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REPORT: U18s 3-0 FULHAM

25 April 2015

Gill pleased at dominant Canaries display

NORWICH City Under-18s produced an excellent performance to secure an emphatic 3-0 victory over Fulham at Colney Training Centre on Saturday.

In their final home game of the 2014-15 Barclays Under-18s Premier League campaign, the Canaries controlled proceedings throughout to move within two points of their opponents in the Group 3 standings.

The hosts began brightly, and took a deserved lead nine minutes before the interval when midfielder Ray Grant curled home a trademark free-kick.

They wasted little time in extending their advantage after the restart, with Grant again involved as he seized control of the ball in midfield on 47 minutes to launch a City counter.

Intelligent movement from Lewis Byrne-Hewitt afforded Todd Cantwell the space to carry forward, before George Couzens completed the move with a composed left-footed strike.

The scoring was completed 16 minutes from time, when substitute Benny Ashley-Seal latched onto a short back-pass by beating Fulham's goalkeeper to the ball to make it 3-0.

Coach Jerry Gill was delighted with the efforts of his side, and told canaries.co.uk: "It was probably the most complete performance of the season.

"We had Fergal Hale-Brown make his first start for us as an Under-15 in goal, and he was very bright. He didn't have an awful lot to do in terms of saves but his communication and confidence was a shining light.

"They struggled to work out our shape, which was great for us and helped us score three very good goals. We dominated the game possession-wise, and had 90 per cent pass completion which is a new high for us.

"We were ruthless at both ends of the pitch. It's a really good end to our home games, and the boys deserve a win like this for the way they've performed since Christmas.

Gill also reserved particular praise for those who dropped down from Under-21s level to feature, commenting: "Michee Efete now looks like a player who has developed very well over the last two years.

"He deserves a special mention because it's pleasing to see him come back in with the right mind-set. Having sessions with the Under-21s has allowed him to progress, and his performances have improved since then as well.

"The first thing you look at is their attitude to the game when they drop down to a lower age-level, and it was great from both himself and Ray Grant. It's never easy, but the environment was right for them and they helped with a good team performance.

"Each of their attitudes were totally right, and that helps the younger boys as well."

The Canaries youngsters conclude their season with a trip to second-place Newcastle United a week on Saturday.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 3-0 Fulham

NORWICH CITY: Hale-Brown; Sambu (Ashley-Seal, 55), Boateng, Pollock, Crowe, Efete, Grant, Black, Couzens, Cantwell (Middleton, 81), Byrne-Hewitt (McIntosh, 74). Subs not used: Wallis.

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