Norwich City 5, Wycombe 2
PUBLISHED: 14:00 22 August 2009 | UPDATED: 15:52 10 November 2010
Paul Lambert's reign as Norwich City manager began with another Carrow Road goal feast as his drastically overhauled team scored five times against Wycombe Wanderers to chalk up their first League One victory of the season.
On the opening day of the campaign, Lambert's Colchester had inflicted a shocking 7-1 home defeat on the Canaries, and he engineered another handsome victory in his first game in charge after making no fewer than six changes from the midweek defeat at Brentford.
Grant Holt, captaining City after Gary Doherty was relegated to the bench, scored twice and there were goals from Korey Smith, his first for the club, Jon Otsemobor and Jens Berthel Askou.
Holt, Smith and Otsemobor put City 3-0 up inside 35 minutes but goals either side of half-time by Jon-Paul Pittman and Matt Harrold briefly threatened a revival by Wycombe, the club formerly managed by Lambert.
But Askou's header and Holt's second goal wrapped up the points in front of a noisy and appreciative crowd of more than 23,000.
Lambert's first teamsheet provided a few shocks with skipper Doherty and forward Wes Hoolahan among six players left out from the 2-1 defeat at Brentford on Tuesday night, not so much a case of wielding the axe as a chainsaw massacre.
Striker Cody McDonald was relegated to the bench with Doherty and Hoolahan, while three summer signings did not feature in the 18 at all - Matthew Gill, Owain Tudur Jones and Simon Whaley.
There were surprise recalls for Jamie Cureton, Simon Lappin, Smith and Otsemobor, while Paul McVeigh made his first appearance since rejoining the club and Stephen Hughes made his first start.
McVeigh was operating on the right and Lappin on the left, with Hughes and Smith - making his first senior start at Carrow Road - in the central midfield roles.
Wycombe threatened first after five minutes when Spillane blocked a close-range effort from Pittman following the first corner of the game by Green.
With 12 minutes gone, Holt provided the recalled Cureton with a potential opening with a slide rule pass, but Cureton's control let him down and the chance went begging.
The breakthrough came in the 15th minute when Lappin swung in a free-kick from the left and Holt used his strength to get ahead of the defence to stab home a first-time effort.
McVeigh almost made it 2-0 after good work by Holt when his sidefoot effort from the edge of the area curled just the wrong side of the post.
Midway through the half, Lappin was close to stretching City's lead with a superb effort from a free-kick, his curling left-foot shot turned round the post by goalkeeper Shearer.
City were well on top and 18-year-old Smith made it 2-0 in the 25th minute with a stunning goal, his powerful right-foot drive from long range leaving Shearer without a prayer after Westwood had cleared a corner from McVeigh.
It was a spectacular way to opening his Canary goalscoring account.
It was no surprise when the third goal came in the 35th minute.
McVeigh swung a corner in from the right, Holt headed it back and Otsemobor's header struck the inside of the post and bounced over the line.
It was only his second goal for the club and his first for 17 months.
Lappin again went close from a free-kick three minutes later when Shearer dived to his left to keep out his curling effort.
Out of the blue, Wycombe reduced the arrears in the 39th minute when Pittman cashed in after Askou misjudged an awkward bounce, the forward producing a cool finish from close range.
In first half stoppage time, Cureton floated an effort just over the top from outside the area when the referee played advantage after what appeared handball by Woodman.
- HALF-TIME: Norwich City 3, Wycombe Wanderers 1
Less than 30 seconds after the restart, Wycombe pulled another goal back when Zebroski won a header against Drury and Harrold produced an excellent finish, hooking in a left-foot shot after turning away from Spillane.
The goal glut continued in the 49th minute when Westwood was adjudged to have fouled Lappin.
Lappin curled in the free-kick and Askou produced a bullet-like header to restore the Canaries' two-goal advantage.
It was his second goal on successive Saturdays after scoring in the 1-1 draw at Exeter.
Montrose let fly as Wycombe hit back but his shot was deflected on to the roof of the net. Johnson headed just wide from the resulting corner.
For the third time, Lappin was desperately unlucky not to score when, after excellent work by Holt, he floated in a left-foot shot that the backpedalling Shearer just managed to tip over the bar.
Westwood forced Alnwick into action by his near post with a powerful drive, just to remind City that their work was not done.
City made a double change after 63 minutes when McDonald replaced Cureton and Adeyemi came on for Hughes.
Four minutes later, Wycombe replaced Montrose with Phillips.
Goal number five for City came after 71 minutes when Holt scored his second.
A timely block by Adeyemi enabled McDonald to run clear and he slipped the ball to his left for Holt to beat Shearer with a cool finish.
Hoolahan became Lambert's third substitution in the 74th minute when he was sent on for Smith.
Holt was denied a hat-trick after 78 minutes when his shot was blocked by Shearer's legs.
Askou produced an important block from Pittman with seven minutes left to maintain City's three-goal advantage.
Holt was just unable to complete his hat-trick with another chance in the closing minutes.
- RESULT: Norwich City 5, Wycombe Wanderers 2
Norwich City: Alnwick; Otsemobor, Spillane, Askou, Drury; McVeigh, Smith (Hoolahan, 74), Hughes (Adeyemi, 63), Lappin; Cureton (McDonald, 63), Holt.
Subs (not used): Rudd, Doherty, Martin, Daley.
Wycombe Wanderers: Shearer; Westwood, Duberry, Johnson, Woodman; Zebroski, Montrose (Phillips, 67), Mousinho, Green; Harrold, Pittman.
Subs (not used): Young, Oliver, Westlake, Beavon, Chambers, Smith.
Referee: Jon Moss (West Yorkshire)
Goals: City: Holt (15, 71), Smith (25), Otsemobor (35), Askou (49). Wycombe: Pittman (39), Harrold (46).
Booking: Wycombe: Johnson (68)