Celtic loss 2-0 to Norwich in spirited testimonial for Drury

Celtic loss 2-0 to Norwich in spirited testimonial for Drury
Old Friends: Former Celtic team mates Paul Lambert (left) and Neil Lennon (right) catching-up on the touchline before Adam Drury's Testimonial
Norwich City
Norwich City: Steer; Naughton, Barnett, Ward, Drury; Johnson, Howson; E. Bennett, Hoolahan; Holt, Vaughan (Second-half) Rudd, Naughton (Francomb 53, Smith 76), R. Bennett, Nelson, Drury (Lappin 64); Lansbury, Fox, Surman, Pilkington; Pacheco, Wilbraham (Huckerby 76)
Celtic: Forster (Thomson 86); McGeouch, K. Wilson, Findlay, Blackman (McNally); Ibrahim (Kidd 66), McCourt, Commons; Watt, Hooper (Johnstone), Stokes (Lindsay 76)
SCORE: 1-0, min.20, Vaughan. 2-0, min.69, Lansbury
REFEREE: Andy D’Urso (Billericay).
INCIDENTS: Attendance was 18,508 (2,639 Celtic)

The Scottish Premier League Champions played their final game of the season when they met Norwich City at Carrow Road on Tuesday night for Adam Drury’s testimonial.

The game seen Neil Lennon up against his former Celtic team mate and midfield partner, Paul Lambert, who manages the Canaries.

Fraser Forster, who won the English League One title with Norwich in 2010, led the Celtic team out wearing the captain's armband and both teams formed a guard of honour for Adam Drury and his children to emerge onto the pitch

Norwich opened the scoring in the first 20 minutes with a goal from James Vaughan, and Henri  Lansbury slotted home Norwich’s second goal in the 69th minute.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon took the opportunity to showcase some of Celtics young up-and-coming talent by giving some of  the youth players a run-out, with six Celtic Youth Academy players making their first team debuts and Under-17s' captain Stuart Findlay also in the starting line-up

But the game was about Adam Drury. The 33 year-old full-back has been with Norwich City for 11 years and remained a faithful player for the team throughout all highs and lows Norwich have seen over recent years.

Drury came close to scoring within six minutes but Kelvin Wilson denied him by clearing the ball from inside the box to the dismay of the home support.

Tony Watt had a good attempt on goal when he tried to curl the ball over the Canaries keeper, Jed Steer, from the edge of the box but it was flicked over the bar.

It was Vaughan who put Norwich ahead inside 20 minutes when he picked up a great cross by Wes Hoolahans inside the penalty box and slotted home the opener.

Vaughan had another chance to get the ball in the net shortly after but his effort was thwarted by a Forster save.

With less than 10 minutes of the first-half remaining Elliott Bennett had a chance to increase Norwich’s lead but it went past the post.

Norwich put the Celtic goal under pressure again in the 41st minute and Forster cleared the ball off the line before Vaughan blasted the rebound, hitting the bar.

Watt had another opportunity to equalise just before the break when he made an excellent run, but his cross was weak and didn’t worry the Norwich goal and the first half finished 1-0.

Celtic emerged in the second-half with the same team while Norwich made several changes.

Celtic started the second-half lively with Kris Commons and Watt both forcing substitute keeper Declan Rudd into pulling-off great saves.

Kris Commons had a great effort just tipped over the bar. Watt had another chance as he continued to search for the equaliser but his excellent volley on goal was also flicked over the bar by Rudd.

In 64 minutes the man of the night Adam Drury left the pitch to a standing ovation from both sets of supporters and was replaced by Simon Lappin.

Celtic’s young 16 year old Findlay impressed with an excellent headed clearance in front of goal, stopping Norwich increasing their lead but a sequence of defensive mistakes gave the home side their second goal.

A poor clearance by Forster was picked up at the edge of the box and ultimately fell to Lansbury. Kevin Wilson blocked his first shot but failed to clear the ball, and Lansbury slotted it home.

Rising young Hoops stars Robbie Thomson, Denny Johnstone, Jamie Lindsay, Lewis Kidd and Paddy McNally all made their first-team appearances within the second half when as the game approached the last 20 minutes Celtic made a string of substations. Lewis Kidd replaced Rabiu Ibrahim; U17s midfielder, Jamie Lindsay came on for Anthony Stokes, making his debut and another debutant U17s' defender Paddy McNally replaced Blackman.

With less than 5 minutes remaining Robbie Thomson came on to replace Fraser Forster and Denny Johnstone replaced Gary Hooper.

In the final 14 minutes Canaries veteran Darren Huckerby made a guest appearance and almost got on the score sheet but was denied by a Forster save.

The atmosphere at the game was fantastic with both sets of fans singing throughout the 90 minutes and Norwich fans even taking part in the famous Celtic huddle.

Paul Lambert paid tribute to Drury and praised the almost 3000 Celtic fans who made the journey to the game.

“It's fitting for somebody who's been here for eleven years. To get Celtic down and the fan base that they've got, it certainly makes the atmosphere.

In the three years I've been here he's been absolutely brilliant. It’s a big thanks to Neil Lennon, to bring his side here, for the fans who travel eight hours from Glasgow to Norwich, you see the atmosphere they do create, they're a special group of fans.”

Adam Drury also paid homage to both sets of fans, saying: “The Celtic fans provided a party atmosphere from start to finish. They obviously took over the city early, and then came out in their numbers later. And that, with the thousands of Norwich fans, made for a special evening that I won't forget.

They all bought into the evening, and both sets of players put in a good performance and a good game, and it made for a great night.”

The police also commended the visiting Celtic fans.

“The Celtic fans at tonight’s testimonial fixture, for Adam Drury, were a credit to their club. Their excellent behaviour greatly added to the event, making it a fantastic occasion for all those involved, and in attendance,” said Assistant Chief Constable, Sarah Hamlin of Norfolk Constabulary.