Charlton 1 Norwich City 0 – Canaries complete pre-season with a defeat
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Pre-season has concluded on a losing note for Norwich City, slipping to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Charlton Athletic after the hosts survived a late onslaught.
The Canaries fell behind in the 59th minute after a Jake Forster-Caskey shot deflected past Tim Krul unfortunately and the third-tier Addicks survived some late pressure from the visitors, with Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey both denied by good saves.
It brought an end to pre-season after five wins, two defeats and a draw – with the other loss being 2-1 to Union Berlin in Germany and the victories coming against King's Lynn, Lincoln, Crawley, Paderborn and Luton.
City head coach Daniel Farke shuffled his pack again but handed new signing Krul a second start inside three days as he ensured the Dutch international had enough minutes in the tank ahead of the Championship opener at Birmingham next weekend.
Newly appointed captain Grant Hanley also continued his comeback from a hamstring injury, starting alongside Timm Klose, with chances to impress for Felix Passlack at right-back and James Husband on the left.
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Tom Trybull, Moritz Leitner and Onel Hernandez both started after featuring as substitutes during the 3-1 win at Luton in midweek.
Kenny McLean and Teemu Pukki – after hobbling off at Kenilworth Road – both kept their starting spots and Dennis Srbeny came in up front as Jordan Rhodes rested his ankle knock ahead of the opening day.
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That again meant no place for Portuguese duo Ivo Pinto and Nelson Oliveira, who along with Jamal Lewis have not featured in pre-season, while Alex Tettey continued to miss out due to illness.
The League One side had a golden chance to take the lead in just the fifth minute after a poor kick from Krul but Reeco Hackett-Fairchild headed weakly wide at the back post from a Karlan Grant cross from the right.
The speedy Mark Marshall was giving Passlack a thorough test and fired just wide in the 14th minute after the German youngster's stray pass, then forced Krul into a save at his near post after beating the Dortmund loanee for pace three minutes later. The winger also clipped the outside of Krul's post later in the half
Just before that Hernandez had bent a shot just wide of the far post after cutting in from the left wing but the Canaries were struggling for attacking fluency, with the Addicks hustling them and giving them little time in possession.
There was another big chance for the hosts in the 32nd minute but George Lapslie headed over from close range under pressure from Husband as he reached a Marshall cross from the left.
Just a minute later City had the ball in the net but Hernandez saw his tidy, curled finish ruled out for offside as he ran onto Pukki's through-ball.
Hanley was increasingly vocal as the visitors continued to look sloppy and Farke was relieved to see his team go into the break on level terms after Marshall again beat Passlack to allow Lewis Page to cross from the left, only for Forster-Caskey to lash a shot straight at Krul in the 40th minute.
Passlack, Husband and Leitner were all hooked at the break, with Ben Marshall coming on at right-back, Max Aarons at left-back and Marco Stiepermann coming into midfield.
Within four minutes Stiepermann pulled a low shot just beyond the post after Marshall linked well with Hernandez – but much to McLean's fury, as he screamed for the ball in space to Stiepermann's left as he shaped to shoot.
City had a penalty shout in the 58th minute as Srbeny tried to reach Stiepermann's cross from the right with his head but the Addicks broke and took the lead.
Forster-Caskey pushed into space and fired a low shot from the edge of the box which deflected off Hanley and wrong-footed Krul to dribble into the net.
The Canaries tried to respond immediately as Pukki got on the end of a Hernandez cross from the left but just couldn't adjust to make clean contact.
Todd Cantwell and Emi Buendia were among a raft of City substitutes in the final quarter and both were involved with Pukki in a tidy move which saw Srbeny lash over on the turn in the 79th minute.
Buendia was immediately influential and charged into the box before teeing up Cantwell but Charlton keeper Dillon Phillips superbly tipped the low shot round his right-hand post. The keeper again kept City out from the resulting corner from Marshall, sprawling at his near post to keep Ben Godfrey's header out.
Christoph Zimmermann was also denied from a Marshall corner in the 89th minute and Phillips made a diving save to deny Cantwell's shot on the rebound and seal the win for his team.
Norwich: Krul; Passlack (Marshall 46), Hanley (C – Zimmermann 72), Klose (Godfrey 72), Husband (Stiepermann 46); Trybull (Thompson 72); Hernandez (Buendia 77), Pukki, Leitner (Aarons 46), McLean (Cantwell 77); Srbeny. Unused sub: Matthews (GK)
Charlton: Phillips; Solly, Bauer, Pearce (C), Page; Lapslie (Pratley 46), Forster-Caskey, Aribo, Marshall; Grant (Maloney 84), Hackett-Fairchild (Ajose 76). Unused subs: Maynard-Brewer (GK), Sarr, Mascoll
Goals: Forster-Caskey 59
Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 2,110 (529 away)