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Match Reports

City beaten in last pre-season match at Charlton

28 July 2018

A deflected Jake Forster-Caskey strike saw Norwich City beaten 1-0 by Charlton Athletic in their last pre-season friendly at The Valley.

City struggled with Charlton's pressing in the first-half and were perhaps lucky to go into the break still level, although Onel Hernandez had a superb strike ruled out for offside.

The Canaries were much better after the interval but their opponents scored with their only real effort of the second-half as Forster-Caskey's low strike deflected off Grant Hanley and into the net.

In their brand new fluorescent green third kit, City lined-up in a 4-1-4-1 formation with Tim Krul starting in goal. Felix Passlack, Grant Hanley, Timm Klose and James Husband made up the back four with Tom Trybull just in-front. Kenny McLean, Moritz Leitner and Onel Hernandez completed the midfield with Teemu Pukki playing just behind striker Dennis Srbeny.

Charlton had the better of things in the first-half and created more chances than City, despite the Canaries having a goal ruled out in a narrow offside call.

Karlan Grant went close early on when he leapt above Hanley and glanced a header wide – a cleaner contact a City would have gone behind.

City then had a chance of their own at the other end when a Hernandez header struggled to test Dillon Phillips in the Charlton goal following a pinpoint McLean pass. The two linked up moments later but Hernandez again missed the target, this time with his right boot.

Charlton then started to boss things and their pressing was causing City problems. Their best chance of the first-half came from just that as Trybull was dispossessed by Grant but his low effort hit the post.

Hernandez then put the ball in net for City after the pacey Passlack cut inside but the linesman ruled it out for offside as the game approached the interval.

Daniel Farke made three changes at the break, swapping both full-back as Max Aarons and Ben Marshall were introduced and bringing on Marco Stiepermann in the centre of midfielder for Leitner.

City played with much more purpose at the beginning of the second-half and went mightily close to opening the scoring on 49 minutes. A neat flick by Hernandez allowed Stiepermann room for a shot but he dragged his effort wide with McLean perhaps the better option in space on the left.

However, against the run of play, Charlton went ahead in fortuitous circumstances when Forster-Caskey burst forward and had his low effort ricochet off Hanley and into the net.

However, City continued their better second-half display and went very close the equalising within minutes of going behind. Hernandez managed to pick out Pukki in the box but his deft header flew inches wide of the post.

Plenty more changes were made in the proceeding minutes and City continued to enjoy more of the possession but their final pass was often lacking when they got into good areas.

However the introductions of Todd Cantwell, Emi Buendia and Louis Thompson gave City fresh impetus. On 82 minutes, Cantwell was denied brilliantly by Phillips low to his right before another substitute, Ben Godfrey, saw his header tipped onto the woodwork.

Shortly after that, Srbeny surged into the penalty area and hit the side-netting with a crisp strike.

But it wasn't to be for City in south east London as their pre-season ended in defeat.


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