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REPORT: BRIGHTON 1-1 CITY

PUBLISHED

22:40 30th July 2013

by Norwich City Football Club

City finish all square with Seagulls

CITY'S pre-season schedule continued with a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium on Tuesday night.

Jonny Howson had nudged the Canaries ahead midway through the first-half, but the home team pressed after the break and Solly March got a merited equaliser when he fired home superbly from distance with seven minutes left on the clock.

It was a fair result in the end, and although City's supporters will be disappointed to have missed out on the win, they will have been pleased to see Gary Hooper make his debut for the Club.

Hughton named new signings Ricky van Wolfwinkel, Leroy Fer and Nathan Redmond in his starting line-up to face Brighton, while newest recruit Hooper was named on the bench along with Under-21 defender Ewan McNeil.

Former Canary Andrew Crofts captained the Seagulls against his old team, with Diss-born Matthew Upson also starting for Oscar Garcia's side.

In the early stages Redmond showed good pace and skill to test the Brighton defence, while for the Albion Andrea Orlandi blasted a volley high over the City upright.

On eight minutes Steven Whittaker and van Wolfswinkel combined to give the Dutchman a shooting opportunity, but his well-struck effort curled just wide of the Brighton goal.

Redmond was proving a constant threat down the left for the Canaries winning the visitors a succession of corners through pressurising the Brighton defence with his twists and turn of pace.

Twenty minutes in and Whittaker showed good strength to burst through but Dunk managed to get a foot on the ball to divert the right-back's effort away from goal. At the other end John Ruddy had to be alert and quick to get to the ball before Orlandi.

However, on 27 minutes Norwich were ahead through Jonny Howson who had made a good run from midfield to then neatly steer home Nathan Redmond's cross from the left.

Brighton looked to respond with two efforts from Crofts - firstly the Welsh international heading an Orlandi cross wide and then with a drive high over Ruddy's bar.

With eight minutes of the half left Redmond forced Tomasz Kuszczak in the Albion goal to spill his shot requiring his covering defender to kick the ball out for a corner. Three minutes later the Norwich winger again wrestled his way through but lifted his effort too high and over the bar to his own frustration. 

The hosts had a great opportunity to equalise two minutes before the break when Orlandi found himself in front of goal but could only mis-kick his attempt giving Ruddy the chance to collect the ball and relieve the danger.

HALF-TIME: Brighton & Hove Albion 0, Norwich City 1

City were unchanged at the break while Brighton made nine changes.

In the opening minute of the half Kuszczak was forced to smother van Wolfswinkel's low effort round his post.

On 53 minutes Redmond made a good run down the right and placed a strong delivery across the Brighton penalty area but unfortunately no one in Canary away colours could tap it home.

Elliott Bennett made a bursting run through the middle and tried his luck from just outside the area but it had too much lift and rose over the Seagull's bar.

Gordon Greer was to collect the first booking of the game on the hour for clipping Elliott Bennett.

Hughton then made three changes - Butterfield and Becchio replacing Redmond and van Wolfswinkel and Gary Hooper making his debut in place of Leroy Fer.

Brighton substitute Solly March was looking to make an impression cutting inside and hitting a low shot which Ruddy had to drop down to collect. 

The hosts continued to be positive in their play through LuaLua and March but City remained resolute in their defending.

Two further changes were made for the Canaries - David Fox and Daniel Ayala replacing Tettey and Garrido respectively.

But with eight minutes of the game remaining Brighton were level through Solly March whose great effort from 25 yards gave Ruddy no chance as it hit the top corner.

Ewan McNeil made his senior debut for the Canaries coming on for Elliott Bennett who got warm applause from both sets of supporters as he left the field.

With a minute left LuaLua had a dig at the City goal but Ruddy was behind it all the way and caught his effort comfortably.

City could have nicked it at the death when McNeil put in a cross from the right and Becchio's header dropped just wide of the far post - and this was to prove the final action of the game as the referee blew his whistle.

FULL-TIME: Brighton & Hove Albion 1, Norwich City 1

BRIGHTON: Kuszczak (Brezovan 63), Bruno (Greer 46), Dunk (El-Abd 46), Crofts (c) (Agustien 46), Barnes (Calderon 46), Orlandi (Chicksen 46), Upson (Forster-Caskey 46), Lopez (Ince 46), Bridcutt (LuaLua 46), Maksimenko, Buckley (March 46). Subs not used: Ankergren, Barker.

NORWICH CITY: Ruddy, Martin (c), Whittaker, Howson, van Wolfswinkel (Becchio 61), Fer (Hooper 61), E. Bennett (McNeil 88), Garrido (Ayala 76), Redmond (Butterfield 61), R. Bennett, Tettey (Fox 73). Subs not used: Nash.

Attendance: 10,662

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