Norwich City’s pre-season training camp culminated in two competitive fixtures against SV Darmstadt 98 at Hotel Residence Klosterpforte on Saturday afternoon.
Over the course of the two games, City impressed in the attacking third. Goals from Przemyslaw Placheta, Teemu Pukki and Josh Martin secured a 3-2 victory in the opening game of the afternoon.
A closely-contested second fixture would ultimately end goalless.
City started the opening game brightly and were ahead after just eight minutes. Kieran Dowell forced an error in the Darmstadt backline, pressuring the goalkeeper who in turn coughed up possession. Placheta was then on hand to convert the loose ball.
Darmstadt responded, striking the base of the post through a low effort from midfielder Marvin Mehlem after City had misplaced a pass in the midfield.
But City continued to threaten when going forward and the lead was doubled on 24 minutes after a fine flowing move.
Xavi Quintilla was at the heart of it, combining with Placheta down the left side. The Spaniard clipped a perfect cross to the back post, with Pukki alert convert from close range.
In the run up to the interval Darmstadt once again hit the post, as Dursun received the ball in the area. With his back to goal, the powerful Turkish striker pivoted on the spot before seeing a low effort come back off the base of the woodwork.
After half time City continued to threaten, as Marco Stiepermann volleyed wide.
But a third goal did arrive on the hour mark in spectacular fashion.
Martin struck a sweet free kick from 25 yards out up, over the wall and beyond a stranded Darmstadt goalkeeper.
City came close to adding a fourth after some clever interplay between Martin and Aarons down the right flank. The latter cross to Pukki, who side-footed marginally wide over the far post.
But Darmstadt rallied, and late in the piece reduced the arrears with two goals.
Dursun was the scorer of both, but in the end City had enough in the tank to see the game out.
Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Tettey, Godfrey, Quintilla, Skipp, McLean, Dowell (Martin 46), Stiepermann (Vrancic 77), Placheta, Pukki (Hugill 77)
Goals: Placheta (8), Pukki (24), Martin (61)
Booked: Aarons, Placheta
SV Darmstadt 98: Stritzel, Palsson, Mehlem, Schnellhardt, Mai, Dursun, Rapp, Manu, Zehnder, Herrmann, Berko
Goals: Dursun (82), (90)
The afternoon’s second game started in a somewhat disjointed fashion, with a collection of fouls and stoppages in player interrupting any early flow.
City main attacking threat came through Jamal Lewis and Adam Idah down the left flank.
On one particular occasion, Lewis tricked his way beyond two markers before seeing a pull-back from the byline met by Jordan Hugill, who could only side-foot over the bar.
City goalkeeper Dan Barden had to be alert on the half-hour to repel Fabian Holland’s effort, but in truth goalscoring opportunities were at a premium.
Hugill rose highest in a crowded penalty area to head Mario Vrancic’s corner goalwards, only to be denied by a flying save from the Darmstadt goalkeeper.
In the second half Bali Mumba came close to converting at the back post following good work from Hugill.
Dowell was reintroduced for midway through the half and had the ball in the net in spectacular fashion on the hour mark. After cutting infield he curled a wonderful effort into the top corner, only to see a flag up for offside.
Darmstadt did strike the post late on following a counter attack, but for the large part both sides played out the remaining minutes, as the game ended in a stalemate.
Norwich City: Barden, Mumba, Zimmermann, Klose, Lewis (McCallum 75), Sorensen, Rupp, Vrancic (Dowell 58), Cantwell (Sinani 75), Idah, Hugill (Martin 58)
Booked: Zimmermann, Sorensen
SV Darmstadt 98: Klaus, Kempe, Paik, Hohn, Crosthwaite, Stanilewicz, Holland, Arslan, Konietzko, Sesay, Shuteriqi
Booked: Arslan, Holland