First win for Hunter

CHRIS LAKEY King's Lynn 0, Norwich City 3: Martin Hunter's first taste of managerial life got off to a perfect start - although there were few clues for those keen to ascertain whether City's caretaker boss has that X-factor needed to take the job on a full time basis.

CHRIS LAKEY

Kings Lynn 0, Norwich City 3

Martin Hunter's first taste of managerial life got off to a perfect start - although there were few clues for those keen to ascertain whether City's caretaker boss has that X-factor needed to take the job on a full time basis.

Hunter, with seven players away on international duty, sent out two different teams as City brushed off the cobwebs of the Nigel Worthington's regime.


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What he sent out was enough to send a four-figure crowd home happy - including the main beneficiary, former Canaries player Shaun Carey.

Carey was in the director's box nursing a double fracture of his leg - the purpose of the game was to keep him and his expectant wife Carolyn in nappies for at least the foreseeable future.

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The game was played at three-quarters pace: City can ill afford any injuries, even though they don't play their next Championship game until a week on Saturday, while table-topping Lynn had been in Southern League Premier action just 24 hours before hand - and have a match against second place Mangotsfield this weekend.

It had, therefore, none of the ingredients for a clash of the Norfolk titans - but the run out will have done neither side any harm.

For City, defender Matthieu Louis-Jean took another step on the come-back road on the right of defence, with Jurgen Colin moving to the left back spot, with Craig Fleming and Alvin Quaye in the centre of defence.

Dion Dublin - who spent a month on loan at Lynn during his Cambridge United days in the late 80s - partnered Paul McVeigh in attack, Darren Huckerby providing the ammunition from the left.

The Linnets rested keeper Shaun Marshall, Sam McMahon, ex-Canary Alex Notman and centre backs Grant Cooper and Mark Warren.

The hosts were close to making an early breakthrough when Charlie Defty forced City keeper Joe Lewis, back in action after a fractured cheek bone, into a fingertip save with a neat chip and less than a minute later Michael Frew's shot from the left edge of the box was pushed over.

Lewis was soon called into action again, saving Adam Fry's close range effort with his legs, but on 14 minutes Norwich were ahead, Huckerby slotting home from eight yards.

The impressive Matt O'Halloran volleyed wide as Lynn tried to take advantage of some very suspect defending, but Dublin made them pay for their profligacy with a glancing header from Louis-Jean's cross on 40 minutes that appeared to slip under the body of keeper John Higgs.

It was all change at the break for City, Hunter sending out 11 different players, including Peter Thorne, who was guilty of an early miss as City tried to put the game out of Lynn's reach.

Ryan Jarvis forced Higgs into a good save moments later but on the hour mark second year Academy scholar Damon Lathrope put the finishing touch to a fine cross from the left by Throne, slamming the ball home from 10 yards to make it three nil.

Matt Halliday was denied by an Ed Cussons block from close range as City's youngsters began to enjoy themselves on the immaculate Walks surface. It was a chance for them to shine - and they will hope that former England under 19 coach Hunter was suitably impressed.

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