Match Report: Norwich City FC XI (H)

06 Aug 2023 | Latest News, Match Preview

A superb free-kick from substitute Leon Arnasalam rounded off a positive pre-season for Macclesfield on a wet afternoon at the Leasing.com Stadium.

The Silkmen came into their last game of pre-season with reasons to be optimistic for the new campaign. A final run out for the players before the season opener sparked an opportunity for an impression on manager Mark Duffy.

The game began with a proverbial sparring session, with both teams looking to strike early on without creating any clear cut chances.

The first big chance of the game came for The Silkmen in the 19th minute, when Kane Drummond was the beneficiary of a loose ball in the box, but his strike was well saved by the Norwich goalkeeper.

The hosts began to turn the screw as the first half went on, and had a goal disallowed for offside in the 24th minute. Drummond’s shot deflected off Tom Peers before going in, but the latter was in an offside position, to the dismay of the Macclesfield fans.

After 30 minutes of pressure, Norwich’s resolve was finally broken when Alex Curran’s shot was saved inside the six yard box, and caused confusion amongst the Norwich defenders which led to an own goal for Emmanuel Adegboyega.

Macclesfield looked to put the game to bed before half-time, and Curran had yet another great chance, but his effort was superbly saved at point blank range by the Norwich shot stopper.

Norwich also had their fair share of chances during the first half, and could have been level if not for Max Johnstone in the Macclesfield goal, who made multiple brilliant saves during his 45 minute stint in the game.

The Silkmen went into the halftime interval a goal to the good, after an impressive first half display.

Mark Duffy made numerous changes towards the start of the second half, including giving an opportunity to a trialist in goal for the second half.

The game began to heat up midway through the second half when Sam Heathcote was booked after a scuffle in the middle of the pitch. The referee booked the former and also cautioned a Norwich player in an attempt to calm the players down.

The flow of the second half was slightly interrupted by the changes from both teams, but that didn’t stop Leon Arnasalam from scoring an absolute wonder goal with 12 minutes to play.

The substitute stepped up to take a free-kick from the edge of the box, and he fired the ball past a stricken Ellis Craven, and into the goal off the underside of the crossbar.

The Silkmen saw out the final ten minutes of the game and also had chances to increase the lead, but the scoreline read 2-0 on the referees full time whistle.

Mark Duffy’s men begin their campaign next Saturday away at Bradford (Park Avenue), when all the hard work in preseason comes to the forefront, and The Silkmen will look to get their season off to the best possible start.

By Kallum Bates

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