Jacob Murphy double seals win
Scott Marshall’s Canaries will now face the challenge of King’s Lynn Town at the same venue in the next round, but were made to dig deep in the end against a resolute Dereham.
Despite dominating the possession it wasn’t until the 28th minute that Norwich took the lead, with the lively Jacob Murphy latching onto a through-ball and finishing well past Town #keeper Matt Powley.
However the visitors did hit back through a fantastic 20-yard volley from Scott Roberts to make it 1-1 in the 71st minute, until Jacob Murphy found himself in the right place at the right time to tap home brother Josh’s cross at the death.
U-21s manager Scott Marshall told Canaries.co.uk: “I’m very pleased to get a win - it’s a cup game and you always want to progress into the next round, that’s what it’s all about.
“It was good, and it was a little bit of a different challenge for us. Some of our decision making was indifferent at times, but I still think we created lots of chances.
“However at 1-0 there’s always a chance for the opposition to get back in it, and they did. It doesn’t take much on a night like this, just one slip, and that’s what happened.
“The pleasing thing was that we stuck at it and got the goal in the last few minutes.
“There were some different challenges tonight, with a lot of bodies at the back and we had to work it around them, but they’ll come up against that in their career, so it’s a good experience.
“I’m really pleased with our season so far, and the group that has come through. They’re all feeling quite tired right now, so they’re probably in need of a break, but it has been a good first half of the season.
“We’ll give them a few days now to get over their aches and pains and we’ll look to kick on again in the new year.”
Captained by Olumide Durojaiye, the Canaries looked to maintain the same level of performance that saw them beat West Ham 3-1 at Colney on Monday.
Jamar Loza started up front, with Josh and Jacob Murphy on either flank, whilst Harry Toffolo filled in at centre back alongside Algerian youth international Adel Gafaiti.
Dereham meanwhile were captained by former Academy player Adam Gusterson, but it was City was started the brightest, pinning the visitors back in their own half.
Durojaiye marshalled well in front of the back four, allowing Cameron King and Reece Hall-Johnson to attack with the ball, but the visitors were defending stubbornly with several well-timed blocks.
Both Jacob Murphy and Hall-Johnson tested Powley in the opening 20 minutes, but found no joy until the 28th minute.
Jacob Murphy’s pace took him clear of the Dereham defence after a ball over the top and he showed excellent composure under pressure to pick his spot and fire City into a 1-0 lead.
HALF-TIME: Norwich City Under-21s 1, Dereham Town 0
After the break City picked up where they left off, with Jacob and Josh Murphy causing problems from wide areas, but it was King who has the best early chance to extend that lead after his mazy run took him one-on-one with Powley, only for the ‘keeper to make the save.
It was one-way traffic in front of the 114-strong crowd until the 71st minute, when a Dereham corner was only cleared to the edge of the box, allowing Roberts to rifle in a first-time effort past Remi Matthews – Dereham’s first shot of the match.
The goal seemed to spur Norwich back into life and they created a host of chances without being able to find that cutting edge.
Jacob Murphy had a header cleared off the line, before with ten minutes to go Loza’s powerful shot was saved into the path of Jacob Murphy, who could only sidefoot wide from six yards.
Left back Ben Wyatt then flashed a speculative 25-yard effort just wide before City finally secured the victory in the 90th minute.
Josh Murphy swung a fine ball in with his left that landed at the feet of brother Jacob Murphy, who made no mistake in tapping the ball past the brave Powley to avoid extra-time and set up a fifth round tie with King’s Lynn Town.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City Under-21s 2, Dereham Town 1
CITY: Matthews; McNeil, Wyatt, Gafaiti, Toffolo; Durojaiye (c), King, Hall-Johnson (Clunan 57), Jacob Murphy, Josh Murphy; Jamar Loza
DEREHAM TOWN: Powley, White, Kelleher, Hawkins, Summerfield, Gusterson (c), Kay, Hannant, Downes, Pledger, Roberts