Whittaker and Barnett get full 90 in win
STEVEN Whittaker and Leon Barnett completed 90 minutes as City's under-21s ran out 1-0 winners over Stoke City thanks to Adel Gafaiti's first-half strike.
In a physical and often scrappy encounter at Colney, it was Gafaiti who put the Canaries ahead on 41 minutes as he headed home a Josh Murphy free-kick.
It was just reward for some good play that had previously seen Jacob Murphy clean through on goal only to be brought down by Stoke's George Rigg.
On the result Development squad manager Scott Marshall said: "It was a difficult game for us. The pitch was lively and the ball was bobbling up a bit but I thought the boys were disciplined and stuck to their jobs well.
"We could've made things easier for ourselves if we'd have taken a few more of our chances, especially in the second period but we went a little bit more direct today and we got the win. It was a day to be doing the dirty jobs well."
"Adel did well. He thought he was going to be going away with Algeria to play in the African Under-20 Championship, but he's sticking with us and he got himself a good goal."
Boasting a strong line-up that included plenty of league experience in Whittaker, Barnett, Korey Smith and George Francomb the Canaries started on top of a scrappy encounter against the Potters.
It was the visitors who had the first chance of the match as centre-back Ben Heneghan pushed forward and sent in a low delivery towards Andy Musungu, who failed to provide the finish from close range.
It was only on 40 minutes where City broke down the Potters defence for the first time, Jacob Murphy racing clear of the Stoke defence only to be brought down by full-back George Rigg. To the dismay of the Canaries however Rigg was shown the yellow card by the referee.
From the free-kick came the breakthrough as Gafaiti headed home a brilliant Josh Murphy free-kick to put City ahead, a lead which they saw into half time.
Half-time: Norwich City under-21s 1-0 Stoke City under-21s
Soon after the break Gafaiti spurned a golden chance to grab his and City's second; losing his marker before heading a Francomb corner over the bar just five minutes into the second half.
Norwich almost paid for the missed chance on 65 minutes as the Potters found their rhythm to send John Marsden through with a sight on goal only to be denied by the upright.
Just a minute later Marsden was denied once again, this time by a fantastic save from 'keeper Jed Steer.
But Norwich survived a late Potters flurry to see out the win, Korey Smith almost adding a second before full-time only to see his header cannon off the crossbar late-on.
Full-time: Norwich City under-21s 1-0 Stoke City under-21s
Teams - Norwich City under-21s: Steer, Whittaker, McNeil, Clunan (Durojaiye 68), Barnett, Gafaiti, Francomb, Smith, Loza (Young 85), Jacob Murphy, Josh Murphy (Hall-Johnson 75) Subs not used: Matthews, Sheriff.
Stoke City under-21s: Bachmann, Rigg, Taylor, Ward, Heneghan, Keane, Thomas, Richardson (Hall 84), Marsden (Barrington 68), Scott, Musungu. Subs not used: Eve, Sanders, Hulme.