Norwich City’s Stephen Hughes linked with Aberdeen
Aberdeen manager Craig Brown is preparing to make a move for Norwich City's Scotland international Stephen Hughes.
The 28-year-old midfielder scored the only goal on his return from injury, as City won their Norfolk Senior quarter-final against Norwich United at Carrow Road last night.
Hughes, who has been restricted to two substitute appearances for City this season, has been on the sidelines since undergoing ankle surgery in October. But after making a successful return to action, reports in Scotland suggest Brown will make an approach to City boss Paul Lambert over signing the player on loan for the rest of the season.
Hughes played a full 90 minutes as a strong Canaries' line-up clinched a semi-final home date against either Blofield or Dereham, while Simeon Jackson also producing an eye-catching cameo.
'It was important to get some minutes under the belt for some key players who haven't played week in, week out and that is the biggest bonus along with no injuries,' said coach Ricky Martin. 'The most disappointing aspect of the night was we didn't score enough goals. Possession was fantastic and we understood that they would come and sit a lot of men behind the ball and make it difficult for us. Full credit to them, though, they came here and made it difficult for us.'
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Luke Daley's close range strike was deflected behind after Planters' full-back Andy Key miscued at the back post before recent signing David Cory flashed a header wide for the Ridgeons Premier Division visitors on 12 minutes.
Dawkin tried his luck from range but his left footer swung wide of Ben Nower's far post. McNamee's quality picked out Jackson only for the former Gillingham man to miscue.
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Hughes broke the deadlock on 29 minutes with a deflected angled shot from just inside the box that clipped a visiting defender to deceive Nower.
The Planters' stopper then reacted sharply to tip over Askou's header but Nower was beaten by Jackson's swivelling effort from the edge of the box which just flew wide. The diminutive striker cut onto his left just shy of the hour mark but fired straight at Nower before heading tamely into the keeper's arms following an excellent overlapping run and cross from Sam Habergham.
The over-worked visiting keeper was then forced to beat away George Francomb's piledriver in a productive spell for the Canaries but Ross King was inches from forcing extra-time on 87 minutes when his half volley flew just over Jed Steer's bar.
• Norwich City: Steer, Francomb, Habergham, Gill, Tudur-Jones, Askou, McNamee (Brindley 83), Hughes, Daley (Werndly 66), Jackson (Ball 70), Dawkin. Subs: Matthews, Gordon. Goal: Hughes (29)
• Norwich United: Nower, Jeal, Key, Coe, Shipley, Fox, Hunter, Seabright, Claydon, Cory (Butcher 80), King. Subs: Robinson, Shannon, Atkins, Layton.
• Referee: G Hambling; Attendance: 495