Norwich City 1 Brighton 1 match report: Marley Watkins' screamer pegs back Seagulls
PUBLISHED: 16:52 29 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:30 30 July 2017
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Marley Watkins thumped home a stunning equaliser to earn Norwich City's new boys a 1-1 draw against Premier League Brighton in their final pre-season dress rehearsal.
Watkins and a number of City’s summer signings were on show in head coach Daniel Farke’s first home game in charge at Carrow Road against Chris Hughton’s Seagulls.
Pascal Gross opened the scoring with a glancing first half header but Watkins levelled prior to the break with a 22-yard screamer.
Wes Hoolahan (thigh) and Ivo Pinto (hamstring) were again absent along with youngsters Jamal Lewis and Harry Toffolo. Josh Murphy was a notable absentee with Farke naming two goalkeepers on the bench as part of six substitutes. Cameron Jerome was preferred to Nelson Oliveira up with Yanic Wildschut given another chance to impress after his prominent showing in the 2-0 friendly win at Charlton in midweek.
City chief Farke started with a defensive three as captain Russell Martin and Marcel Franke flanked Christoph Zimmermann. Wildschut and James Husband were deployed as wing backs, allowing Watkins to operate more centrally alongside Jerome.
Harrison Reed hooked wide in the 13th minute following a flowing move sparked by James Husband’s clever pass into Jerome. Mario Vrancic then attempted an audacious long range lob that had Matt Ryan scrambling back but the effort brushed the top of his netting.
Gross opened the scoring against the run of play in the 21st minute when he rose above Zimmermann to glance Bruno’s near post cross beyond Angus Gunn.
City took time to clear their heads but levelled in emphatic fashion three minutes before half-time when Watkins lashed a rising 25-yard shot past Ryan into the top corner.
Farke elected not to make any changes in personnel but the hosts did return for the second period wearing the new all purple third kit.
Watkins headed Vrancic’s corner wide under pressure after a prolonged lull in the goalmouth action. The excellent Maddison and Jerome made way for Steven Naismith and Oliveira in the 70th minute.
Izzy Brown’s looping header dropped past Gunn’s near post before more home changes saw Martin and Wildschut depart for Ben Godfrey and Alex Tettey.
Oliveira’s long range hit had Ryan beaten but cannoned back into play via the inside post.
• Norwich City: Gunn, Martin (Godfrey 80), Zimmermann, Franke, Husband, Reed, Wildschut (Tettey 80), Vrancic, Maddison (Naismith 70), Watkins, Jerome (Oliveira 70). Subs (not used): Matthews (GK), McGovern (GK).
• Goal: Watkins (42)
• Brighton: Ryan; Bruno (Rosenior 71), Dunk, Duffy (Goldson 77), Suttner, March (Skalak 82), Stephens, Kayal (Sidwell 61), Murphy (Bong 45); Gross (Brown 45); Murray (Hemed 77). Sub (not used): Maenpaa (GK).
• Goal: Gross (21)
• Referee: Darren Deadman
• Attendance: 12,907