McDonald scores on first appearance for Norwich reserves

Chris Wise Cody McDonald gave supporters a tantalising glimpse of his ability in front of goal last night - but it looks as though he will have to wait for his chance to strut his stuff in the Norwich City first team.

Chris Wise

Cody McDonald gave supporters a tantalising glimpse of his ability in front of goal last night - but it looks as though he will have to wait for his chance to strut his stuff in the Norwich City first team.

The 22-year-old striker, who joined the club from non-league Dartford for an undisclosed fee last month, marked his first appearance in the yellow and green with a well-taken goal as the Canaries beat a game Yarmouth side 3-0 in a friendly at Carrow Road.

But McDonald admitted afterwards that following fellow young frontman Luke Daley on to the bench to help City's fight against relegation from the Coca Cola Championship would be a big ask, with the early stages of his new career having been blighted by injury.

And first team coach Ian Crook, who looked after the City side last night while manager Bryan Gunn watched from the stands, also feels the youngster will need to get more reserve football under his belt before he can start to think about making his first team debut.

“Cody got some bad knocks in his last game for Dartford so although he's been with us a few weeks now he has only trained for a couple of days,” he said.

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“We were looking to give him 20 or 25 minutes but Luke was a little bit tight in his hamstring so he got the full 45.

“It gave us the chance to look at him and it was good that he scored.

“What Cody and a few of the other boys need now is game time. It's the gaffer's shout but it would be big ask for him to get in at the moment.”

McDonald is just happy to be playing again after having to wait patiently for his chance to impress his new boss.

“I'm really pleased to get my first game for the club under my belt because it has been a long time coming,” he said.

“It's been very frustrating seeing all the boys in training because I just wanted to get out there. All I could do was bide my time and wait for my chance. It's good to be back now and I am ready to go.

“I want to be knocking the goals in for this club - and it was good to get the first one.”

As for his chances of breaking into the first team this season the youngster added: “I need to get some time on the pitch really, take things as they come and if I get a chance great then great. I've got to do the business at this level first.. I'm too old for the youth team so I need to bide my time and when my chance comes hopefully take it. Whether I get a chance or not I don't know. You'll have to ask the gaffer!”

McDonald's big moment came in the 71st minute, with the Canaries leading 2-0 having being given a real test by the Ridgeon's League Division One side, who deserve great credit for holding out until just before the hour mark.

He showed a real predator's instinct to latch on to neat pass by on-loan Australian international David Carney before finding the far corner of the net with a precise finish from around 10 yards out.

That completed a real purple patch for the hosts, with Matty Pattison opening the scoring with a fierce low drive from just outside the box before Carney doubled City's advantage with superb curling free-kick which gave substitute keeper Elliot Pride no chance.

Fellow loan player Adrian Leijer, one of just three City players to play the full 90 minutes, later hit the woodwork with a header while Robert Eagle went close after a mazy run - but Yarmouth fully deserved the respectable final scoreline after a brave rearguard action.

Keeper Michael Hilton made at least six first class saves in the opening period to keep the Canaries at bay - the highlight being a superb double stop to deny young defender Dario Dumic - while his defensive colleagues worked their socks off to keep out a side who started the game with 10 professionals in their ranks.

Stewart Roach might even have given the Bloaters a shock lead early in the second period but he screwed his shot wide from a reasonable position - and it wasn't long before the Canaries found their shooting boots.

Crook was delighted with the work-out but had words of praise for the opposition as well.

“It was a good exercise,” he said “It gave a number of players game time who have been short of it. And full credit to Yarmouth - they gave it a good go, they put their bodies on the line and I thought their keeper was excellent.”

The game was also notable for a rarity at reserve team football - crowd unrest. A group of about 20 Yarmouth fans in the Barclay Stand were ejected en-masse just before half-time after ignoring repeated warnings about their conduct from stewards.

t Norwich City Reserves: Nelson (Rudd 45), Smith (Brindley 81), Eagle, Leijer, Dumic (Stephens 45), Pattison (Omeregie 77), Lappin (Clarke 81), Adeyemi, Renton (Kelly 71), Daley (McDonald 45), Carney (Davey 71).

t Great Yarmouth Town: Hilton (Pride 61), Watt, Savage, Palmer, Ager, Darby (Gorbould 45), Smith (Squire 45), Sewell (Thompson 45), Roach (Crux 61), Reed (Patterson 45), Woodcock.