Charlton showed encouraging signs but suffer their first pre-season defeat on English soil against a strong Norwich City side.
It was both sides’ penultimate pre season match before kicking off their respective campaigns on the 5th August and the quality of the championship side eventually showed through, but only after a very strong start from the Addicks.
Forster-Caskey had the first attempt forcing the Norwich keeper into making a good save before Fosu’s effort was fired just wide. Magennis did have the ball in the net for the Addicks just after but Holmes was judged offside during the build up.
Norwich did have chances of their own, however, as Josh Murphy missed a glorious opportunity mid way through the first half after being laid off nicely by his Norwich teammate.
Norwich did take the lead on 34 minutes as Wildschut fired low passed Dillon Phillips from the edge of the box, into the far corner. The last action of the first half was when Fosu played in Ricky Holmes, who was brought down by the Norwich keeper after Holmes had knocked it past him. The referee, however, wasn’t interested, much to the disbelief of some fans. It was a very good first half performance from Charlton who arguably were unlucky to be behind.
Some members of the Sidemen came on to the pitch during the half time interval. This was to announce they’d raised an incredible £210,000 during the charity match played at The Valley back in May. £210,000 will go to the two chosen charities, the NSPCC and Charlton Community Trust. A massive well done to them and the club for raising such a large amount.
Not long after the break, Norwich nearly made it 2-0 as Naismith missed a very good opportunity for the visitors after good play from Norwich’s Wildschut on the right wing. The visitors did, however, double their lead after Wilschut played in Naismith in a similar position to the time before. Only this time Naismith slotted it past Phillips and put the canaries 2-0 up.
Charlton were not able to create the same chances and pressure as in the first half but almost saw Bauer’s header pull one back for the hosts but it was just wide from Holmes’s free kick. Ahearne Grant’s cross was nearly turned in for an own goal but the cross looped past Norwich’s post, after coming off Norwich’s defender.
It certainly wasn’t a performance Charlton should be unhappy with. The Addicks showed encouraging signs and certainly weren’t outplayed although Norwich’s quality did begin to shine through during the second half. For The Addicks, it is clear what is needed, a striker and a goalkeeper and then I feel Robinson’s men would be in a good position for the season ahead.
Norwich should also be pleased with their performance, beating a side who I think will be competing for a top six finish towards the end of the season. They have a couple of very good players in Wildschut and Naismith and defended very well to stop many Charlton attacks in the second half.