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Battling Linnets fall to Norwich City loss in high-profile friendly

todayJuly 16, 2021

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King’s Lynn Town 1
Norwich City 3

Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour made his debut as King’s Lynn Town opened Norwich City’s pre-season preparations at The Walks tonight.

The on-loan Chelsea star played the first 45 minutes after the newly-promoted Premier League side fielded a strong team against their Norfolk hosts.

Junior Morias is closed down by Billy Gilmour (49292193)
Junior Morias is closed down by Billy Gilmour (49292193)

Norwich’s extra class told on the night as Kieran Dowell fired them into a two-goal lead and substitute Adam Idah adding a late third in front of a 1,600 Covid-restricted crowd.

The Canaries had plenty of other opportunities to add to their tally on their return to action just 76 days following their final game in the Championship and winning their place back into the top flight.

But the National League Linnets also had their moments in a cracking encounter, and rallied towards the end of the first half to pull a goal back through Ross Barrows.

Lynn's Tyler Denton and Norwich City's Bali Mumba (49292181)
Lynn’s Tyler Denton and Norwich City’s Bali Mumba (49292181)

Lynn started with their strongest side on paper with striker Junior Morias shrugging off the knee injury picked up against MK Dons in the club’s opening friendly on Tuesday night.

Ian Culverhouse’s starting eleven for Lynn included seven of the club’s summer signings.

The Canaries started the game with three of their new faces and two of the side who began the Championship draw at Barnsley on the final day of last season – Andrew Omobamidele and Jordan Hugill.

Gilmour, who was playing for Scotland against England at Wembley a month ago tonight, was picked to start after only joining up with his team-mates today, along with goalkeeper Angus Gunn and Kosovan star Milot Rishica, who arrived at Carrow Road from Werder Bremen a fortnight ago.

Fans were out in force at The Walks (49292187)
Fans were out in force at The Walks (49292187)

There were no places in the visiting squad for the injured trio of Ben Gibson, Dimitris Giannoulis and Max Aarons while Pierre Lees-Melou, who completed his move to Norfolk from French outfit Nice earlier in the week, also wasn’t involved.

As expected, the Canaries, adopting a 3-4-3 formation, dominated the ball in the opening exchanges.

The visitors – playing the first of seven fixtures in preparation for their return to the Premier League – did have the ball in the home net after seven minutes after Kieran Dowell crossed for Jordan Hugill to head into the bottom right corner but the flag soon went up for offside.

Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse gets his point across as assistant Paul Bastock looks on (49292178)
Lynn boss Ian Culverhouse gets his point across as assistant Paul Bastock looks on (49292178)

Lynn’s first sight of the Norwich City goal came courtesy of a free-kick just outside the box after Rishica fouled former Canary Cameron King, but Gold Omotayo blasted the set piece into the visiting wall.

Twenty minutes in, Norwich City broke the deadlock after the lively Dowell robbed PierceBird of possession before rifling home into the bottom corner.

It would have been 2-0 five minutes later had home goalkeeper Paul Jones not got down smartly to his left to keep out a stinging effort from Lukas Rupp.

Norwich boss Daniel Farke looks on (49292175)
Norwich boss Daniel Farke looks on (49292175)

Lynn were forced into an early change eight minutes before the interval with Munashe Sundire replacing Daniel Bowry.

There was a strong suspicion of offside in the build up to City’s second goal in the 39th minute, but Dowell didn’t care as he bundled in Hugill’s centre for his second of the evening.

Plucky Lynn pulled a goal back three minutes later with a delightful move.

Omotayo made a run down the left flank to open up the Canaries’ back line and Morias’ howitzer from 25 yards came back against the underside of the crossbar.

Norwich City's Lukas Rupp (49292169)
Norwich City’s Lukas Rupp (49292169)

The ball appeared to cross the line before Barrows made sure by stabbing it into the empty net.

Both sides made a raft of changes at the interval to get some much-needed fitness into their playing squads.

The second period lacked the same intensity as that of the first, although Lynn came close to equalising with a header through one of their trialists nine minutes after the restart.

Lynn refused to be out-classed by their illustrious visitors and continued to try to play their football throughout an entertaining 90 minutes.

Norwich’s Rob Nizet tried his luck from 25-yards out in the 73rd minute but his effort whistled past the left side of Paul Jones’ post.

With three minutes left on the clock, Todd Cantwell unlocked the home defence with a peach of a pass and Idah finished with aplomb under the body of Jones.

King’s Lynn Town (starting XI): Paul Jones, Ross Barrows, Luis Fernandez, Daniel Bowry, Pierce Bird, Tyler Denton, Ethan Coleman, Cameron King, Junior Morias, Gold Omotayo and Michael Clunan.

Norwich City: Angus Gunn, Bali Mumba, Christoph Zimmerman, Andrew Omobamidele, Jacob Sorensen, Lukas Rupp, Billy Gilmour, Milot Rashica, Kieran Dowell, Przemyslaw Placheta, Jordan Hugill. Subs (all used): Michael McGovern, Todd Cantwell, Adam Idah, Rob Nizet, Daniel Adshead, Jonathan Tomkinson, Josh Giurgi, Tom Dickson-Peters.

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todayJuly 16, 2021