April 25 2014 Latest news:
Friday, August 3, 2012
Goalkeeper Declan Rudd produced two splendid second-half saves to earn himself a second clean sheet for Norwich City in the space of seven days as they played out a goalless draw against MK Dons.
The performances of new signings Michael Turner and Robert Snodgrass were the other main positives to come out of a low-key pre-season encounter with the League One side.
Rudd, who produced a shut-out in the 2-0 win at Peterborough last Saturday, enjoyed a quiet first half but produced the goods when required as he denied Dons substitutes Jay O’Shea and Daniel Powell in the second period.
Turner looked composed and strong in the air on his first appearance since arriving from Sunderland a week ago, and came close to getting on the scoresheet with a header that was blocked, shortly before he was substituted with 25 minutes left.
Snodgrass’s trickery provided some of the Canaries’ brighter moments in front of well over 800 travelling fans at Stadium MK.
Striker Steve Morison almost secured victory in stoppage time when he was denied by a great save from Dons ’keeper David Martin.
Manager Chris Hughton gave some of his established senior players a rest with John Ruddy, Russell Martin, Grant Holt, Jonny Howson and Anthony Pilkington among those sitting out the game against the League One side.
Turner made his first appearance in the centre of defence, while fellow newcomer Snodgrass started a game for the first time after his 20-minute outing against Ajax.
George Francomb was given his first outing in the seniors’ pre-season programme at right-back, while youngsters Remi Matthews, Harry Barker and Josh Murphy were named among the substitutes, Murphy getting a 10-minute run-out at the end of the game.
Ex-Canary winger Luke Chadwick was included for the Dons, but there was no place for full-back Jon Otsemobor.
It was a very low-key opening and it took 14 minutes for either side to muster a serious attempt on goal as Simeon Jackson headed over from a Snodgrass free-kick.
At the other end, Mathias Kouo-Doumbe also cleared the bar with a header from a Dean Bowditch free-kick, but the Dons defender almost scored at the wrong end moments later when he miscued his attempt to clear a Jackson cross and struck it against his standing foot, the ball looping over his own crossbar.
The Dons suffered another jittery moment when Snodgrass intercepted a poor kick from goalkeeper Martin and his cross into the six-yard box had to be scrambled clear.
Chadwick, who had switched to the left flank, fired wide after a one-two with skipper Dean Lewington as the game finally flickered into life.
Dons goalkeeper Martin needed attention after a collision with striker Steve Morison as they competed for a Snodgrass flick into the six-yard box.
Lewington was next in the wars after a challenge from Chris Martin and, when play restarted, Jackson intercepted a Lewington pass and cut in from the left but shot across goal.
Snodgrass was in the thick of the action, testing Martin with a well-struck drive after swerving inside on to his left foot, while Alan Smith flicked a header over the top in a rare MK break.
City were generally having the better of things but there was stalemate at the end of a low-key opening period.
Goalkeeper Declan Rudd was finally brought into action six minutes after the break but was right behind Stephen Gleeson’s 20-yard drive.
Rudd produced a brilliant save two minutes later, however, to keep City on terms as Dons substitute O’Shea weaved inside from the left flank and unleashed a swerving effort that the ’keeper tipped acrobatically over the top.
After 58 minutes, new signing Turner came as close as anyone to giving the Canaries the lead with a downward header from a Snodgrass corner that was blocked by ’keeper Martin, Jackson putting the rebound over the top.
It was Turner’s final significant contribution as he made way for Ryan Bennett with 25 minutes to go.
The Dons almost snatched the lead seconds later when Rudd dived to his right to deny substitute Powell, Chadwick poking the rebound wide.
An overhit backpass by Leon Barnett left Rudd with too much to do, costing City a corner, and as the Dons kept up the pressure, the ’keeper dived to his left to keep out another shot from Powell.
More trickery from Snodgrass set up a header for Barnett, but it was well over the top.
With 10 minutes left, Academy product Josh Murphy was given a taste of senior football when he was introduced for Jackson.
The Dons had penalty appeals waved away when new signing Ryan Lowe went down under challenge from Ryan Bennett.
Lowe had one more chance to make a winning start to his MK career but fired over the top from 20 yards, and Charlie Macdonald narrowly cleared the bar in the final minute.
Morison looked set to snatch a winner in stoppage time but goalkeeper Martin tipped his shot over the bar.
MK Dons – David Martin; Chicksen (O’Shea, 45 min), Mackenzie, Kouo-Doumbe, Lewington; Chadwick (Ibehre, 73 min), Gleeson, Williams, Potter (Lowe, 79 min), Bowditch (Powell, 62 min); Smith (Macdonald, 56 min). Subs (not used): McLoughlin, Burton.
Norwich City – Rudd; Francomb, Barnett, Turner (Ryan Bennett, 65 min), Lappin; Hoolahan, Surman; Snodgrass, Chris Martin, Jackson (Josh Murphy, 80 min); Morison. Subs (not used): Matthews, Barker, Johnson, Elliott Bennett.
Referee – Andy Woolmer (Northampton).
Attendance – 4,814 (845 City fans).