Lincoln City F.C
Lees-Melou nets winner in training ground friendly against Lincoln
- Credit: PA WIre
Summer signing Pierre Lees-Melou came off the bench to strike for Norwich City in a behind closed doors friendly fixture against Lincoln City at Colney.
The Frenchman, who received his work permit and international clearance after the fixture had kicked off, struck late on to secure victory for Daniel Farke's men as they continue their preparations for the upcoming Premier League campaign.
It capped off quite the tale for City's latest arrival, who ended his quarantine at 11am on Tuesday morning and didn't feature on the club's team news graphic released prior to kick-off. The green light on all his relevant documentation arrived during the game, allowing the midfielder to come on and fire Norwich to victory.
Milot Rashica and Max Aarons both squandered first-half chances as Lincoln defended resolutely for large portions of the game. Ultimately, it took a moment of individual excellence to break them down, with Lees-Melou producing the goods late on.
City made a host of changes from Friday night's game, with Aarons returning from injury to feature. Dan Adshead also started the game after returning from a loan spell at SC Telstar.
Lincoln had the first opportunity of the game as Chris Maguire played Tom Hopper over the top, but the striker was unable to latch onto the pass and Norwich cleared.
The Canaries were enjoying large spells of possession in the opening half an hour, with Rashica looking lively in attack.
- 1 The truth behind Cantwell to Aston Villa rumours and when City fans should worry
- 2 Lewis 'forever grateful' to Norwich for allowing Newcastle move
- 3 'We were so close' - Lambert's rare reflection on his success at City
- 4 Covid-19 cases force City to cancel trip to Sheffield United
- 5 WINDOW WATCH: All the latest Canaries news discussed
- 6 Norwich City transfer rumours: Canaries target Greece wonderkid
- 7 City chief Webber encouraged 'excited' Sinani to choose Terriers
- 8 City striker scores after return from second kidney transplant
- 9 'I'd like to keep him' - Southend boss keen to keep City youngster
- 10 Financial clause revealed in Rashica move to Norwich City
The Kosovan winger tried his luck from distance in the 21st minute, only for his shot to fly just over the bar. Three minutes later, the summer signing from Werder Bremen surged into the Lincoln box, only for Trialist A to block his route to goal with a strong last-ditch tackle.
Norwich were in the ascendancy and continuing to threaten, Adam Idah was the next to try his luck at goal, only for ex-Sunderland midfielder Liam Bridcutt to block his effort. A scramble in the penalty area ensued before the Imps cleared their lines.
The League One side were defending both deeply and resolutely, looking to spring on the counter.
That formula nearly proved successful after Remy Longdon drove towards goal before switching to Maguire, only for City to clear the danger.
City then countered themselves but Aarons' effort wasn't troubling Imps goalkeeper Sam Long.
In a quiet second half, the game was decided by summer addition and substitute Lees-Melou struck late on to secure a second consecutive pre-season victory for City. Their next friendly fixture arrives on Friday when they host Huddersfield Town in two matches at Colney.
Norwich City: McGovern (Gunn, 45); Aarons, Zimmermann, Omobamidele, Płacheta (Mumba, 45); Rupp (Gilmour, 45), Sørensen; Adshead (Dowell, 56), Cantwell (Lees-Melou, 50), Rashica (Nizet 75); Idah (Hugill, 45). Subs not used: Tompkinson, Guirgi, Dickson-Peters.
Lincoln City: Long, Trialist A (Trialist B, 45), Bridcutt, Melbourne, Edun, Fiorini, McGrandles, Jones, Maguire, Hopper (Trialist c), Longdon (Nlundulu, 45).