Marley Watkins relishes ‘awesome’ feeling after scoring against Brighton during his home bow as a Norwich City player
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Bringing the Norwich City faithful to their feet with a fine finish made for a memorable Carrow Road debut as a Canaries player for Marley Watkins.
The 26-year-old equalised with a thumping shot from the edge of the area which went in off the underside of the bar in the 42nd minute, to help earn a 1-1 draw with Premier League new boys Brighton in City’s only home friendly of pre-season.
“It was awesome,” Watkins said with a big smile. “Obviously I’d had a few shots before that which were blocked so I was getting a bit frustrated.
“But Cam (Cameron Jerome) broke really well like he does, played a great ball to me and the defender’s backed off so it’s opened up for me to hit it, I just focused on the connection and luckily it went top bins!”
The Swansea City youth product – who has also played for Cheltenham, Hereford and Inverness – did play at Carrow Road earlier this year, starting as Barnsley were beaten 2-0 by Alan Irvine’s City team in the Championship in March.
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His goal was enjoyed by a half-full stadium for the friendly yesterday but with an attendance just under 13,000 it wasn’t far short of the average he played in front of at Oakwell last season and he is looking forward to seeing Carrow Road with more than 26,000 packed in throughout the campaign.
“Awesome,” he added, of his first home experience. “Obviously it’ll be even better when it’s full but it was a really good runout and I thought we played well for the fans, so exciting stuff.”
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The Seagulls had taken the lead in the 21st minute thanks to a looping header from Pascal Gross after right-back Bruno was able to push forward and send in a cross.
The hosts rallied though and had a decent amount of chances, with Watkins heading wide from a Mario Vrancic corner in the 63rd minute, but none more so than Nelson Oliveira thumping a spectacular long-range effort against the post in the 83rd minute – leaving Chris Hughton’s visiting team grateful to leave with a draw.
“I thought we dominated the game,” Watkins continued.
“Conceded a sloppy goal but it did take a lucky deflection and obviously we could have had a few more.
“A positive performance and we just need to keep getting better.”