Canaries edged out in thriller
A YOUTHFUL Norwich City Under-18s were beaten 4-3 by West Bromwich Albion in a thrilling game at Colney on Saturday.
With a number a second year scholars continuing their development away with the under-21s on Sunday, Neil Adams named a side made up of first-years and trailists against West Brom, and they performed well.
Captain Cameron Norman put City ahead with a seventh minute penalty, before WBA’s Ged Oldnall finished past Liam Sharpe after an initial shot was parried into his path.
The excellent Harvey Hodd was a constant threat for Neil Adams’ and Gary Holt’s side, but Albion stopper Alex Palmer was on top form – tipping a long-range effort over midway through the first half.
Albion then rattled the crossbar, whilst trailist Roderick Young and U-16 Jamie Eaton-Collins had efforts for City, but just a minute into the second half the visitors edged ahead.
A well-positioned Aaron Birch was in the right place at the right time to make it 2-1 after a free kick came into the area.
Oldnall then scored his second of the game to make it 3-1 on the hour mark, before City’s towering centre-back Kevin Lokko pulled it back to 3-2 following a corner.
With City chasing the game, a slip by goalkeeper Sharpe on the edge of the area allowed West Brom to restore that two-goal cushion on 82 minutes.
The young Canaries didn’t give up the fight though, and substitute striker Dominic St Louis continued his comeback from a long-term injury with City’s third after good work from Lokko with the last kick of the game.
Afterwards, Manager Neil Adams told Canaries.co.uk: “We went 1-0 up but then found ourselves 3-1 down, and that’s always a test for these young players, but I was really pleased with the way they reacted – they never gave it up.
“It was probably our youngest ever side with no second years at all, and full credit to the lads, they gave a really good showing although errors probably cost us.
“Our second years are away with the U-21s, which has created more opportunities for our first years and under-16s, and this kind of experience with really benefit them.
“It’s all about getting players into Chris Hughton’s first team squad one day, and if we can fast-track players through the Academy like this then great.”
FULL-TIME: Norwich City Under-18s 3, West Bromwich Albion Under-18s 4
CITY: Sharpe, Norman (Carroll 59), Grant, Hayden, Lokko, Wyatt, Sarmento, Young, Browne, Hodd, Eaton-Collins (St Louis 65)
SUBS NOT USED: Oxborough, Fox, Sweeney.