Johnson (32), Scapuzzi (61)
- Match reports
- 14 March 2012 20:23
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
City's Elite Development Squad have carved out an impressive win away to NEC Nijmegen.
The friendly was rescheduled after being postponed from last summer, shortly after City’s Abdi Ibrahim had joined NEC on a season-long loan.
The match took place in Wijchen, near Nijmegen itself, and attracted a lot of interested scouts but there was also great excitement when John Guidetti arrived to watch his City team mates. The Swedish striker has been a big hit in his loan spell at Feyenoord, but his appearance was much appreciated by the City contingent.
The hosts had the better of the early exchanges, threatening at a corner before a touch of class put City into the lead. Michael Johnson controlled the ball with his chest before looping the ball over elude Smits in Nijmegen’s goal for a superb goal.
For the rest of the half the only incident of note was the fashionably late arrival of Guidetti, but Nijmegen gathered themselves to equalise a few minutes into the second half. Centre forward Bajrovic’s put the ball past Lawlor at a scrappy set-piece, but the substitute keeper could count himself unlucky after the shot took a deflection.
Lawlor kept it at 1-1 with a fine save just after the Nijmegen equaliser, and Denis Suarez went close with a shot into the side netting before City took the lead again. Ahmad Benali fed Luca Scapuzzi and the Italian continued his recent good run of form to slot past Smits.
City held their hosts at bay for the remainder of the game, and with all the substitutes having a run-out City’s trip to the Netherlands for this friendly encounter could be judged a success for all concerned, with coach Andy Welsh pleased with the results.
"I was very pleased with our performance against a good footballing side, it was a very worthwhile experience for the development of our younger players. I was delighted with the result and the way the lads applied themselves against tough opposition."