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15 February 2014

Randall brace helps secure comeback win

NORWICH City's Under-18s produced a clinical second half performance to beat Aston Villa 3-1 in difficult conditions at Colney Training Centre.

Heavy winds disrupted the flow throughout, but City got on top of the game after the break and won thanks to two goals from midfielder Henry Randall, plus a strike from Lewis Byrne-Hewitt.

This came after the visitors had gone in at half-time deservedly ahead through Khalid Abdo's effort, but there was no question that City merited their second win on the spin at the final whistle.

Coach Neil Adams said afterwards: "The gale force winds didn't help anyone, but we did well in the second half with it behind us. It gave us more confidence.

"We played well after the break and scored some really good goals, and could have had a penalty and maybe scored a few more. Overall, we're really pleased with the performance."

Lining up in a 3-5-2 formation, Adams fielded trialists Louis Ramsay and Kane Lewis but City found it difficult to force momentum in the early stages.

After Ben Wyatt had a drive saved by Charlie Bannister, Aston Villa went ahead as Jerell Sellars picked out Abdo in the box, who stroked the ball past Ben Killip.

Abdo then forced a save from Killip as the visitors looked for a second, but City held firm and took stock at half-time.

The introduction of Jake Simpson, allied with the advantage of playing with the wind, saw them take control of the match and get a deserved leveller through Randall on 56 minuted.

Moments after he had rattled the crossbar with a free-kick, and the central midfielder jumped highest to meet Wyatt's cross and power his header past Bannister.

Ten minutes later they edged in front as Rhys Browne sprinted into a space, only to see his shot parried - thankfully Byrne-Hewitt was on hand to turn the ball home.

City had adapted much better to the conditions and got the decisive third on 72, with Randall evading two challenges before curling an excellent strike into the far corner.

Randall and Nathan Fox missed free headers to extend the young Canaries' lead even further, but in the end it wasn't to matter as they comfortably saw out the rest of the game.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 3-1 Aston Villa

GOALS: Canaries: Henry Randall (56, 72), Lewis Byrne-Hewitt (66)

NORWICH CITY: Killip; Lewis, Awuah, Lokko (c) (Fox 79); Ramsay, Efete (Simpson 45), Randall, Wyatt; Heath; Browne, Byrne-Hewitt (Cole 69). Subs not used: Burgess, Black.

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