- Albion and Norwich play out a 1-1 stalemate
- Pascal Gross on target for the Seagulls
- Marley Watkins on target for the Canaries.
- Brighton next face Girona on Tuesday
Brighton & Hove Albion extended their unbeaten run in pre-season to four games after drawing 1-1 with Norwich City in a tightly-contested encounter at Carrow Road this afternoon.
Summer signings Mathew Ryan, Markus Suttner and Pascal Gross all started for the Seagulls, while Izzy Brown began the game on the bench after featuring against Southend United on Tuesday.
Gross gave his team the lead midway through the first half, after heading home from Bruno’s perfectly-weighted cross, but a stunning strike from Marley Watkins before half time ensured the game ended all square.
The hosts created the first opportunity of the game after ten minutes, when Cameron Jerome found space to shoot inside the box, but Shane Duffy intervened with a brilliant block in front of goal.
Harrison Reed came close to breaking the deadlock when his first-time effort from Jerome’s cross sailed inches wide of Ryan’s right-hand upright, before Mario Vrancic looped an effort just over the crossbar from long range.
Some excellent link-up play from Solly March and Gross almost ended in a chance for Albion, but the German’s inviting cross to the back post escaped Jamie Murphy’s outstretched leg.
But the breakthrough came in the 21st minute and it was Albion who took the lead, when Bruno’s precise cross to the front post was directed into the far corner, as Gross connected with a glancing header for his second goal of pre-season.
Chris Hughton’s team then enjoyed a comfortable spell of possession and looked confident on the ball, as Gross continued to drop into the hole in front of Norwich’s defence and link up with his team-mates.
However, just three minutes before half-time, the Canaries drew level and it was a powerful strike from Watkins that flew towards goal, hit the underside of the crossbar and ended Albion’s run of clean sheets.
Albion returned after the break with two changes to the side, as Gaetan Bong and Brown replaced Gross and Murphy - which meant Suttner moved to left midfield in front of his Cameroonian team-mate.
Suttner was quickly into the second-half action as he picked up the ball just outside of Norwich’s penalty area, but the Austrian’s left-footed effort rolled comfortably wide of Angus Gunn’s left-hand post.
Watkins then had a chance to notch his second goal of the game, after connecting with a set-piece delivery to the back post, but the striker’s tame header rolled wide of the target.
Suttner continued to threaten down the left wing for Albion, and Brown almost gave his team the lead when the Austrian’s cross found the Chelsea loanee, but his header dropped just wide of goal.
Norwich substitute Nelson Oliveira came within inches of putting the hosts in front with under ten minutes remaining, but the Portuguese striker’s thunderbolt from 25 yards cannoned back off the post to safety.
Ben Godfrey headed over the crossbar for the hosts in the closing stages, but neither side could find a winning goal as the game ended all square at Carrow Road.