Team Wes beat Team Russ as ex-City players returned to Carrow Road to compete in a celebration match which involved Norwich legends Russell Martin and Wes Hoolahan.
Who else but Hoolahan had the first chance of the charity game, with his left footed curling shot hitting the outside of Rudd’s right hand post after a slip from the ex-City keeper allowed Hoolahan to gain possesion. One minute later, Howson saw his driven effort met by a fine diving save.
Eight minutes in and Team Wes’ early dominance finally paid off when a weaving run by Hoolahan to the edge of the Team Russ penalty saw him release Huckerby who slotted the ball home in-front of the Barclay end.
Huckerby added another for Team Russ 13 minutes in when the former City wide man and Pilkington exchanged the ball in the box before he drove the pall into the bottom left corner. Moments later Pilkington added to Team Wes’ tally when he found the back of the net.
Team Russ responded instantly with Simon Lappin producing a fine turn in the centre of the Team Wes half which released Drury on the left of the box. Drury crossed the ball into the box which before it was met by Grant Holt, who was of course always going to get on the score sheet.
Five minutes later the Team Wes defence got caught sleeping when Chris Martin got onto the end of a through ball. Michael Nelson tracked back and held Martin up forcing the striker into taking a shot from a tight angle which was blasted wide.
Just under half an hour in Team Russ should have been within one goal of Team Wes, but Holt was unable to make the most of a through ball inside the six-yard box after some splendid work from Martin.
Team Russ continued to search for a way back into the game, with Kenton this time going close – but the defender’s shot was blocked on the line.
Pilkington bagged his second of the game four minutes before the break when he powered home an effort out of the reach of Rudd to give Team Wes a three-goal cushion. After spending the first 43 minutes trying to get on the score sheet Hoolahan’s hard work finally paid off when his brilliant solo-run was capped off with a lovely chipped effort.
Team Russ had the first opportunity of the second half with substitute Jamie Cureton latching onto a through ball, but his effort on goal was weak which allowed Oxborough to collect with ease. Two minutes later, Russell Martin had his first chance to get on the score sheet, but his side-footed shot was comfortably saved.
Martin was once again looking to get a goal to his name, and after trying an audacious effort from the half-way line the defender finally found the back of the net. A cross from the left was met by the head of Martin.
With 30 minutes remaining McNamee served up a delicious ball from the right which was poked home by Whitakker at the back post to give Team Russ a fighting chance.
A few moments later Russell Martin was given a standing ovation as he left the field of play. The former club captain applauded all four stands before being replaced by Kenton.
Chris Martin was re-introduced 70 minutes in and was involved straight away as the striker played Cureton through, but the current non-league player was unable to capitalise on the opportunity as he placed his effort onto the post.
Owain Tudor Jones was the next man to try and add to the score line, but Oxborough produced a wonderful save down to his right to deny the midfielder a goal on his return to Carrow Road.
Team Russ remained the dominant force with Mcnamee cutting in from the fight before curling his shot onto the post. However, against the run of play Simeon Jackson put the game out of reach of Team Russ – with the striker volleying the ball home from six-yards out.
Mcnamee continued to cause problems for the Team Wes defence when his tricky footwork on the edge of the box saw a penalty given. Russ Martin came on to take the penalty, and placed the ball into the bottom right corner before going back to the bench.
Team Wes made sure there three-goal cushion was still in-tact when Alan Gow linked up with Simeon Jackson inside the Team Russ penalty area. Gow went on to rifle the ball past Rudd to make it 7-4.
Team Wes: Michael McGovern, Ivo Pinto, Elliott Ward, Michael Nelson, Darel Russell, David Fox, Jonny Howson, Darren Huckerby, Wes Hoolahan, Anthony Pikington, Aaron Wilbraham
Substitutes: Doherty, McVeigh, Tettey, Milligan, Gow, Oxborough
Team Russ: Declan Rudd, Steven Whittaker, Zak Whitbread, Russ Martin, Adam Drury, Gary Holt, Owain Tudur Jones, Simon Lappin, George Francomb, Grant Holt, Chris Martin
Substitutes: Thompson, Cureton, McNamee, Jackson, JohnBoy