Chris Hughton concedes Norwich City came up short against San Jose
- Credit: Archant
Chris Hughton was quick to place Norwich City's first pre-season defeat in its proper context after a sluggish outing in a 1-0 loss to San Jose Earthquakes.
The Canaries' were unable to match the MLS side's greater fitness and sharpness at Buck Shaw Stadium. Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Nathan Redmond both spurned decent first-half openings to cancel out Cordell Cato's seventh minute match-winner that Hughton felt were indicative of two clubs at different stages of their league campaigns.
'I think what it showed was that these are a team who are midway through their league season and this is of course our second week of pre-season,' he said. 'We had a very good period in that 25 minute spell before half-time and certainly on chances it was fairly even. I thought we had two when Ricky was through and Nathan on a one-versus-one. We conceded a poor goal, certainly, but it was probably the test we wanted.'
Hughton again utilised the depth of his touring squad with only four players retaining their place in the starting line-up from the midweek opening win over Dorados de Sinaloa. Adel Gafaiti, Alex Tettey, Jacob Butterfield and Redmond were all included again from the outset along with club record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel, but City were rocked back when Cato latched onto Russell Martin's weak pass to draw Mark Bunn and calmly slot underneath the advancing keeper.
Van Wolfswinkel's abrasive confrontation with Brad Ring earned Quakes' team mate Dan Gargan a caution for an aggressive shove on the Dutchman, who swiftly followed into the referee's notebook after a lunge on Ring. The competitive Quakes' defender then bravely threw himself in van Wolfswinkel's path with the striker sizing up a chance to open his goal account before Redmond was crowded out in what proved to be City's best chances of the contest as San Jose continued to dictate after the interval. John Ruddy dropped sharply on his goalline to foil Sam Garza after City were cut open down their left flank and Garza curled a golden chance wide to seal the win in the 87th minute when he raced beyond a tiring City backline but fired wide.
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• San Jose Earthquakes: Bingham, Beitashour (Bernardez 62), Ring, Gargan, Stewart (Morrow 62), Cato, Ballouchy, Corrales, Garza, Salinas (Martinez 52), Tracy (Jahn 71). Subs (not used): Newton, Baca, Cronin, Lenhart.
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• Booking: Gargan
• Goal: Cato (7)
• Norwich City: Bunn (Ruddy 45), Gafaiti (Whittaker 45), Ayala (R Bennett 61), R Martin, Garrido (Surman 75), Redmond (Snodgrass 45), Tettey (Fox 80), Howson (Fer 45), Pilkington (E Bennett 61), Butterfield (Hoolahan 45), van Wolfswinkel (Becchio 45). Sub (not used): Nash, Olsson, Josh Murphy.
• Bookings: van Wolfswinkel, Garrido
• Attendance: 9,631
• Referee: Kevin Stott