SC Bastia 1, Norwich City 1

Norwich City playmaker Wes Hoolahan was never far from the action in the club's Friday friendly against SC Bastia in France. Picture by Stefano Gnech/Focus Images Ltd Norwich City playmaker Wes Hoolahan was never far from the action in the club's Friday friendly against SC Bastia in France. Picture by Stefano Gnech/Focus Images Ltd

Friday, July 25, 2014
6:49 PM

Norwich City midfielder Anthony Pilkington hit back late to earn the Canaries a 1-1 draw in a fiesty friendly against French top flight side SC Bastia in Sallanches on Friday evening.

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Neil Adams’ squad made the short trip over the border from their Italian training base for a competitive work-out that threatened to boil over at times with the influential Wes Hoolahan and Yannick Cahuzac both taken off late on after an ugly altercation.

Francois Kamano rifled the French in front in the 65th minute but Pilkington levelled with a composed finish five minutes from the end.

Adams lined up with a 4-2-3-1 formation from the start at Stade Municipal in Sallanches with Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson sitting in front of a back four that featured Steven Whittaker, Ryan Bennett, Michael Turner and Javier Garrido. Elliott Bennett and Nathan Redmond flanked Hoolahan with Gary Hooper leading the line.

Bastia probed in the early exchanges but Howson in particular appeared keen to inject a competitive edge into the proceedings with two heavy challenges on his opposite number.

Captain Johnson was penalised for a tug back on Floyd Ayite after an impressive turn of speed from the Bastia wide player. Chris Maboulou glanced a header wide in the sixth minute from the dipping free kick.

Ryad Boudebouz then ballooned a cross out of play but there was no disputing the directness and pace in forward areas from the Ligue One outfit.

Adams was urging Hoolahan to get on the ball at every opportunity, with the Republic of Ireland needing little invitation to drop deeper in search of work but the promise of one clip over the top for Redmond ended when the Birmingham-bred flyer was signalled offside.

City were shading possession and territory in the opening quarter without really testing Jean-Louis Leca. Elliott Bennett’s heavy fall momentarily raised alarms after last season’s long term injury absence but the midfielder was able to take the free kick after treatment, only for Romaric to track Hooper’s near post run.

Howson’s latest strong challenge and Hooper’s defence of his team-mate sparked a minor altercation which sucked in a number of players from either side but order was quickly restored prior to a soothing word from the official.

Hoolahan and Hooper combined seamlessly on the half-hour mark before Whittaker was invited to range forward and feed Redmond but Hoolahan’s late run into the Bastia box was tracked by ex-Arsenal man Sébastien Squillaci.

Howson’s voracious appetite for work proved his undoing 10 minutes from the interval when he was caught heavily on his right knee trying to trigger a swift City raid. The Yorkshireman laboured on after treatment before a precautionary early exit prior to the interval.

Bastia looked to have broken the deadlock two minutes from the break when Johnson was levered off the ball to leave City’s backline exposed by Declan Rudd’s parry was despatched by Boudebouz in an offside position.

Norwich had a more fortuitous escape seconds later when Ayite’s rising strike cannoned Rudd’s left-hand post and bounced back into play.

Bastia enjoyed a better spell of concerted possession immediately after the restart but Hoolahan’s urgings carved out a corner Leca grasped at the second attempt under pressure from Hooper.

Adams made a double change two minutes prior to the hour mark with Josh Murphy and Jamar Loza replacing Redmond and Hooper respectively.

Josh Murphy’s pace immediately troubled the Bastia backline but his attempt to swerve around the on-rushing Leca allowed Squillaci to arrive on the cover.

Rudd parried from Bastia substitute Kamano after the teenage frontman eased Garrido off the ball on the edge of his own area.

Turner was adjudged to have hauled down Ayite but Guillaume Gillet’s free kick was charged by Hoolahan. Livewire Kamano stabbed Bastia in front in the 65th minute when City were unable to clear a deep free kick and the substitute reacted quickest to guide past the sprawling Rudd.

City were now forced to probe on the counter with the French side looking the more dangerous but Pilkington was denied a goalscoring chance by Squillaci’s despairing dive to cut out Josh Murphy’s thoughball.

Hoolahan was then struck off-the-ball in central midfield by Cahuzac which prompted an angry reaction from the Irishman and another inevitable flashpoint as the rain swept in across the Stade Municipal. The match official wisely ordered both to depart, but not before John Ruddy and Russell Martin were forced to act as peacemakers to defuse any further unsavoury aftermath.

City continued to probe and got their reward in the 85th minute when Jacob Murphy’s thunderbolt dropped into Pilkington’s path and the Republic of Ireland international calmly guided a left-foot finish past Leca.

• SC Bastia (starting line up): Leca, Peybernes (Kamano 53) Pacmieri, Squillaci, Romaric, Modesto, Cahuzac, Gillet, Bondebouz, Ayite, Maboulou.

• Goal: Kamano (65)

• Norwich City: Rudd (Matthews 77), Whittaker, R Bennett, Turner, Garrido, Howson (Surman 40), Johnson, E Bennett (Pilkington 66), Hoolahan (Jacob Murphy 75), Redmond (Josh Murphy 57), Hooper (Loza 57). Subs: Gafaiti.

• Goal: Pilkington (85)

25 comments

  • I`m really pleased that `feisty` and its derivatives have taken on so well. Kodus to Divatt.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Overall it looks encouraging. The goal that we gave away was a bit soft but there positives, not least of which being Josh Murphy who looks like a real threat. We have not seen enough of Wes for a while and I respect his feistiness. If someone takes a dig at him, he will not let them get away with it, however much bigger than him they are.

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    Swiss Canary

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Joking apart, Sir Alf was a great manager. He achieved two things that I don't think anyone else ever will. The harder of the two would be winning something with 1p5wich.

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    PaulWho

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • So having spent time in Ipswich he could handle himself?

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    PaulWho

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • And where`s Olsson?

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • VictorM

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Btw, PW, Sir Alf was born in Dagenham, but he died in Ipswich. His achievements, both at Ipswich and for England, were colossal. I`m not sure about his humorous side, though. Perhaps the clue is in his middle name - "Ernest". Like Hughton, he had a long playing career at Spurs. Unlike Hughton.....

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Thanks, Ethiopian! Naughty Rodney. ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • Wasn't Alf Ramsay from Ipswich? Great sense of humour.

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    PaulWho

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • What concerns me regarding this match is NA is putting one striker up front.He did this against Arsenal last season and Norwich lost the game.Yes we drew the game with Bastia but one up front is like the old CH dismal negative days.I hope NA will continue the diamond formation and be attack minded!

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    paul553

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • theanchovy , surely its the Birmingham bread flyer, it rolls of the tongue better .

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    wivenhoebudgie

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • It was said that the (then) England manager Sir Alf Ramsey told Rodney Marsh "I'll be watching you for the first 45 minutes and if you don't work harder I'll pull you off at half time," to which Marsh replied: "Crikey, Alf, at Manchester City all we get is an orange and a cup of tea."

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    Ethiopian Canary

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Oh powel you are naughty.

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    cutty

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Good to see some passion from Wes... Sounds like he was the busiest player on the pitch... This passion is what is going to be needed game in and game out if we are going to get back to the top draw...

    image

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    TheBirdCage

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • At least it seemed competitive. It`s a pity that there was a bit of self-abuse. Les Lee, I`ll kick myself for this, but I don`t get the Oranges & Man C comment! I`m sure I`ll guffaw when\if you enlighten me. ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Just been on the Bastia website. Kit looks too much like 1p5wich's rags !

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    Timbo

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • @ powelld123. Ah yes, the classic Rod Marsh comment to Sir Alf Ramsey, before he found himself never being picked for England again. Oranges and Manchester City.

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    Les Lee

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Nelson

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Quote: or - was it "I say chaps, you'd better pull yourselves off, before I do" ? Those refs a bit hands on over there aren't they? ;)

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    powelld123

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • "the Birmingham-bred flyer!!!!!

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    theanchovy

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Just looked again and the Live Coverage site still says Event begins in 4 hour 30 plus minutes and yet appears to have already given a match report. Hopefully they will also give match result early during the season so we can all put some dosh on the outcome.

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • It seems mystic meg has been at work here, when I looked at the site just before 5 this evening it was stating there was still 7 hours and 2 minutes to go before kick off. I thought midnight was a strange time to start but that part of the site still seems to infer it has yet to start. Likewise, if two player were sent off, why not say so. However, the team listed above suggests that Jacob Murphy replace Hoolahan on 75 mins, nobody seems to have replaced Cahuzac so did they end the game with a player short?

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    TrevorKeith

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • Pretty decent result against a mid talble Ligue 1 club. Particularly coming back from behind. That's a refreshing change in itself.

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    LittleYellowBirdie

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • The match official wisely ordered both to depart. What does that mean exactly - they were both given Red Cards - or - was it "I say chaps, you'd better pull yourselves off, before I do" ?

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    Ethiopian Canary

    Friday, July 25, 2014

  • they sound like dirty Bastias to me.

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    waclor

    Friday, July 25, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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