Kei Kamara gets 45 minutes in frustrating defeat for under-21s
CITY striker Kei Kamara got a good 45 minutes of football under his belt as the under-21 development squad fell to a 2-0 defeat to Bolton at Colney.
After an entertaining first half of play it was Bolton's Tom Eaves who fired his side ahead after a nod down from former Leicester City and Reading defender Matt Mills.
Wanderers Adam Blakeman put the game beyond doubt on 89 minutes as he fired home a low free-kick from the edge of the area.
On the result City under-21s manager Scott Marshall said: "We didn't pass it and play the way we know we can. We struggled with our passing and didn't really reach the tempo we wanted to reach.
"We did have opportunities and could've done better with one or two situations but we got done on two set pieces which was disappointing.
"They had a big aerial presence but I said to the lads after, you're going to come up against stronger men. It's a good one for them though to play up against players like Matt Mills.
"Kei has been with us for the last couple of days training with us and his enthusiasm for the game is fantastic, I'm sure he'll be a good addition. It's good for him to get some minutes under his belt today."
With the kids off school for half-term there was a good attendance at Colney to watch City's under-21s, as Kei Kamara stepped up his match fitness with a starting place.
And it was City's youngsters who started the brightest, a lovely through ball from Jacob Murphy set up his brother Josh for a shot from the edge of the area, only to see it blocked well by Bolton's Andy Kellet.
It was Bolton who hit the back of the net first however, although Oscar Threlkeld was left disappointed as he saw the offside flag raised after putting the finishing touches to a nice move with frontman Jack Sampson.
Kei Kamara was finding it difficult to stamp his authority on the match, but got a first sight of goal on 24 minutes, shooting just wide of the mark; Jacob Murphy's deflected cross fell to Loza soon after only to head over the bar from close range.
Loza was soon called into action at the other end as he was forced to clear Mills' header from a corner off the line right on the whistle.
Half time - Norwich City Under-21s 0-0 Bolton Wanderers Under-21s
The second half started with a double change for the Canaries as Kei Kamara and Jamar Loza made way for trialists Chris Lybohy and Kemo Darboe.
Instantly City went on the attack as Jacob Murphy fired just over the bar, but it was the visitors who took the lead soon after as Eaves tapped home a Matt Mills nod down from the free-kick.
City looked to respond as Josh Murphy's free-kick forced a smart save from Wanderers stopper Jan-Ole Sievers but the Canaries' were struggling to make an impact from the set-pieces given the strong aerial presence of the Bolton side.
It was the 89th minute when Bolton put the game beyond doubt as Adam Blakeman fired in a low free-kick from the edge of the area, skipping past the out reached Jed Steer before hitting the back of the net.
Full-time - Norwich City Under-21s 0-2 Bolton Wanderers Under-21s
Teams - Norwich City U-21s: Steer, McNeil, Toffolo, Clunan, Sheriff (C), Gafaiti, Jacob Murphy, Durojaiye, Kamara (Darboe 45), Loza (Lybohy 45), Josh Murphy. Subs not used: Matthews, McGeehan, Hall-Johnson.
Bolton Wanderers U-21s: Sievers, Threlkeld, Kellet (McQuade 76), Mills (C), Bolger, Blakeman, Lester, Gregus, Eaves, Sampson, Odelusi (Clough 76). Subs not used: Fielding, McKee, Hampsom.
Goals - Eaves (56), Blakeman (89).