King's Lynn Town F.C
Dowell 20, 35 & Idah 88
Dowell brace ensures winning start to pre-season for City
- Credit: Ian Burt
Kieran Dowell continued his sparkling form displayed at the end of Norwich City's Championship triumph by netting a brace in their pre-season friendly victory over King's Lynn Town.
The former Everton midfielder showed real quality in both moves as City raced into a two-goal lead early in the opening period. Adam Idah's late strike added gloss to the result as the Canaries began pre-season in winning fashion.
The Linnets served as a useful test for Daniel Farke's men and were committed to their passing style of play despite the league difference between the sides. Ian Culverhouse has his side well drilled, but they lacked a goalscoring threat for large portions of the game.
Ultimately, this stage of pre-season is about fitness rather than results and City will have extracted plenty from the opening fixture.
It was the first sighter of three City additions for those who had made the short trip to the Walks. Milot Rashica, Angus Gunn and Billy Gilmour all started.
The Canaries were without starting full-backs Max Aarons and Dimitris Giannoulis, although both were watching on from the stands.
City's first chance fell to Christoph Zimmermann after Lynn failed to clear a corner. His stabbed effort at goal was scrambled away.
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Pre-season offers the opportunity to experiment for City's boss and they opened the game in a three at the back formation.
Jacob Sorensen accompanied Zimmermann and Andrew Omobamidele at the back with Przemek Placheta deployed as a left-wing back.
Jordan Hugill thought he had given City an early lead after nodding Kieran Dowell's floated cross into the corner of the net only for the assistant referee to raise his flag for offside as the powerful striker rose to nod the ball home.
It took City just 20 minutes to make the breakthrough after Dowell robbed Bird of possession before beating the defender to work a yard of space and dispatch into the near corner of the net.
A nice spell of possession between Gilmour and Bali Mumba opened up space centrally for Lukas Rupp to drive into. He checked back onto his right foot before stinging Jones' hand with a drive from range.
Gilmour's metronomic qualities were helping carve chances out for City. The Scot's slipped pass set Mumba galloping down the right, but his cross was cleared.
Rashica had a chance to double their advantage soon after as he raced onto a lovely crossfield ball from Gilmour.
The Kosovan brought it down superbly before attacking the defender but dragged his shot just wide of the post. There were glimpses of Rashica's running qualities in the first half and he showed patches of his ability in his first City appearance.
There was a suspicion of offside in City's second goal.
Hugill appeared to drift a few yards offside as he received Dowell's through pass. He surged forward before unselfishly teeing up Dowell to convert the second of the evening.
Lynn did pull a goal back on the stroke of half-time after Junior Morais' well-struck effort cannoned off the bar and into the path of Ross Barrows, who tucked in from close range.
The second started tentatively before Lynn changed some of their squad and their kit ten minutes into the second half, swapping their blue home shirts for a white away strip.
A sharp counter attack from Norwich saw Hugill send Todd Cantwell racing away down the left. City had runners breaking beyond the ball and the midfielder played in Placheta but Barrows recovered well but conceded a corner.
Cantwell offered plenty of forward thrust in the second half and the Dereham-born creator nearly added gloss to the scoreline after getting on the end of Rob Nizet's low cross. Paul Jones was equal to his effort.
Nizet then when close with a rasping effort from range after Cantwell's pass on the edge of the box. The young Belgian defender certainly displayed his desire to support the attacking phase of the game in his cameo from the bench.
Adam Idah faded in and out of the second period, and saw a low effort from range easily collected by Jones.
A rash challenge from winger Michael Gyasi on Cantwell prompted an apology from Culverhouse to Farke, one the City boss accepted with grace.
City had a major appeal for a penalty in the closing stage of the second half after Mumba's dart down the right led to a ball in that found substitute Thomas Dickson-Peters. His shot appeared to strike the hand of a Lynn defender, but the referee waved away the protests.
Cantwell's influence on the game was growing as the Linnets tired, and it was his perfectly weighted pass throw to Idah that saw City claim a third goal. The Irish international made no mistake as he confidently slotted the ball into the net.
City will take plenty of value from tonight's clash and prepare to step up their Premier League preparations next week as they host Lincoln City and Huddersfield Town in behind closed doors games at Colney.
- King's Lynn Town (3-4-3): Jones; Barrows, Fernandez, Bowry (Sundire, 33), Bird, Denton; Clunan, Coleman, King; Morais, Omotayo. Subs: Unconfirmed (several changes in the second half)
- Goals: Barrows 43
Norwich City (3-4-3): Gunn (McGovern, 45); Sorensen, Zimmermann, Omobamidele; Mumba (Giurgi, 88), Gilmour (Cantwell, 45), Rupp, Placheta; Dowell (Adshead, 77), Hugill (Dickson-Peters, 77), Rashica (Idah, 45).
- Goals: Dowell 20, 39 & Idah 88
- Attendance: 1,600