Raith Rovers 0, Norwich City 1
Chris Lakey Paul McVeigh did his hopes of earning another Norwich City contract no harm at all as he scored the goal which earned City a win in the opening match of their Scotland tour. The midfielder needed just four minutes to make his mark, and while victory over Raith may be insignificant in the wider scheme of things, for McVeigh it could be hugely significant.
Paul McVeigh did his hopes of earning another Norwich City contract no harm at all as he scored the goal which earned City a win in the opening match of their Scotland tour.
The midfielder needed just four minutes to make his mark, and while victory over Raith may be insignificant in the wider scheme of things, for McVeigh it could be hugely significant.
McVeigh isn't the only player trying to impress Gunn in an attempt to earn a deal: Goran Maric, Michael Bridges and Chris Craig are providing plenty of competition.
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Maric looked sharp and was unlucky to see a shot come back off the post, while Craig was denied by the keeper. Bridges starts at a disadvantage: he's only started kicking a ball this week having been released by Hull.
But that's what these games are all about - as well as starting to up the tempo, increase the competitive instincts and look at all the permutations.
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Gunn had promised some mixing and matching, which last night included a look at Jon Otsemobor on the right side of midfield. Whether it's a realistic option remains to be seen - perhaps it was designed to see how Michael Spillane performed in Otsemobor's right-back position.
Michael Nelson wore the captain's armband - although a decision on the long-term holder of the armband has yet to be announced - and partnered David Stephens for the first time in central defence.
Raith should have been ahead inside 10 minutes but Gregory Tade wins the summer's miskick competition after completing fluffing his chance to slip the ball past young Jed Steer, much to the amusement of the Stark's Park crowd.
Matt Gill shot high and wide on the run, bringing a similarly derisory reaction, but the difference between this and Dartford on Saturday was obvious.
Maric saw a snapshot stopped by the keeper and then turned well on the edge of the area but was denied by the woodwork. That sort of work was quickly noticed by Raith, judging by the closer attentions they began to pay to the Serb.
Tade was the guilty party again, on 23 minutes, when he blazed over from eight yards after Spillane's sloppy back-pass had left City's defence in trouble, and within minutes was spoken to by referee Stephen Finnie for the first bad tackle of the summer on Laurie Ellis - only the friendly nature of the game kept the yellow card in the official's pocket.
Nelson was coping well at the back, and passing the ball well, Matty Pattison a willing worker down the left, but perhaps the most impressive was Gill in midfield.
Owain Tudur Jones crashed a free-kick against the wall just before half-time, but it was a half when the number of chances City created was disappointing.
t Half-time: Raith Rovers 0, Norwich City 0
The second half started brightly, Gill flashing a shot wide after good work by Tudur Jones and at the other end Tade denied by a superb Adam Drury tackle and then by some brave goalkeeping by Steer, who grabbed the ball amid a face-full of studs.
The first City changes came on 56 minutes, Maric and Jamie Cureton replaced by Bridges and Craig, with Otsemobor giving way to McVeigh, who soon made his mark, some clever footwork enabling him to control Pattison's low cross from the left giving him the space to score from eight yards - another classy goal from the man who fired a cracker against Fakenham on Friday.
Craig almost doubled the advantage but fired straight at the keeper and by the hour mark City were well on top.
Spillane cleared one off the line with 10 minutes remaining, but City were worth the win.
t Result: Raith Rovers 0, Norwich City 1
t Norwich City: Steer, Spillane, Nelson, Stephens, Drury, Otsemobor (McVeigh, 56), Tudur Jones (Adeyemi, 79), Gill, Pattison, Maric (Bridges, 56), Cureton (Craig, 56). Subs: Martin, McDonald, Rudd, Lappin, Dumic.
t Raith: O'Connor, Wilson, Ellis (Trialist, 64), Campbell, Trialist, Davidson, Williamson, Simmons, Tade (Bryce, 78), Weir (Graham, 78), Ferry (Walker, 53). Subs: Whatley, McGurn, McKechnie.
t Referee: Stephen Finnie.
t Att: 1,135