Fakenham 0, Norwich City 3
Norwich City midfielder Korey Smith made a surprise 60-minute cameo as the Canaries eased into the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-finals at Clipbush Park.
Smith was not included in the original squad list but featured for an hour along with skipper-for-the-night Michael Nelson under the watchful eye of City boss Paul Lambert.
Nelson would appear favourite to partner Elliott Ward in the Championship against Coventry this weekend in the absence of the suspended Leon Barnett with partner Jens Berthel Askou playing the full 90 minutes.
The Canaries' fielded a starting line-up packed with first-team experience but were made to work hard by the Ridgeons First Division side on a frost-covered surface before clinching a last eight date against Norwich United.
Oli Johnson's close-range finish gave City a half-time lead before the big striker despatched Remy Gordon's cut back and Luke Daley's deflected shot wrong-footed Ghosts' keeper Tom Rix in the closing seconds.
'The performance was professional. That is how I would sum it up,' said City academy chief Ricky Martin.
'It was tricky playing conditions against a team that was going to be hard-working, honest and very well organised.
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'They got plenty of men behind the ball and made it difficult for us. I'd like to have scored the second earlier but we kept plugging away. While it's 1-0 you know they can get something from a set play and the pressure is back on us.
'I spoke to the manager and he felt he wanted those players to play and get some game time.
'We showed a good attitude because in those conditions, sometimes you don't have anything to win and plenty to lose, but I felt no-one let themselves down from an attitude and an application point of view.
'The most important thing was we were professional and apart from a few bumps and bruises we have come out of it unscathed – so it was a pretty good exercise.'
Askou and Owain Tudur-Jones both finished the game with bandaged heads while Gordon was withdrawn after going over on his ankle setting up Johnson.
'There's nothing serious that would keep them out of training,' said Martin. 'Jens had to have a few stitches in his head and Remy could have stayed on but there was no point in taking any risks.
'This is a great exercise for us to be back in the competition. You see the manager here and he can have a look at some of the younger players from an academy point of view and from a first-team point of view it's a chance to give some a competitive game. Oli and Luke have scored and that can only give them confidence.'
• Fakenham: Rix, Harvey, Pease, Gilchrist, Greer, Anderson, Coe (Day, 36), Savory (Alamanos, 74), Hyde (Manning, 79), Cole, Rawlings. Subs (not used): Rudd, Bevins.
• Norwich City: Rudd, T Jones, Askou, Nelson (Gordon, 60 (Oakley, 77)), Habergham, Dawkin, Tudur-Jones, Smith (Ball, 60), Daley, Johnson, McNamee. Subs not used: Oakley, Dodds, Steer.
• Goals: Johnson (18, 72), Daley (87).
• Referee: J Turner (King's Lynn)
• Attendance: 385.