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31 January 2014

Last-gasp Jacob Murphy penalty earns Canaries point

JACOB Murphy scored a stoppage time penalty to earn Norwich City's Under-21s a point as they drew 2-2 with Arsenal on Tuesday night.

The winger, who made his first team debut in the FA Cup against Fulham earlier this month, made no mistake from 12 yards after Rod Young was fouled by Semi Ajayi.

Young had given Mark Robson's youngsters the lead after juts three minutes, but the Gunners' soon got on top and went ahead through Austin Lipman and Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill.

They continued to pose the greater thread but City rallied towards the end, eventually getting their reward in the third minute of added time.

Robson made three changes from the 5-0 win at Blackburn Rovers, with Remi Matthews, Cameron Norman and Young stepping into the starting line-up.

Murphy was also in the eleven and it was he who had the Canaries’ first chance on two minutes, curling a speculative effort from 25 yards that Matthew Macey held onto.

He turned provider for the Canaries’ opener just a minute later, though – Murphy was found by Carlton Morris on the left, and his deep cross was perfect for the unmarked Young, who stooped low to nod the ball past Macey.

The influential Murphy then slid a shot wide before Kyle McFadden headed over from a corner – it was clear City weren’t resting on their lead.

Striker Lipman had an effort deflected wide for the visitors, though, and Remi Matthews was tested when Isaac Hayden drilled a well-struck shot from the edge of the box.

Lipman then equalised on 20 minutes, but it was a gift for Arsenal as McFadden’s attempted backward header evaded Matthews, leaving the lone forward a simple tap-in from a yard.

City almost struck back immediately through Reece Hall-Johnson, who was played in expertly by Murphy but who, with his shot, found the side-netting.

Three minutes before the break, McFadden made a vital block to stop Thomas Eisfeld edging the Gunners in front and the sides went in at half-time all square.

HALF-TIME: Norwich City 1-1 Arsenal

Six minutes into the second period, Murphy saw a header hit the crossbar after good work from Morris and Norman as Robson’s side started as they did in the first half.

However, it was Arsenal who edged in front on 55 minutes – Eisfeld had the vision to play in Ormonde-Ottewill, and the left-back shot from a narrow angle beat Matthews at his near-post, despite the City stopper getting a touch to the ball.

Arsenal were much the better side – substitute Jan Toral lofted a drive just over the bar, and Robson felt the need to change things, introducing Rhys Browne for Morris.

Toral was denied on 81 minutes when Harvey Hodd somehow managed to get in the way on his goalbound shot despite being sprawled on the floor in the box.

A slick City move almost warranted an equaliser three minutes later, though, as Murphy fed Norman into space on the right, and his square ball found its way to Adel Gafaiti, whose low drive was blocked.

They wouldn’t rest in their quest for the equaliser, and were rewarded in stoppage time when Young was tripped in the box by Ajayi.

The 1,026-strong crowd was delighted when Murphy stepped up and confidently scored to earn Robson’s side a point.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal

GOALS: Canaries: Rod Young (3), Jacob Murphy (pen 90+3) – Gunners: Austin Lipman (20), Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill (55)

NORWICH CITY: Matthews; Barker, McFadden (c), Gafaiti, Toffolo; Jacob Murphy, Hall-Johnson, Hodd (Wyatt 81), Young; Norman; Morris (Browne 78). Subs not used: Awuah, Killip (GK).

ARSENAL: Macey; Moore, Ormonde-Ottewill, Hayden (c), Ajayi, Pleguezuelo, Miyaichi (Iwobi 83), Zelalem (Toral 45), Lipman, Olsson, Eisfeld. Subs not used: Iliev, Kamara, Fagan.


REFEREE: A Sannerude

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