Canaries sparkle on Adam Drury’s big night at Carrow Road
Norwich City 2, Celtic 0
A crowd of well over 18,000 paid special tribute to Adam Drury's 11 years of service to Norwich City on a memorable night at Carrow Road.
The Canaries went into their summer break on a winning note as goals from James Vaughan and guest star Henri Lansbury gave them victory over Scottish champions Celtic in a game that provided splendid entertainment, a cut above the typical testimonial.
Twenty of City's senior players plus four special guests – Darren Huckerby, Lansbury, Michael Nelson and Dani Pacheco – had a slice of the action, which added up to most of the playing staff apart from those injured or on international duty.
Massed pipe bands and nearly 3,000 Celtic fans made it something of a home from home for City manager Paul Lambert, but the night belonged to Drury.
The 33-year-old full-back, wearing the captain's armband and accompanied by his children, Ethan and Isla, arrived to a guard of honour from the two teams and a great ovation from both sets of fans.
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Ex-Canary loan goalkeeper Fraser Forster was skippering Celtic on his return, and most of the early action was around his goalmouth.
Drury almost had a goal on his big night in only the sixth minute when Wes Hoolahan put him through and he weaved past Dylan McGeough but defender Kelvin Wilson had not read the script and stopped him with a timely tackle.
City goalkeeper Jed Steer was brought into action on 15 minutes, confidently tipping over a fine effort from Tony Watt.
The opening goal came on 20 minutes, however, and it was Vaughan's bright orange boots to the fore as he tucked away a cross by Hoolahan following Jonny Howson's pass.
Vaughan almost had a couple more in as many minutes, forcing Forster into a save from Drury's cross, then heading just over the top.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon was certainly not be taking the contest lightly and, in between bellowing instructions to his players, he was kicking the air angrily after Andre Blackman squandered a good opening.
Elliott Bennett fired over from long range, and Watt sliced into the crowd at the other end before Bennett let fly again and was just wide from 20 yards.
City made nine changes at the interval and within seconds of the restart, replacement keeper Declan Rudd made a fine save from Gary Hooper.
David Fox tested Forster into action with a long-range shot, but by this time fans all around the stadium were busy performing the 'Poznan'.
Rudd saved splendidly again from Watt, before Drury departed after 63 minutes to another tremendous ovation as Simon Lappin replaced him at left-back.
Lansbury made it 2-0 on 69 minutes after a rare error by Forster, whose kick went straight to Anthony Pilkington. Pilkington picked out Fox, who in turn found Lansbury, who scored at the second attempt after his shot was blocked by Wilson.
Huckerby arrived with 14 minutes to go as Wilbraham, released by the Canaries last week, was given one final send-off by the home crowd.
Huckerby, four years after leaving the club, showed a touch of the old magic with a one-two with Andrew Surman before being denied a goal by Forster's save at the near post.
Huckerby almost scored in the final minute when he got on the end of Lansbury's cross, but the night belonged to Drury, and he returned to the pitch after the final whistle to thank both teams, managers and sets of fans.
Norwich City – First half: Steer; Naughton, Barnett, Ward, Drury; Johnson; Elliott Bennett, Howson; Hoolahan; Vaughan, Holt. Second half: Rudd; Naughton (Francomb, 53 min, Smith, 76 min), Ryan Bennett, Nelson, Drury (Lappin, 63 min); Lansbury, Fox, Surman, Pilkington; Pacheco, Wilbraham (Huckerby, 76 min).
Celtic – Forster (Thomson, 87 min); McGeough, Wilson, Findlay, Blackman (McNally, 79 min); McCourt; Watt, Ibrahim (Kidd, 67 min), Commons, Stokes (Lindsay, 76 min); Hooper (Johnstone, 87 min).
Referee – Andy D'Urso (Billericay).
Attendance – 18,508.
Goals – City: Vaughan (20 min), Lansbury (69 min).