Gorleston 1, Norwich City 8
Paddy Davitt Wes Hoolahan lit up City's opening pre-season romp against a game Gorleston outfit tonight at Emerald Park. The former Blackpool man was introduced at the interval along with fellow summer arrival Sammy Clingan.
Gorleston 1, Norwich City 8
Wes Hoolahan lit up City's opening pre-season romp against a game Gorleston outfit last night at Emerald Park.
The former Blackpool man was introduced at the interval along with fellow summer arrival Sammy Clingan. Hoolahan did enough in his 41-minute cameo to suggest the Canary fans might have found a new folk hero to rival the departed Darren Huckerby.
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The newly-capped Republic of Ireland international notched an impudent eighth for Glenn Roeder's men before exiting with a minor strain to warm applause from the 1,300 crowd.
Norwich raced out of the traps with a brace inside the opening three minutes - the unfortunate Paul Todd deflecting Damon Lathrope's strike with barely 12 seconds gone.
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Nathan Thompson fired past David Marshall to delight the home support packed into Emerald Park to celebrate the start of the club's 125th anniversary season.
But Norwich were out of sight by the break before coasting through a second half in which Hoolahan was at the hub of City's most creative work.
Roeder rested Adam Drury, Jamie Cureton and skipper Mark Fotheringham who were all carrying minor knocks picked up in early pre-season training. Roeder confirmed after the match all three will travel for City's two-match Scandinavian tour. Former Brentford goalkeeping trialist Stuart Nelson was included on the City team sheet.
Gary Doherty led Roeder's new look line-up out in Fotheringham's absence. But the sizeable Norwich contingent was denied an early opportunity to run the rule over Roeder's new signings Hoolahan and Clingan.
Simon Lappin started with Drury settling for a watching brief in the Scot's first outing since returning from a successful loan stint north of the border at Motherwell.
Michael Spillane partnered Doherty in central defence with Korey Smith slotting in on the opposite flank behind Luke Chadwick. Roeder paired Lathrope and Matty Pattison in a combative central midfield unit.
Academy youngster Tom Adeyemi started wide left with Luke Daley forging a youthful front line alongside Chris Martin.
Roeder's side opened their account straight from the kick off when Lathrope's goal bound strike from Chadwick's cut back hit luckless Gorleston defender Todd to totally deceive Tom Marsden. Chris Martin doubled City's lead with barely three minutes on the clock after racing down the left hand side to cut in and rifle past Marsden.
Chadwick appeared to have licence to roam - popping up in centre midfield to create space for the overlapping Smith to charge down the right flank before Ben Manning came around on the cover.
Thompson coolly slotted underneath the advancing Marshall to reduce the arrears in an entertaining opening quarter - Norwich badly exposed down the left after a sharp counter.
Chadwick and Adeyemi switched flanks on Clark's instructions and the former Stoke man almost screwed home a third from a tight angle after Marsden denied Martin from point blank range.
Pattison opened his account for the new campaign on 32 minutes with a clinical 20-yarder whipped over Marsden.
Daley pounced on Pattison's ricochet to sidefoot past Marsden in the closing stages of the opening half.
Lathrope cracked against Eddie Thompson as City finished the half with a spot of target practice inside the Greens' penalty box.
Marsden foiled Adeyemi with a brilliant reaction stop deep into stoppage time after the youngster expertly killed Lappin's raking cross field pass.
Marshall was belatedly pressed into action with a regulation stop from Butler, but Martin notched his second when he slammed through a crowd scene in the final act of an entertaining half.
Roeder rung the changes at the break with a complete new look City team - bar Spillane - emerging for the second stanza.
Clingan and Hoolahan made their eagerly anticipated arrivals with experienced senior pros Darel Russell, Jason Shackell and Jon Otsemobor also making their seasonal re-appearance.
Young hitman Manny Richardson ensured normal service was swiftly resumed after Hoolahan was upended with Norwich's sixth from the penalty spot before teeing up Russell to power home at the near post.
The powerfully-built Clingan was foiled by Marsden after a perfectly timed run to connect with Ostemobor's inviting cross.
Hoolahan cut inside to smack a superb cross field ball but Thurtle thwarted Danny Kelly before Richardson spurned a second when he planted Ostemobor's pinpoint cross over.
Hoolahan was now demanding the ball from his new team mates - cutting in off his left hand station as Norwich continued to pour forward.
The ex-Blackpool man delivered what the City faithful came to see with a glimpse of his attacking artistry for Norwich's eighth. The diminutive playmaker exchanged passes with Richardson before hoodwinking the home keeper with a cheeky drag back to slot into the empty net.
Hoolahan skipped clear again down the left but Richardson was foiled by a last ditch sliding tackle before City's second half star man made way for Adeyemi to a generous round of applause.
t Gorleston (starting XI): Marsden, Todd, Thompson E, Thurtle, Manning, Dyer, Butler, Lambert, Thompson N, Pillar, Taylor. Subs: Howell, Gillies, Harman, Bell, Ingram, Fruin.
Goal: Thompson N (14)
t Norwich City (first half): Marshall, Smith, Spillane, Doherty, Lappin, Chadwick, Pattison, Lathrope, Adeyemi, Martin, Daley.
t Norwich City (second half): Nelson, Otsemobor, Spillane, Shackell, Habergham, Dawkin, Clingan, Russell, Hoolahan (Adeyemi 86), Richardson, Kelly.
Goals: Todd og (1), Martin (3, 45), Pattison (32), Daley (38), Richardson (51), Russell (53), Hoolahan (77)
t Referee: S Artis (Norfolk)
t Attendance: 1,300.