Hugill denied but clean sheet for Barden as City end pre-season with Darmstadt draw
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City have finished their pre-season preparations unbeaten and with a fourth clean sheet in five friendly games, as they drew 0-0 during their second match of the day against Darmstadt.
It was a totally different starting XI from the first friendly of the day against the Lilies, a 3-2 win thanks to goals from Przemyslaw Placheta, Teemu Pukki and Josh Martin.
Jordan Hugill and Mario Vrancic had featured as substitutes during the final 15 minutes so started the second game, with Adam Idah on the left and Todd Cantwell the right.
Timm Klose shook off a knock to start alongside Christoph Zimmermann in central defence and Jamal Lewis got his first minutes of pre-season, with summer signings Bali Mumba and Jacob Sorensen also starting.
The unfamiliar name was that of goalkeeper Daniel Barden, with the Wales Under-19 international getting valuable minutes under his belt ahead of a possible senior debut at Luton in the League Cup first round next Saturday, when Tim Krul and Michael McGovern will be away on international duty.
It was a much scrappier game than the first against the Bundesliga Two side, featuring plenty of fouls, with Vrancic firing over on the turn in the 13th minute and Hugill side-footing the bouncing ball over after a low Lewis cross in the 22nd minute.
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Barden made a fine save at the other end four minutes later, after Fabian Holland had thumped a powerful half-volley at him from close range.
The other big chance of the half fell to Hugill, powering a Vrancic corner goalwards but seeing keeper Carl Klaus react well to tip the ball over his bar.
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There were no changes at the break from City but Hugill and Vrancic were replaced by Josh Martin and Kieran Dowell just before the hour mark.
Bali Mumba burst forward from right-back early in the second half but couldn’t turn in a low Hugill cross and Klaus also charged out well to thwart Hugill after he’d been found in space in the box by Cantwell, before the striker departed.
Dowell had the ball in the net just four minutes after coming on but his stylish effort, curling into the top-left corner from the right of the box, was disallowed due to offside.
Cantwell fired a wild half-volley across goal and there was an air-shot from Idah as he swung at a similar chance, as City upped the tempo in search of a winner.
Barden was needed again in the 87th minute though, as the Canaries’ midfield was cut through too easily and Klose played teenage forward John Peter Sesay onside as the defence tried to play a high line - but Barden came out and did enough to force the youngster to fire wide and preserve the clean sheet, with the shot just clipping the outside of his right-hand post.
The friendly brings an end to City’s week in Germany. They now return to Norfolk to prepare for Saturday’s League Cup first round tie away to Championship rivals Luton Town, although 13 of the squad are due to fly out on international duty and miss that game.
That unusual start to the campaign will give way to the opening league fixture at Huddersfield on Saturday, September 12, as the Canaries begin their attempt to bounce straight back to the Premier League.
CITY (4-2-3-1): Barden; Mumba, Zimmermann, Klose, Lewis (McCallum 72); Sorensen, Rupp; Cantwell (Sinani 72), Vrancic (Martin 58), Idah; Hugill (Dowell 58).
MK Dons (h) - W 6-0 (Martin 2, Idah, Stiepermann, Hernandez, Buendia)
SC Verl (a) - W 3-0 (Dowell, Idah, Klose)
Dynamo Dresden (a) - W 2-0 (Pukki, Hugill)
SV Darmstadt (a) - W 3-2 (Placheta, Pukki, Martin)
SV Darmstadt (a) - D 0-0
TOTAL: P5 W4 D1 L0 F14 A2
TOP SCORERS: Josh Martin 3, Adam Idah 2, Teemu Pukki 2