I played on as though we were still playing and I'm still shocked now that it was given.

"I know that I won the ball but what can you do?

"The penalty was given and he scored it.

"There's a not a lot we can do now but I definitely know in my mind that I won the ball."

Martin admitted injuries to senior trio Stephen Hughes, Adam Drury and Michael Nelson had disrupted City's rhythm after his flying start.

"The injuries possibly made us a little bit flat," he said.

"I think in the first 20 minutes we were very good, we were on top of the game and we grabbed an early goal, which helped matters.

"They possibly did change the course of the game but I still think the lads that came on did very well, but I suppose it disrupts the balance a little bit in the team.

"We were beaten by a penalty which was dubious and a great free-kick, but it was a set piece.

"I don't think we really looked too much like conceding in open play and I think we were very unlucky."

Martin's goal was quick but not quick enough to better City's record 10-second effort by Ralph "Ginger" Johnson against Leyton Orient way back in 1946, nor winger Keith O'Neill's goal after 12 seconds against Stoke in 1997.

"I was happy to get a goal," the youngster said.

"All I remember is the ball came across to me, I just took a touch and my first thought was get a shot off, as I like to do and luckily it crept in the bottom corner.

"I think I need to do more than just score.

"Forward players are judged on that but I need to work very hard, especially up and down on that left side.

"I think I put in a good shift and whoever was playing left back, Adam or Simon Lappin, was helping a lot.

"Its hard work but you need to put it in for the team."

Martin conceded City's young brigade faced an uphill task against one of League One's fancied sides.

"If you look at the age of quite a few of the lads, under 20 years of age, it does bode well for the future," said Martin.

"It shows how well we did fight against a very good MK Dons team who pass the ball very well. We dug in and showed some fight."

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