James Maddison effort enough as Norwich edge Brentford

Posted Sunday, January 28, 2018 by PA

James Maddison effort enough as Norwich edge Brentford

Norwich midfielder James Maddison’s superb 30-yard strike in a hard-fought 1-0 win was enough to end in-form Brentford’s 13-game home unbeaten Championship run.

Highly-rated Maddison curled home a beauty into the top corner after six minutes to give Bees keeper Daniel Bentley no chance.

Nelson Oliveira almost made it two midway through the first half with a carbon-copy strike, but this time his rasping drive from the edge of the box bounced to safety of the outside of the post.

Norwich started the brightest and looked far sharper in the middle of the park where they pressed the hesitant Bees into a series of errors.

Brentford were rocked back on their heels by the early goal, but the unmarked Florian Jozefzoon should have levelled on 14 minutes – but his close-range header went straight to goalkeeper Angus Gunn.

Two minutes later, wing back Yoann Barbet thought he had hauled Dean Smith’s side back into it with a sizzling low drive that flashed inches past the far upright.

Jozefzoon came close just before the half-hour mark when he got across his marker only to steer his first-time drive wide.

Brentford had all the possession in a sometimes niggly first half but failed to carve any real clear-cut openings, with City always a threat on the break with winger Josh Murphy’s pace a thorn in the Bees’ side.

Grant Hanley almost made it two for the visitors seven minutes before the break, but his toe-poked effort in a crowded box was held by the relieved Bentley.

Brentford looked far more lively after the break, but it was Harrison Reed who almost stretched the visitors’ lead when he outstripped Barbet to whip in a low drive that eluded everyone.

Bees midfielder Ryan Woods whipped in a low cross in the danger area but not for the first time, Brentford’s forward line were firing blanks.

Substitutes Alan Judge and Sergi Canos gave the hosts a boost and the Irishman almost marked his league return with a goal before firing his low drive just wide.

Canos, who joined the Bees after a stop-start stay at Carrow Road, should have made his former employers pay after 81 minutes but skied Ollie Watkins’ low cross from the byline high over the bar.

Watkins himself went close five minutes later, turning his man brilliantly only to be denied by a great reflex stop from Gunn.

Brentford – missing leading scorer Lasse Vibe, who is rumoured to be on the brink of a move to China –
lacked the cutting edge to seriously test a resolute Canaries rearguard.

Substitute Emiliano Marcondes and Barbet saw late efforts blocked by City’s desperate defence as they saw out five minutes of injury time to put a halt to Brentford’s recent run of five wins in six.


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