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Town 1-4 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Sunday, 14th Jul 2019 13:55

James Norwood netted his first goal for the Blues but couldn't prevent Town from falling to a 4-1 defeat to Fortuna Düsseldorf in their opening 45-minute game at the Interwetten Cup in Meppen.

Norwood was starting his first game since his summer move from Tranmere having started pre-season late.

Fortuna began the game on the front foot and threatened early on from a corner which Town repeatedly failed to clear.

Then in only the third minute the Bundesliga side took the lead. Mattheus Zimmermann crossed from the right and skipper Oliver Fink flicked a header across Bartosz Bialkowski and into the corner of the net.

However, from the kick-off the Blues levelled. The ball was played through to Norwood who found himself in on goal and the striker deftly beat the advancing Michael Rensing to claim his first goal in a Town shirt.

The former Tranmere man had another opportunity in the sixth minute, winning a challenge on the edge of the box which saw him through once again but this time Rensing blocked. The rebound flew out to Armando Dobra, playing on the left side of Town’s 4-1-4-1 system, but the ball struck the youngster’s hand.

Norwood was clearly relishing his return to action with his battle with centre-half Alfredo Morales leading to an ongoing exchange of views between the pair with the striker feeling he had pulled back when he had his second chance.

The German side regained the lead in the 10th minute when Erik Thommy struck a speculative shot from distance which somehow squirmed under Bartosz Bialkowski.

Fortuna made it 3-1 in the 14th minute when Bernard Tekpetey pacily burst away down the right following a Town freekick in the Fortuna half leaving a number of Blues players in his wake and cut the ball to his left to Thommy, who turned in his second of the game from close range.

Town lost centre-half Toto Nsiala to what looked to be a pulled hamstring following the third goal with Bailey Clements coming on at left-back, Tristan Nydam moving into midfield and Cole Skuse from the holding midfield role into the centre of the defence.

Fortuna increased their lead in the 27th minute when Zimmermann crossed from the right of the box, Emyr Huws scuffed his clearance and the ball fell to Tekpetey, who finished clinically.

The German side dominated having established such a commanding lead and went close again in the 33rd minute when Thommy shot not too far wide from the left.

Two minutes later, the Norwood and Morales spat continued with the striker feeling the Fortuna man had elbowed him. Norwood shoved the Fortuna midfielder in the aftermath and both were yellow-carded. A minute later, sub Clements joined them in the book for a foul on Tekpetey.

In the final scheduled minute Nydam was caught in possession on halfway, Thommy broke forward and slipped the ball across Bialkowski towards waiting team-mates but Woolfenden turned it behind.

Seconds before the whistle Nydam was caught by a very well-struck shot in his groin from point blank - leading to painful reactions in sympathy from around the ground - and was receiving treatment as the rest of the players left the pitch.

No disgrace in losing to a side which finished 10th in the Bundesliga last season, however, manager Paul Lambert will be disappointed in the manner of some of the goals.

The Blues’ approach of passing the ball out from the back again played them into trouble on a number of occasions and they failed to cut out crosses from the right in particular on a number of occasions.

The Blues were never really able to impose themselves on their more lauded opposition, although played it around neatly at times, if largely unthreateningly.

Norwood took his goal confidently and will feel he might well have added a second had he not been pulled back when he had his later opportunity.

Town will now sit out while hosts SV Meppen take on Dutch Eredivisie side FC Utrecht for a place in the final. Town will face the losers in the third-fourth play-off in just over an hour’s time.

Town: Bialkowski, Donacien, Nsiala (Clements 16), Woolfenden, Nydam, Skuse, El Mizouni, Huws, Lankester, Dobra, Norwood.

Fortuna: Rensing, Ayhan, Morales, Fink (c), Barkok, Thommy, Giesselmann, Hennings, Bormuth, Tekpetey.

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BlueandTruesince82 added 13:59 - Jul 14
Did Nsiala pick up a knock.

RB has to be priority now
0

ringwoodblue added 14:01 - Jul 14
Good to see Norwood getting his first (of many) goals for Town. However our problems in defence continue and the injuries start up again straight away. Hope Toto is ok otherwise we will have no recognized CB for the opening match of the season.
0

StringerBell added 14:06 - Jul 14
We’re bloody useless aren’t we. What a clusterfudge.
3

warktheline added 14:06 - Jul 14
Cue the excuses! Ominous signs already there before new campaign , with a ‘yesterday’ Manager and a non supportive owner at the helm!
4

blues1 added 14:07 - Jul 14
Blueandtrue since82. Rb needs to be priority now due to nsialas injury???? Hes a CB not a rb.
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TractorRoyNo1 added 14:08 - Jul 14
Must get a 6ft-er who can head the ball to help Norwood.
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BlueandTruesince82 added 14:10 - Jul 14
Blues, they we're 2 separate statements.
0

MrTown added 14:21 - Jul 14
Very similar to last year, defensive disasters, midfield tidy and lone striker is far too isolated.
5

billlm added 14:23 - Jul 14
Mr town 100%, needs sorting quickly or were going no where fast,
3

dukey44 added 14:33 - Jul 14
Yeah it's preseason and don't mean a lot. But defence is total tosh still? Has the manager actually learnt anything?
2

jas0999 added 14:37 - Jul 14
Appreciate we are playing a better quality side, but conceding four in just 45 minutes is still very poor. We also need to start a winning mentality, after a dreadful last season. winning breeds confidence and we still don’t look like a side that is going to go on a winning streak - even in league one. Defence is poor and we do need another striker.
3

chepstowblue added 15:00 - Jul 14
Why has nobody blamed Chambers ?!! Bart continues to worry the hell out of me.He's become prone to regular horrific errors and I no longer have any trust in him.
1

JeanManuelThetis added 15:03 - Jul 14
@chepstowblue ...maybe because he wasn't playing in this game...!
3

chepstowblue added 15:12 - Jul 14
I'm well aware of that ! An ironic remark which was misunderstood, as Chambers is generally blamed for everything.....even Bart's calamities.
1

Stewart27 added 15:17 - Jul 14
Town trying to play the ball out from the back. We have no ball playing defenders. We are a professional football team with 3 centre backs. One is Chambers and one was on loan to league 2 last year. It’s a shambles.

Evans you are a horrible disease to this club.
2

dukey44 added 15:23 - Jul 14
Stewart 27 yes the owner is beyond belief in spending money... But surely Lambert has to be blamed on how poorly we defend and it's the manager that puts 1 up front and not the Owner?
2

Billericay12 added 15:36 - Jul 14
If 4 or 5 of our home grown players can step up next this season and help get us a top 6 finish that would be fantastic and something to build on and I would love nothing more than watching us compete with half a team of youngsters. I sincerely hope I am wrong but I am not convinced many of them are good enough. Bishop if he can stay fit and maybe Lancaster but I am unconvinced on any of the others. Dozzell is lucky his father was s club legend because without that he would be nowhere near the first team.
1

TimmyH added 15:46 - Jul 14
Only an exercise session in reality against a superior side but this club needs to start winning games to breed some confidence into many players around the starting 11 that have largely been losing consistently over the last year...a pre-season of losing will be no good to anyone at this club be it manager, coaches, players or supporters.

Well done to Norwood for getting off the mark but that's about it...
2

Lightningboy added 20:38 - Jul 14
Norwood is going to be immense up top for us next season.

As for the other end of the pitch things desperately need sorting out.
1

afcfee added 20:41 - Jul 14
Please God no Skuse at CB
0

Robert_Garrett added 09:41 - Jul 15
Result wasnt important - it was the inspired singing of the solid support, joined by supporters of Fortuna Düsseldorf, our Partners in Germany led by Uli from Hilden.
0

Skip73 added 13:21 - Jul 15
We have to be the worse team in the entire football league, absolute garbage. 6 wins in 16 months is a disgrace.
-1


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