Fourth clean sheet in five for City
THE CANARIES recorded their fourth clean sheet in five outings as tonight’s pre-season friendly with npower Championship side Hull City ended goalless at The KC Stadium.
Boss Chris Hughton shuffled his pack once again after Friday night’s stalemate at MK Dons with only summer signings Robert Snodgrass and Michael Turner surviving to start this evening’s fixture at the KC.
John Ruddy returned in goal with a back four of Russell Martin, Ryan Bennett, Turner and Marc Tierney. Former Leeds men Jonny Howson and Bradley Johnson took up the central midfield births flanked by Elliott Bennett and Anthony Pilkington. Skipper Grant Holt led the line with Snodgrass just behind providing a bridge between midfield and attack.
The home fans gave a warm welcome back to the KC to former Hull man Turner before the hosts got the game underway against a Norwich team in their new black Errea away kit.
The visitors forced the first corner in only the second minute after Elliott Bennett saw a cross blocked. Snodgrass’ flag kick was cleared by the home defence but Norwich soon worked the ball wide to Snodgrass on the right whose cross was headed fractionally over by Holt.
Hughton’s men created another useful opening after eight minutes when Russell Martin broke forward and his low cross found Snodgrass almost on the penalty spot but the Scot was crowded out while attempting to turn and get a shot away.
Norwich continued to see more of the ball and delivered a number of crosses into the Hull area without engineering the breakthrough. A clear sight of goal fell to the impressive Snodgrass who was teed up by Howson after 22 minutes but his curled effort went wide of the left-hand post.
As the opening half progressed it was Norwich who continued to boss possession and another opening came their way when Snodgrass linked up with Martin who crossed for Holt before the City captain nudged a close-range effort wide of the target while under pressure from Abdoulaye Faye.
A minute before the break Hull ‘keeper Ben Amos was forced to turn a teasing cross from Martin over for a corner and in doing so collided with the frame of the goal but was soon on his feet again to help the home team clear Pilkington’s corner.
Half-time: Hull City 0 Norwich City 0
The home team made a bright start to the second half and the lively Sone Aluko whipped a number of crosses into the Norwich area looking for giant striker Nick Proschwitz.
On the hour-mark Norwich won their first corner of the second half when a thundering effort from Bradley Johnson was deflected past Amos’ goal. Once the resulting corner ball arrived in the area referee Brown spotted some pushing and awarded the home side a free-kick.
Hughton then opted to make his first change of the evening as Leon Barnett replaced Turner with 30 minutes remaining.
With 19 minutes left to play the Norwich boss then made wholesale changes as Steve Morison, James Vaughan, Simeon Jackson, Andrew Surman, Chris Martin, Simon Lappin and George Francomb all entered the fray.
Morison was soon into the action and proved a nuisance for his marker Paul McShane whenever City moved forward but the Welsh international was unable to create any clear openings to reward his efforts.
HULL - Amos, Rosenior (McShane 46), McKenna (Devitt 89), Chester, Mclean (Fryatt 64), Koren, Cairney, Dudgeon, Faye (Stewart 70), Aluko (East 70), Proschwitz (Simpson 85)
SUBS NOT USED - Jakupovic, Townsend
CITY - Ruddy, R. Martin (Vaughan 72), R. Bennett, Turner (Barnett 61), Tierney (Francomb 72), E. Bennett (Lappin 72), Howson (Morison 72), Johnson, Pilkington (C. Martin 72), Snodgrass (Surman 72), Holt (Jackson 72)
SUBS NOT USED - Rudd