NORWICH City’s Under-21s produced a commanding second half performance to see off the challenge of Middlesbrough, eventually winning 3-1 at Colney.
A Cameron McGeehan header sandwiched between two Josh Murphy goals ensured Ricky Martin’s side ran out victors, despite Luke Williams’ early free-kick for the hosts.
Academy Manager Ricky Martin said afterwards: “The performance was really good. We had periods of play where we were on top but didn’t take our chances, but in the second half we did that very well.
“The third goal was a different class – the one touch play, the give and go and then the cut-back from Jacob (Murphy), and it was a great finish at the near post from Josh.”
Senior goalkeeper Mark Bunn played 90 minutes for the Canaries, while Murphy returned to the fray after his stint involved with Chris Hughton’s first-team.
Williams dealt a blow after just two minutes, however, when he curled in a delightful free-kick from 25 yards into the right corner, leaving Bunn with no chance.
Five minutes on the Canaries were level though when Murphy matched the Middlesbrough midfielder’s effort, beating Luke Coddington at his far post.
Both sides demonstrated plenty of pace in attack but other clear-cut chances were difficult to come by in the rest of the first half, and they went in at the break all square.
Norwich were on the front foot from the off in the second half, and after Murphy and McGeehan had efforts from distance, they took a deserved lead on 65 minutes.
Carlton Morris provided the cross from the left, and McGeehan glanced a header that looped over Coddington and into the right corner.
The influential Murphy then had a penalty shout turned down before Jamar Loza had a goal-bound effort disallowed when he strayed into an offside position.
Murphy made sure of the points with eleven minutes left on the clock, finishing off a superb move, firing his brother Jacob’s pass low past Coddington.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 3-1 MiddlesbroughGOALS
: Norwich City: Josh Murphy (7, 79), Cameron McGeehan (65) – Middlesbrough: Luke Williams (2).
: Bunn; McNeil, Gafaiti, Toffolo, Barker (Wyatt 60); McGeehan (c) (Hodd 83), Hall-Johnson; Jacob Murphy, Loza, Josh Murphy (Norman 79); Morris. Subs not used
: Young, Matthews (GK).
Martin confirmed afterwards that Mark Robson is set to take over Under-21s manager from November 1. Read the full story HERE.