CAMERON King’s goal three minutes from time gave the ten men of Norwich City a well-deserved victory over Bolton Wanderers in the Barclays U21 Premier League at Colney on Monday.
Adam Blakeman’s 49th minute penalty put the visitors 1-0 up, before City hit back through a superb Ramil Sheriff header on 64 minutes.
Shortly afterwards Sheriff saw red for a foul on Chris Lester, but the superior Canaries finally got the winner near the end when King volleyed home Jacob Murphy’s corner inside the area.
Manager Scott Marshall told Canaries.co.uk afterwards: “I think we deserved it over the whole game.
“It was a young group today and they showed a good bit of spirit after going down to ten men.
“In the last few minutes we went 2-1 up and we were expecting a backlash, but every time the ball came into our box the lads got on the end of it to get it away.
“I think the sending off might have been a bit harsh and we went a goal behind from a penalty that might not have been a penalty – I’ll have to have a look at both of those again.
“We were much better in the second half - we looked like we were in control of it and even though we went 1-0 down we still kept the ball, were a nuisance, and looked like we could create something.
“Cameron King got the winner, and he’s a young one. He’s had a little run of games now in the U-21s and he’s doing well for a first year scholar.
“He went away with Scotland’s U-18s during the week and he’ll be delighted to come back and get the goal.”
In an even opening period, it was City who were went closest to making the breakthrough first, as striker Jamar Loza headed Jacob Murphy’s corner narrowly wide from a good position in the third minute.
The visitors soon hit back with an Oscar Threlkeld header in the 17th minute, however a well-positioned Harry Barker did well to make a goal-line clearance and keep the scores level.
Marshall’s U-21s continued to threaten down the flanks through both Josh and Jacob Murphy, whilst King’s driving runs caused problems through the middle, but neither side could find a goal in an uneventful first half at Colney.
HALF-TIME: Norwich City Under-21s 0, Bolton Wanderers Under-21s 0
City got off to a nightmare start just four minutes into the second half, as the referee awarded a penalty for a foul by Adel Gafaiti on Sanmi Odelusi, although the City defender appeared to get a touch on the ball.
Bolton’s number 11 Blakeman was the man who stepped up to the spot, and he made no mistake from 12 yards – firing into the top right corner past a diving Jed Steer.
Just five minutes later Gafaiti came within inches of making amends as his downwards header from a Clunan ball was somehow scooped off the line.
The Canaries were camped in the Bolton half, and finally got their reward in the 64th minute as Sheriff rose highest to meet Clunan’s free kick with a powerful header that gave Wanderers’ ‘keeper Robert Lainton no chance.
However just nine minutes later the City captain was given his marching orders for what the referee deemed to be a dangerous tackle on Bolton midfielder Lester, leaving Marshall’s side with ten men.
Despite the disadvantage, City continued to pile forward and got a richly deserved winner shortly before time when King’s exquisite volley from Jacob Murphy’s right-wing corner flew past Lainton to give Norwich a 2-1 victory.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City Under-21s 2, Bolton Wanderers U-21s 1
CITY: Steer; McNeil, Barker, Gafaiti, Sheriff (c); Clunan, Hall-Johnson (Norman 81), King; Josh Murphy, Jacob Murphy, Loza
SUBS NOT USED: McGeehan, Matthews, Hodd, Morris
BOLTON: Laintion, Hampson, Kellett, McQuade, Threlkeld, McKee, Lester, Kelly, Odelusi (Clough 80), Wolstenholme, Blakeman (Youngs 80)
SUBS NOT USED: Woodland, Fielding, Maher