Norwich City 2 Crawley Town 0: Onel Hernandez inspires Canaries to sink battling Town in Colney friendly
PUBLISHED: 21:41 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 08:24 13 July 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Onel Hernandez provided the spark to help Norwich City sink League Two Crawley Town in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Colney on Thursday.
Hernandez teed up both Dennis Srbeny and Marco Stiepermann who slotted a goal apiece within eight minutes of an extended 120 minute outing for both clubs at City’s training base.
Daniel Farke gave most of his squad 60 minutes each as the Canaries eased to a third pre-season win ahead of flying out to Germany on Friday for a week long camp,
Farke opted for a flat back four, with Sean Raggett partnering Timm Klose.
Felix Passlack and Max Arrons were deployed as full backs, which released Ben Godfrey to slot into central midfield. Moritz Leitner and Kenny McLean got a chance to renew their blossoming partnership from the midweek trip to Lincoln and there was a first sight of Teemu Pukki in tandem with Jordan Rhodes.
McLean slammed a shot against the underside of the bar in the opening minutes.
Crawley responded well, urged on by Harry Kewell, and went close themselves when Joe McNerney’s far post header dropped to Mark Randall who was unable to keep his flick under the bar from close range.
McNerney was needed in his own box to prevent Raggett slotting Yanic Wildschut’s free kick.
McLean tried his luck again in the final seconds of the opening quarter
Farke kept the same line up for the start of the second quarter and Jordan Rhodes felt he should have had a penalty when he tumbled after initially controlling Passlack’s cushioned pass from Leitner’s raking cross.
Kewell made his feelings known and the officials agreed with the former Leeds’ midfielder despite Rhodes’ appeals.
Glenn Morris then thwarted McLean in what was rapidly becoming something of a personal duel.
There was an even better stop in the 44th minute when the Scottish international crashed a thunderous volley goalwards Morris tipped onto his bar and over.
Remi Matthews was finally pressed into service when Crawley sprung a rare counter to parry from Reece Grego-Cox.
Ranutche Camara should have opened the scoring when he was left free six yards out but headed Chris Whelpdale’s far post touch over.
Only Godfrey and Passlack survived from the Norwich team of the first hour.
Todd Cantwell made his first appearance of the summer after picking up a knee injury towards the end of his loan stint at Fortuna Sittard.
Hernandez’s arrival injected some dynamism into the Canaries’ forward motion.
Tom Trybull whipped a 20-yard shot over before Srbeny’s header was deflected wide from Ben Marshall’s deep cross.
The same duo combined to break the deadlock in the 71st minute. Hernandez wriggled free again on the left to cut back a cross Srbeny impressively lashed into the roof of the net from 14 yards as the ball came across his body.
Hernandez was denied by Yusuf Mersin shortly afterwards with signs Crawley were starting to flag as the gaps appeared.
Cantwell then cracked a dipping volley just over the top
City doubled their lead in the 79th minute; the razor-sharp Hernandez escaping down the left again before a cross slotted by Stiepermann from the edge of the area.
Arrons and Raggett returned for the final quarter and it was Hernandez who still carried the biggest threat, with a slaloming run and low strike parried by Mersin.
• Norwich City (first and second quarters XI): Matthews, Passlack, Raggett, Klose, Arrons, Godfrey, Pukki, McLean, Leitner, Wildschut, Rhodes.
• Norwich City (third quarter XI): McGovern, Marshall, Godfrey, Zimmermann, Husband, Trybull, Passlack, Stiepermann, Cantwell, Hernandez, Srbeny.
• Goals: Srbeny (71), Stiepermann (79)
• Norwich City (fourth quarter XI): McGovern, Arrons, Raggett, Zimmermann, Husband, Trybull, Marshall, Stiepermann, Cantwell, Hernandez, Srbeny.
• Crawley Town (starting XI): Morris, Young, McNerney, Connolly, Doherty, Whelpdale, Payne, Randall, Bulman, Camara, Grego-Cox.
• Referee: Oliver Langford