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4 November 2012

Canaries go down 3-1 to Blackburn Rovers

A MUCH-changed Norwich City’s Under-18s were beaten 3-1 by Blackburn Rovers in a close-fought game at Colney on Saturday morning.

Five trialists and started for the Canaries, who created enough chances to have won the game, but after City’s Roderick Young cancelled out Callum Harris’ opener, a brace of strikes from Ryan Humpheys sealed the win for the visitors.

Manager Neil Adams told afterwards: “It was a really good performance today. We had a lot of trialists involved, and some of those have impressed today, so we’ll follow that up and have a look at one or two.

“Harry Toffolo came on in the second half after a long injury layoff, so that was pleasing, and we also had a few players involved that didn’t get back from the under-21s game until 3.30am on Saturday morning, so full credit to those for the effort they gave.

“As always seems to happen though, we conceded three goals from maybe three or four shots that they’ve had. That’s how it goes sometimes.

“We created a lot of chances today which is pleasing, and probably should have had four or five goals ourselves, but generally the performance and some of the football in the second half was really good.”

After a quiet opening period the Canaries should have been ahead as early as the 21st minute. Ray Grant’s in swinging free kick from the right took a kind deflection into the path of striker Carlton Morris, but his effort was somehow clawed off the line by a Blackburn defender.

Shortly afterwards Rovers’ midfielder Antoine Boland could count himself lucky to stay on the field of play after arriving late on Ben Wyatt – but the referee deemed it worthy of only a yellow card.

Josh Sarmento then showed some excellent pace and skill to beat two Blackburn players before shooting just wide of the post.

With the game tightly balanced, the visitors took the lead in the 41st minute. Harris picked up the ball on the right side of the box, before firing low across City ‘keeper Liam Sharpe, who got a touch but couldn’t prevent Harris’ powerful effort finding the net.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City Under-18s 0, Blackburn Rovers Under-18s 1

After the break Nick Freeman and Rian Carroll were introduced for City pair Kyle McFadden and Harrison Heath as Adams’ side looked to get back on level terms.

In the 51st minute they were able to do just that, as an excellent ball from Morris was met with an equally impressive finish from the lively Young, making it 1-1 with City seemingly on top.

However after City’s Lewis Hayden and Young narrowly missed two excellent chances, Humphreys was able to edge Rovers in front – picking up a ball at the far post and firing past Sharpe, who again got something on it but was unable to prevent the goal.

The young Canaries still pressed in search of what would have been a deserved goal, but shortly after Carroll’s low cross just evaded captain Cameron McGeehan at the far post, Humphreys scored Rovers’ third in the 74th minute.

The number 11 was on hand again at the far post to stroke Jordan Preston’s cross into the bottom corner, giving the visitors a two-goal cushion that the lively City were unable to claw back.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City Under-18s 1, Blackburn Rovers Under-18s 3

Sharpe, Wyatt, Grant (Toffolo 70), Hayden, McFadden (Freeman 46), Lokko, Sarmento, Heath (Carroll 46), Morris, McGeehan, Young

BLACKBURN: Reya, Anderson, Paul, Brown, Butterwick, Thompson, Harris, Boland, Preston, Wassi Humphreys
SUBS: Vickers, Pero, Lavelle, Doyle

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