Pre-season report: King’s Lynn Town 1 Norwich City Under-23s 4 – Tony Andreu at the double for young Canaries
- Credit: Ian Burt
Tony Andreu was the star of the show as a Norwich City XI largely made up of the club’s under-23 squad proved too strong for King’s Lynn Town.
The Frenchman’s future has been the subject of confusion among supporters, having never been given a proper chance in two-and-a-half years and spending last season on loan with Dundee United.
The 29-year-old reminded the City fans among the crowd of 626 at The Walks of what he could do though, with two tidy finishes either side of goals from Todd Cantwell and Michee Efete.
There was no Benny Ashley-Seal up front for the young Canaries, following reports of a move to Leicester City, but trialist Pierre Xavier led the line. The 19-year-old Club Brugge striker had recently been linked with a host of English clubs including Norwich and looked lively.
Adam Phillips, formerly of Liverpool, featured in midfield and tall centre-back Will Wright, of Hitchin Town, also had chances to impress.
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It was the non-league hosts who started the better though, roared on by Canaries legend Ian Culverhouse on the sidelines and taking the lead in the fifth minute.
Leon Mettam, back at the club after spending the second half of last season on loan at Spalding, curled a low free-kick round the wall from the edge of the D and into the net off the base of the right-hand post.
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The Linnets looked to have the physical edge early doors but the goal sparked the City U23s into life, Glenn Middleton lashing over after a short corner routine and left-back Louis Ramsay seeing a long-range effort spectacularly turned round the post by Alex Street.
The Lynn keeper had no chance in the 22nd minute though, French attacker Andreu winning back possession and being played into the box by Cantwell before lashing a shot in off the right-hand post from 15 yards for 1-1.
Street was very fortunate not to concede a penalty seven minutes later when Diallang Jaiyesimi was trying to get a shot away in the box after being played through by Cantwell.
It didn’t take the young Canaries long to find the net again though, Efete rising high at the back post to head home a nice cross from Ramsay from the left in the 30th minute.
The Linnets looked to have lost their way a bit, with Middleton causing problems on the left and Xavier lashing into the side-netting before Cantwell made it 3-1.
The Dereham-raised youngster followed up after Jaiyesimi saw his shot saved by Street but saw his first effort superbly saved, only to ram home the loose ball from close range for a 3-1 lead at the break.
Efete was replaced at half-time, interestingly from a first team perspective after news that Ivo Pinto will miss all of pre-season with a hamstring injury, with Max Arrons coming on at right-back and Jake Hallett also replacing Aston Oxborough in goal.
The Linnets deployed a whole new XI but found themselves a further goal behind early in the second half, with Andreu scoring his second of the night.
The former Hamilton hero exchanged an intricate one-two with Middleton on the edge of the box before rolling a low shot into the bottom-left corner to wrong-foot keeper Luke Pearson and make it 4-1 in the 49th minute.
The visitors then made eight changes, essentially adjusting the team to one made up of the under-18 squad, with only centre-back Timi Odusina surviving.
Soon after those changes Hallett made a fine save with his feet from Lynn trialist Jair Minors to maintain the three-goal lead for City, with Bilal Kamal then wasting two good chances to make it 5-1, blasting a free-kick over and side-footing wide after great pace on the left by Devonte Aranisibia had teed him up.
City’s U23s have two friendlies next week as part of the Canaries’ pre-season tour of Germany, against SC Rot-Weiß Oberhausen on Wednesday (12.30pm) and Eintracht Braunschweig U23s on Friday (12pm).
Lynn first half: Street; Shipp, T Ward, C Ward, Warburton; Clunan, Hood; Lennon, Parker, Gillies; Mettam
Second half: Pearson (GK), Frary, Gaughran, Fryatt, Blake-Tracy; McQuaid, Jarvis, Minors, Hawkins; Hilliard, Edge
Goal: Mettam 5
Norwich: Oxborough (Hallett 46): Efete (Arrons 46), Odusina, Wright (Wallis 60), Ramsay (Catton 60); Phillips (Sambu 60); Jaiyesimi (Higgs 60), Andreu (Kamal 60), Cantwell (Hlynsson 60), Middleton (Aranisibia 60); Xavier (Fleming 60)
Goals: Andreu 22, 49, Efete 30, Cantwell 44
Referee: Martyn Holmes