Goals from Morison and Vaughan claim London Road win
GOALS in each half from strikers Steve Morison and James Vaughan were enough to give City a well-deserved 2-0 pre-season win over Peterborough at London Road.
A commanding performance in front of a vocal travelling support meant the victory was rarely in doubt for Chris Hughton’s side in another useful run-out against tough Championship opposition.
The result means Chris Hughton’s side now have back-to-back wins and clean sheets following last week’s 1-0 win away at Scottish champions Celtic.
Morison opened the scoring for City in the 32nd minute, with a neat finish from close range after Posh failed to clear Simon Lappin’s cross from the left.
Vaughan added a second four minutes from time with an emphatic finish after Grant Holt picked him out with a pass.
Both Tyrone Barnett and Paul Taylor had good chances for the home side, but they weren’t able to break down a solid and well-organised City on the day.
Hughton named an attacking starting XI for the clash, which was Peterborough’s first pre-season run-out at London Road, with Simeon Jackson, Morison, and Chris Martin all playing in attack.
Young ‘keeper Declan Rudd was between the sticks for City, with ex-Posh defender Russ Martin at right-back. Fellow former Peterborough stopper Ryan Bennett meanwhile was on the bench.
The Canaries moved the ball well in the early stages, with Chris Martin in particular looking lively on the right hand side as in the eighth minute he played Russ Martin in, who drove the ball across goal, but it was just out of Jackson’s reach at the far post.
It was the home side that should have opened the scoring on 12 minutes however. George Boyd broke down the left and delivered a perfect ball to the far post, only to see striker Barnett head over with the goal at his mercy.
City’s best chance of the opening stages arrived in the 20th minute, as Wes Hoolahan ducked inside from the right and delivered a great ball for Morison, who headed low at goal, only to see Bobby Olejnik gather at the second attempt.
Leon Barnett, Hoolahan, and Jackson all tried their luck from range before the half-hour mark, but none could make the breakthrough despite some good use of the ball in the midfield.
The goal for City finally came in the 32nd minute courtesy of the lively Morison. Lappin burst forward down the left, and Peterborough were only able to half-clear his cross. Andrew Surman then nodded the ball into the path of Morison, whose instinctive finish beat Olejnik to make it 1-0.
Andrew Crofts then saw a couple of efforts go wide from distance, whilst Paul Taylor set Nathaniel Mendez-Liang up for an effort at the other end which didn’t trouble City ‘keeper Rudd.
Wes Hoolahan then tried his luck for City, before Grant McCann’s effort hit the side netting in the last action of a half that saw City end with a deserved 1-0 lead.
HALF-TIME – Peterborough United 0, Norwich City 1
There was only once change for the Canaries at the break, with Russ Martin making way for Ryan Bennett, who filled in a right-back in the absence of Steven Whittaker – coming on to a great reception from the home fans.
City picked up where they left off with Morison hassling the Posh defence, and Jackson coming within a few feet of netting a screamer on 50 minutes.
Darren Ferguson replaced Mendez-Liang with Danny Swanson, but it didn’t hamper City’s game, as they continued to create chances. Jackson again cut inside and shot, with Olejnik doing well to hold his effort before stopping Chris Martin’s goal-bound shot in the next attack.
There were soon wholesale changes for both sides though, as in the 72nd minute Posh made eight substitutions, as did City.
Anthony Pilkington, Jonny Howson, Elliott Ward, Marc Tierney, Grant Holt, Anthony Pilkington, Elliott Bennett, and Bradley Johnson all entered the fray for the Canaries, leaving John Ruddy as the only unused substitute.
After the changes the game looked to be fizzling out with chances few and far between, until Holt and Vaughan sprung into life with four minutes to play.
Back to goal, Holt turned and picked out Vaughan with a perfect pass. The former-Everton man dropped a shoulder and unleashed an unstoppable effort into the top corner from just inside the area to make it 2-0.
That was the last meaningful action of the match, as City got another pre-season win under their belt against tough opposition at London Road.
FULL-TIME – Peterborough United 0, Norwich City 2
Teams - CITY - Rudd, R. Martin (R. Bennett 46), Ayala (Ward 72), Barnett, Lappin (Tierney 72), Crofts (Johnson 72), Hoolahan (Howson 72), Surman (Pilkington 72), Jackson (E. Bennett 72), Morison (Holt 72), C. Martin (Vaughan 72)
Subs not used - Ruddy.