David Wright's Under-23s took their second win in a row after a 1-0 victory over King's Lynn Town on Tuesday evening, just four days after their win over Ipswich Town.
A lot was asked of the young Canaries early on in the game, as King’s Lynn enjoyed a large part of the possession in the first 15 minutes. Whilst they may have been under pressure, City managed to keep their cool and swat away any attacks from the home side, but couldn’t find much of their own to threaten the Linnets.
That being said, the first real chance for City was a solid one. Catching King’s Lynn on the break, William Hondermarck darted for the opposition’s 18-yard box, before laying it off to unmarked Tyrese Omotoye. One-on-one with the ‘keeper at an awkward angle, Omotoye laced his effort towards the near post, unfortunately saved by the Linnets number one.
Reece McAlear was a standout performer in the first 30 minutes of this pre-season friendly as he deputised the midfield, bringing both offensive and defensive quality. That quality nearly became magic in the 28th minute, when the Scot nutmegged a King’s Lynn player before lacing an effort on goal from the edge of the box. The ‘keeper was beaten, but not the post, as it proved to be the only thing stopping this highlight goal.
Just a few minutes later, Andrew Omobamidele tried his luck on producing a bit of magic of his own. Looking to make something of a deflected corner, the defender went for an overhead kick in the 18-yard box, his shot just wide of the top corner.
After nearly 45 minutes of box-to-box action, King’s Lynn proved that the game was still very much alive in the last few seconds of the first-half. Realising the defence ahead of them was too compact to get in close, the Linnets struck one from outside the box towards City’s goal, the shot ringing off the post to keep the scoring level by a hair.
Going into the break with neither team finding the opener, a big 45 minutes was due to be the decider in this intense end-to-end friendly.
The second-half had a positive start for the Canaries, starting on the front-foot. A wonderful early cross from Ethen Vaughan went looking for Omotoye in the box as he ran unmarked, but the effort was just a bit too high as it flew over the forward.
City thought they’d found the opener when Hondermarck broke through the backline just before the 60th minute. It instead ended in a groan, however, as his side-footed shot rolled wide of the post before being flagged up for offside, albeit marginal.
After sitting back and defending Linnets’ efforts nicely with little worries, City found their deserved opener. Another great lobbed pass from Hondermarck found Matthew Dennis in heaps of space, who controlled it with his head before burying it past the King’s Lynn ‘keeper, giving the Canaries the lead.
It was from this point onwards the Canaries were tested in their defensive willpower, being pressed by the Linnets for a solid 20-minutes as they looked for the equaliser. Despite testing moments and plenty of saves needed for McCracken, the young City side held onto their 1-0 lead to the final whistle, taking the Academy's second win of the day.
Norwich City starting XI: McCracken, Vaughan, Tomkinson, Omobamidele, Nizet, Giurgi (Springett, 70), Hondermarck (Rowe, 70), McAlear, Dronfield, Dennis (Dickson-Peters, 70), Omotoye (Hutchinson, 70)
Goals: Dennis (69)
Subs not used: Blair, Warner, Khumbeni