Norwich City striker James Vaughan’s second half brace failed to avoid an opening pre-season friendly defeat against Hertha Berlin this evening in the Austrian town of Gleisdorf.

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Chris Hughton’s side were sunk by Elias Kachunga’s hat-trick but it was the sight of Vaughan at his predatory best which bodes well for the much more important Premier League challenges ahead.

City trailed 2-0 at the interval after Kachunga had calmly slotted underneath the advancing John Ruddy in the 12th minute before beating the England keeper from longer range two minutes later. Vaughan held his nerve in a battle of wills with Thomas Kraft but Kachunga completed his set from the spot when Dani Ayala was adjudged to have grappled the marksman to the floor inside the Norwich penalty area. Vaughan pounced from close range to reduce the arrears with a flick header from Ayala’s far post leap and the former Evertonian was only a yard from a third in the closing stages when he just failed to connect with Korey Smith’s driven cross.

Hughton fielded two completely different line ups for both halves of this opening pre-season friendly of the summer at the end of a gruelling week-long Styrian training camp.

Grant Holt partnered Simeon Jackson in the first half at the Solar Stadion with Simon Lappin on the left of a defence featuring Ryan Bennett and Elliott Ward at centre back and Russell Martin on the opposite flank.

Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson operated in central midfield with Andrew Surman and Elliott Bennett on the flanks. City officials had confirmed earlier in the day new summer signing Steven Whittaker was eligible to feature this evening after the club were notified by FIFA they have clearance to play the former Rangers man.

Elliott Bennett’s persistence harried Nico Schulz into an early mistake but Howson’s attempted clip from ten yards was deflected behind for a corner. Berlin stopper Kraft gathered Ryan Bennett’s far post flick at the second attempt.

Elliott Ward’s sliding tackle from behind on Kachunga was anything but friendly but the big centre back escaped censure. Hertha wide player Marin Knoll unleashed a swerving strike that Ruddy was able to watch over his bar in the tenth minute with the Germans pushing three men right up front in the opening skirmishes. Kachunga latched onto Howson’s underhit back pass to outstrip Ward and roll coolly underneath the advancing Ruddy.

The pacy Berlin frontman doubled his personal tally less than two minutes later with an instinctive hit from range that flew past Ruddy. Elliott Bennett’s anticipation prevented a third when Sami Allagui picked out Daniel Beichler who conjured a curler destined for Ruddy’s far corner before the sliding Bennett’s intervention.

Berlin looked dangerous with every attacking foray in the opening 20 minutes but City spurned a chance to test Kraft on the counter when Jackson and Elliott Bennett combined to pick out Surman but he opted to try and find Holt from the edge.

Ruddy was forced to beat away Beichler’s angled lash on 22 minutes with a perhaps understandably sluggish City again carved open. Bradley Johnson dragged wide from 25 yards after another probing burst from Elliott Bennett – the pick of the City line up in the opening quarter of the friendly.

Howson needed all his athletic prowess to hurdle Peter Kluge’s agricultural tackle in front of the dug outs with the competitive edge clearly in evidence on the slick surface. Anthony Brooke-John made a crucial intervention to cut out another dangerous Elliott Bennett cross before Andrew Surman’s free kick tamely struck the Berlin wall. Kraft flicked Surman’s dinked cross off the head of a rising Holt with five minutes to go before the break.

Roman Hubnik’s last ditch block foiled Jackson after the Canadian’s pace had took him clear of the Hertha backline with City looking to reduce the deficit prior to the interval.

A completely new Norwich line up emerged for the second period with Vaughan partnering Chris Martin in a two-pronged frontline and the former Evertonian wasted little time in underling his predatory prowess with a cheeky roll through Kraft’s legs from Anthony Pilkington’s ball.

Hertha restored their two-goal cushion when Ayala was harshly adjudged to have grappled Kachunga to the deck – the Berlin man sealing his hat-trick from the penalty spot when he sent Declan Rudd the wrong way.

City probed down the right flank with Vaughan latching onto Smith’s throughball but striking Kraft. From the corner, Smith an overlap with Whittaker to stand up a cross Ayala headed back across goal for Vaughan to apply the faintest of touches on the Hertha goal line.

Vaughan was a yard from drawing City level on 67 minutes with a far post slide to try and divert Smith’s whipped cross after an intelligent piece of quick-thinking from Wes Hoolahan over a free kick.

Fabian Holland had Rudd momentarily worried when he drilled a left footer over. Hoolahan earned that rarest of pre-season sights – a yellow card – after taking exception to a stiff challenge that sparked a minor skirmish between both sets of players. Berlin’s Alfredo Morales was the next into the book for a late lunge on Marc Tierney.

Vaughan’s miscued header from Hoolahan’s floated centre let Berlin off the hook once a measure of calm had returned to the proceedings.

• Norwich (first half line up): Ruddy, R Martin, R Bennett, Ward, Lappin, E Bennett, Howson, Johnson, Surman, Holt, Surman.

• Norwich (second half line up): Rudd, Whittaker, Barnett, Ayala, Tierney, Crofts, Hoolahan, Smith, Pilkington, C Martin, Vaughan.

• Bookings: Hoolahan, C Martin

• Goals: Vaughan (48, 57)

• Hertha Berlin (starting line up): Kraft, Hubnik, Beichler, Allagui, Kachunga, Neimeyer, Kluge, Brooke-John, Schulz, Morales, Knoll (Neumann 88).

• Bookings: Knoll, Morales

• Goals: Kachunga (12, 14, 50)

37 comments

  • Perhaps Sterile the troll could enlighten us as to who the Dipstix have signed? Have they had a preseason or have they just crept away? Sorry, misspelt the name, you know who I mean!

    Report this comment

    blackdog2

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Jeez, I just seen we are 2-0 down at Half Time to a German Second Division Team ! We need some QUALITY DEFENDERS in or we are going to get mugged next season !!

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • I agree. My feeling is we need at least two more Quality CB's and a left back, winger and another forward. Althougth I like these guys. I would loan out Ward, sell Barnett, Lappin, Martin and Crofts.

    Report this comment

    Googlewoogle

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • If you look at the team sheet above, I think the problem is that we are playing Surman in two positions!

    Report this comment

    BureValleyPaddy

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Your persistence paid off, Billy. Good man! OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Of course my positive comment about it not being too important because of fitness and there could be an effective pairing in the making between Holt and Vaughan especially with Vaughan's pace and Holt's eye for a killer pass, it wasn't negative and I'm not a troll, therefore I'll try again with something a bit more pointless...

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Having now looked at the photos, there seems to be a touch of portliness on show? The "team line-up" pic is funny. Hertha made our lot look huge!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Monday, July 23, 2012

  • Googlewoogle - you are Spot On ! I totally agree with you on the shuffle. One question, would Snodder be your new winger by any chance ?

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Oh my we have another idiot. I don't know about anyone else but I haven't the urge to spend what little free time I have on rival team's forums... which suggests to me you have too much free time. GET A JOB and or LIFE.

    Report this comment

    wisemanthree

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Welcome back. we`ve had to put up with second-rate piffle from other trolls when we`d grown so accustomed to your third-rate stuff.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • I agree with Canarygirl it is early days.....a few seasons ago we had excellent pre-season only be slightly beaten on first home game...so early days. Morison missing seems strange do we have our first injury of the season? I see where Ireland are ringing new changes Wes is still missing OTBC

    Report this comment

    Singapore Canary

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • The other story on this topic claims Hertha Berlin were playing "Nowich". So perhaps we didn`t really lose after all? We Nofolk folk are easily pleased........

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • billytheolympicbookie

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • billytheolympicbookie

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Well done Billy, nothing gets passed you does it? lol. I'm sure when we take Snodgrass from our feeder club we'll improve. But it's only a pre season game, no one cares about them.

    Report this comment

    ImDrunky

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Why ritchie wellens? A superannuated Leicester player.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Morison was shopping in Sainsburys!

    Report this comment

    Colby Army!

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • I`d be pleased to voluntee for poof eading duties, Paddy, my sweet. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • @Canarygirl: classic. Dubai, how's it going?,regards Rumplestiltskin. Anyone got a live feed? this is like being eaten alive. Bring back Bailey

    Report this comment

    Bill Punton's bald patch

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Fed up of being ethered!!!! Right, great to see Vaughan amongst the goals, I think him and Holt could be a great partnership with Vaughan's electric pace and Holt's dropping off and eye for a killer ball through the defence. This may be too positive so have to be ethered, par for the course really...

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Roeder out !!

    Report this comment

    billytheolympicbookie

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Like Canarygirl said, it's all about getting match fitness back up, and it's also good for the manager to see what he has got and what to change. It's good to see Vaughan scoring, I hope he can keep fit and injury free this season.

    Report this comment

    ImDrunky

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Oh well, starting pre season the way we will inevitably carry on. When will Whoton realise that our defence is a total and utter shambles?? Signing unemployed Scottish players and unknown Championship nobodies is only going to lead to a record Premiership points low for us next year. My source at the club has already indicated they are really just preparing for the Championship. It's gonna be a very grim year. Ged - Legend

    Report this comment

    Ged Steroo

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Get used to that losing feeling:)

    Report this comment

    caleb

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Schwartz, I mean. But it got thro`!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • For goodness sake Dubai its a pre-season friendly; our first to boot. You make it sound as if its the Champions League. This is all about fitness at the moment. Understandably the guys are rusty, they haven't played for two months. Get a grip; they will settle as their fitness levels build; we'll be ready come 18 Aug.

    Report this comment

    Canarygirl

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • As has been mentioned recently, the trolls showing up only means one thing, they envy NCFC. Thanks very much for the compliments, Ged.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk'n'good

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • There is no point in beating Wroxham 15-0 is there ? These games have to be played competitively, not just as a training run out. I emphasize my point we need a couple of quality defenders and another striker. What do we learn ? This lad Elias Kachunga sounds like quite a prospect - he is on loan - maybe we should sign him !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Let's stay positive people. Hughton will be well aware now of our strength and weaknesses and I am sure there are efforts being made to get the right players in to help in the areas that perhaps are lacking a little. We just need to be patient. As pre-season progresses, the fitness levels will increase and the different strategies will come into their own. Come the beginning of the season I believe we will have a team that will do even better. I like what I see in Hughton, we've bagged ourselves a quality manager here!! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Canarygirl

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • According to the other article, Voldemort did indeed have a minor injury. Interesting that King of Spain was played at left back - has Hoots been reading these boards? The writer of this piece had Andrew S playing in 2 positions simultaneously; maybe he got his Surman and Cinnamon phonetically confused? Must be a confidence boost for Vaughan to get a couple of goals and (hopefully) not pick up an injury. billytheleedstrollbookie has learned how to spell "Roeder" and also that references to "scwartz" in the intended context are unacceptable. Well done Ar-chant. I too agree in principle with Googlewoogle but doubt we`ll have that much of a revolution too soon. If we do let C. Martin go, make sure there`s a decent fee involved! No letting the contract run out. You have been alerted, McGnarly!! OTBC

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Well, it's all about the fitness but a win would've been nice. Norwich have a bit of a reputation for early games of pre-season anyway, always slow out the blocks not sure why! Great to see Vaughan amongst the goals though, think he'll be such an important player for us if he stays clear of injuries. He's got a real eye for goal and ridiculous pace, fastest player in our squad. And with Holt having a real eye for runs and playing that killer through ball I think that link up could be really effective.

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Just one comment, yeah it's only a pre season, all's well if he knows his starting 11 plus any incoming players. It states different players but it does not mention formations? As far as we are al concerned in my household in Dublin SUPER WES has to play!

    Report this comment

    RoadWarrior

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • Oh well, starting pre season the way we will inevitably carry on. When will Whoton realise that our defence is a total and utter shambles?? Signing unemployed Scottish players and unknown Championship nobodies is only going to lead to a record Premiership points low for us next year. My source at the club has already indicated they are really just preparing for the Championship. It's gonna be a very grim year. Ged - Legend

    Report this comment

    Ged Steroo

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Where was Morison ?

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

  • You`re feeding him, blackdog! 1p5wich are preparing for League 1. Or liquidation ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Oh dear, this is a tell-tale sign that we are doomed for relegation... Is this pointless, negative comment better for you archants? Goodness sake...

    Report this comment

    Billy

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

  • Lets keep a sense of proportion - its only a pre season friendly. As I recall before our season in Div 1 we won all our pre season friendlies and then lost our first league game 1-7

    Report this comment

    Sumo27

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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