Chrissy Martin once again demonstrated that there's more than a half-decent player in there somewhere as his first-half double helped the Canaries romp to a 8-1 success against Gorleston at Emerald Park this evening.
It was his third minute first that will have had the watching Glenn Roeder nodding in appreciation – an emphatic rising drive into the top corner as he strode into the Greens box with genuine menace.
Roeder could also take considerable heart from Wes Hoolahan's first appearance in a City shirt – the ex-Blackpool winger being on the pitch for no more than three minutes before earning the penalty that racked up City's sixth strike of the night in the 48th minute after the Canary chief had made ten changes at the break.
His first goal, 20 minutes from time to make it 8-1, was what Hoolahan is all about; quick feet, quick thinking and the chance to walk the ball into the net.
The notable absentees from tonight's first public outing of the summer were skippers past and present in the shape of Adam Drury and Mark Fotheringham – as well as City's lone, experienced striker Jamie Cureton.
In their stead, Roeder put much of his starting faith in youth – including Academy prospects Korey Smith and Tom Adeyemi at right-back and left wing respectively.
There was also a trial goalkeeper on show in the shape of ex-Orient keeper Stuart Nelson who replaced David Marshall for the second period.
Roeder has already confirmed that he is in the market this summer for an experienced, back-up keeper for Marshall as he waits for Masters Rudd and Steer to come on stream.
Nelson, 26, made 33 appearances for the Brisbane Road outfit last season having arrived on a free from Brentford. The one-time Bees club skipper is currently unattached and in need of an employer after parting company with the East End club at the end of last season.
As for this season, the footballing gods took just 12 seconds to smile favourably on the Emerald Park visitors as Paul Todd managed to divert a Damon Lathrope shot beyond his own keeper. Two minutes later and Martin was carrying on where he left off against Lowestoft Town this time last summer – casually drifting in from the left before smashing the ball high into the top, right-hand corner with almost contemptuous ease.
It was certainly all very easy for the Canaries who were led in Fotheringham's absence by Gary Doherty. He, in turn, had Michael Spillane for company in the heart of that City defence; centre midfield belonged to Messrs Lathrope and Matty Pattison; Luke Chadwick gave City width on the right; teenager Luke Daley provided the pace alongside Martin.
Hopes of an incident-free night for Marshall ended just before the quarter of an hour mark as the Greens switched the play from left to right with considerable aplomb – enough to leave Nathan Thompson with all the time and space he ever needed on the left-hand edge of the Canary box to tuck the ball beneath a horribly exposed City keeper. Confidence up, Ricci Butler swept a decent effort just wide of Marshall's left-upright with Norwich again suddenly stretched.
City picked up their game around the half-hour mark as Martin forced a sharp save out Tom Marsden, Chadwick drifted a shot wide of his right upright and Lathrope headed over. Pattison showed them how in the 32nd minute with a carefully-placed, 20-yarder into the far corner that restored Norwich's two-goal advantage.
Daley added the fourth seven minutes before the interval with a delicate, little lifted finish after Pattison's 25-yard drive had deflected up off a Greens defender and into the youngster's path. That said, it still needed a cool head to produce a cool finish.
If Adeyemi's second touch had matched his first, City would have added a fifth three minutes before the interval. For having brought down Lappin's cross-field ball with glorious aplomb, his second touch was alas a shot straight at the advancing keeper.
Marsden had, however, no answer to Martin's sharp, eight-yard finish from a Chadwick pull-back on the stroke of half-time. His second, City's fifth – it was working out just how most people had planned.
Come the break and Spillane emerged as the only survivor – new-boys Sammy Clingan and Wes Hoolahan made their first public appearances – as did Nelson – while the front two was an all-Academy pairing of Danny Kelly and Manny Richardson.
The latter took just five minutes to get his name on the scoresheet with a calmly-taken penalty after Hoolahan's quick feet earned him a trip deep in the Greens' box. Russell added No7 in the 53rd minute after a swift break involving Josh Dawkin and Hoolahan left the City midfielder with a standard issue opportunity away on the far post.
With Hoolahan living up to Cureton's word and looking bright and willing on and off the ball, Clingan almost added the eighth from a deep Jon Otsemobor cross. It needed a fine, one-handed clawing save from an increasingly over-worked Greens keeper to deny him.
The luckless Marsden was left no more than a bemused spectator as Hoolahan continued to sparkle on his debut. A smart little one-two with Richardson put the City new-boy in; a drop of the shoulder later and with the keeper wholly wrong-footed, he was walking the ball into an empty net.
Martin for 2-0 and Hoolahan for 8-1 – two moments of genuine class to lift an otherwise comfortable walk in the park into something approaching a decent run-out.
Four minutes before the end and Hoolahan made way for a re-appearance by Adeyemi. A pre-cautionary move, one could only suspect. As for Nelson, he barely touched the ball. Whether he will be on the plane for Sweden on Friday was a question for later.
Norwich City: Marshall (Nelson, 45 mins); Smith (Otsemobor, 45 mins), Lappin (Habergham, 45 mins), Spillane, Doherty (Shackell, 45 mins); Chadwick (Dawkin, 45 mins), Lathrope (Clingan, 45 mins), Pattison (Russell, 45 mins), Adeyemi (Hoolahan, 45 mins (Adeyemi, 86 mins)); Martin (Kelly, 45 mins), Daley (Richardson, 45 mins). Subs (not used): Croft.