A new star of Gambia plays for City place

Chris Wise Norwich Res 2, Southend Res 1: Norwich manager Glenn Roeder ran the rule over Gambian captain Seyfo Soley last night as a strong City Reserve side got the better of their Southend counterparts in a competitive friendly at Carrow Road.

Chris Wise

Norwich manager Glenn Roeder ran the rule over Gambian captain Seyfo Soley last night as a strong City Reserve side got the better of their Southend counterparts in a competitive friendly at Carrow Road.

Having given Soley's international colleague Omar Koroma a first taste of English football, Roeder turned his attention to his more experienced countryman, who played seven games for Preston during the 2006-7 season after a spell in Belgian football with Genk.

The 6ft 2in utility man, who can play in defence or midfield, has been looking for permanent employment since his time at Deepdale and was given a 90 minute run-out alongside the likes of Jamie Cureton, Arturo Lupoli and Wes Hoolahan.

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Playing at centre-half alongside on-loan Troy Archibald-Henville, Soley struggled with the pace of the game early on and was caught out of position more often that he would have wished. He improved as the match progressed, making a number of timely tackles and winning the majority of his headers, but it remains to be seen if he did enough to convince the City boss he is worth another look.

The fixture also provided a chance for a number of more familiar names to prove a point, Cureton and Lupoli having both missed out on the starting line-up against Derby on Saturday while Hoolahan was overlooked altogether.

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Lupoli did his cause no harm by setting up both City's goals, while Hoolahan's quality shone through at times. But it was another frustrating night for Cureton, who was on the periphery of the game for much of the time and managed just one effort on target - comfortably saved by Ian Joyce.

The Shrimpers, who had veteran frontman Paul Furlong in their line-up, were the better side early on, but the Canaries weathered the storm and took the lead from the penalty spot after 29 minutes.

Damon Lathrope got his name on the scoresheet with a confident finish, but the goal was all about the pace and skill of Lupoli, who burst into the area from deep before being crudely stopped in his tracks by Peggy Lokando.

Five minutes later Paul Stephenson's team were two up and again the on-loan Italian was at the heart of the action. This time he showed his quick thinking inside the six-yard box as he latched on to a loose ball after his own shot had been saved, and crossed from the by-line for Luke Daley to lash home.

From then on play swung from end to end, with both sides having chances in an entertaining fixture.

Southend gave at least as good as they got and deservedly pulled one back on 63 minutes when a poor challenge by Lathrope was punished by a superb free-kick from Alan McCormack, who curled the ball past Declan Rudd from 25 yards out.

Rudd was immediately replaced by fellow youngster Jed Steer, who made his mark on the game in injury-time with a brilliant finger-tip save to keep out another long range effort from Jimmy Walker.

City should have restored their two-goal advantage before then however, with Hoolahan being guilty of over-elaboration after after a dazzling run had taken him to the edge of the six yard box. When he finally got his shot away it was high and wide, summing up a mixed contribution from Roeder's summer signing.

t City Reserves: Rudd (Steer 64), Smith, Eagle, Adeyemi, Archibald-Henville, Soley, Daley, Lathrope, Lupoli (Kelly 72), Cureton, Hoolahan (Lappin 87). Subs not used: Dumic, Francomb, Dawkin.

t Southend Reserves: Joyce, Grant, Herd, Moussa, Sankofa, Lokando, Laurent (Ademeno 83), McCormack, Furlong (O'Keefe 58), Walker, Scannell. Subs not used: Jones, McDonald, Forshaw.

t Attendance: 1,592.

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