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Cambridge United 1, Norwich City 3 - video highlights and photo gallery

PUBLISHED: 22:03 17 July 2015 | UPDATED: 17:15 18 July 2015

Ricky van Wolfswinkel challenges for the ball during the pre-season friendly at Abbey Stadium. Picture by Daniel Hambury/Focus Images

Ricky van Wolfswinkel challenges for the ball during the pre-season friendly at Abbey Stadium. Picture by Daniel Hambury/Focus Images

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Ricky van Wolfswinkel made a successful return to Norwich City action, with a goal and an assist in the Canaries' 3-1 victory over Cambridge United at Abbey Stadium.

Having agreed a format of playing two 60-minute games, City’s opening XI were involved in a competitive first 30-minute half.

Steven Whittaker slotted in a right-back as Louis Thompson was given the left-back role, in the notable changes from Tuesday’s 10-0 win at non-league Hitchin.

Cameron Jerome headed his first and only real chance straight at United goalkeeper Sam Beasant, son of former England keeper David.

The hosts had their early chances too, with Harrison Dunk forcing John Ruddy into a decent tip-over on his return to his former club.

But after a goalless first 30 minutes, things picked up in the second session as Cambridge enjoyed a spell of cutting their Premier League opponents open at will.

First came their goal, Barry Corr sliding home Jordan Slew’s fine cross after his pace caused plenty of problems down the City right.

That was on 34 minutes, and was quickly followed by two great chances to make it two – Slew skewing over when clean through, before Louis Thompson sliced another cross just wide of his own goal.

The League Two hosts provided stubborn resistance as Alex Neil’s men struggled to break them down, but we handed an unlikely equaliser on 60 minutes – effectively the stroke of half-time – when Conor Newton unnecessarily brought down Thompson as he went away from goal. Gary Hooper stepped up and dispatched the penalty.

The second 60 minutes brought a refreshed XI from Cambridge and a completely new one from City, with Van Wolfswinkel making his first appearance in a City shirt since last summer’s pre-season.

And it took him fewer than 100 seconds to make his mark, side-footing into an empty net after Harry Toffolo’s fine ball set excellent work from Jacob Murphy.

The Dutch striker had spent last season on-loan at St Etienne following a torrid first season at City, and came close to rejoining Sporting Lisbon earlier in the summer before a proposed transfer broke down.

With the likes of Elliott Bennett continuing his pre-season run at right-back and Wes Hoolahan, Lewis Grabban and Alex Tettey also involved, Cambridge struggled to cause their top-flight visitors as many problems – even if clear-cut chances were at a premium.

However, in the final quarter City put the result to bed as Van Wolfswinkel’s cut-back provided an easy finish for young left-back Harry Toffolo, who continues to impress this pre-season.

The final action saw Gary O’Neil’s delicious curling effort turned around his near post by Beasant, as City rounded off a third pre-season victory.

City’s absentees included Sebastien Bassong, Kyle Lafferty, Tony Andreu, Jamar Loza, as well as Jonny Howson who missed the game at Hitchin due to illness. Nathan Redmond is due to make his first appearance since the summer during City’s pre-season tour to Germany and Austria next week.

United - 1st 60mins (4-4-2): Beasant, Omozusi, Roberts, Coulson (Legge 30) , Taylor, Newton, Morrissey (Berry 30), J Hughes, Dunk, Corr, Simpson (Slew 30); 2nd 60mins (4-4-2): Beasant, Omozusi (Smith 90), Coulson, Legge , Trialist, Morrissey (Chiedozie 90), Berry (Lowe 99), Carr, J Hughes (Trialist 90), Simpson (L Hughes 90), Slew (Horne 98). Goal: Corr 34.

City - 1st 60mins (4-1-3-2): Ruddy; Whittaker, R Bennett, Turner, Thompson; Mulumbu; Odjidja, Dorrans, Johnson; Hooper, Jerome (Josh Murphy 40); 2nd 60mins (4-1-3-2): Rudd; E Bennett, Martin, Miquel, Toffolo; Tettey; O’Neil, Hoolahan, Jacob Murphy (Josh Murphy 119); Van Wolfswinkel (McGrandles 128), Grabban. Goals: Hooper pen 60; Van Wolfswinkel 62; Toffolo 95.

• Attendance: 3,890.

Follow Michael Bailey on Twitter @michaeljbailey

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