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2 December 2015

Young Canaries see off Tigers

NORWICH City progressed to the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup with a deserved 3-1 win over Hull City at North Ferriby on Wednesday night.

A goal in either half from Benny Ashley-Seal helped guide the Canaries through, with Todd Cantwell netting superbly late on to confirm victory.

Speaking to Norwich City TV after the game, Under-18s coach Graeme Murty said: "The boys executed the game-plan very well, so I'm extremely proud.

"Each and every one of them was committed and played with real intensity. They all fully deserve to be into the next round because they showed a really good mentality.

"Not only that, but we also displayed a lot of quality. That was epitomised by the last goal, which would have graced any pitch.

"Tonight, you saw a group of young men mature a little bit, which is the exciting thing for me. I'll let them celebrate this evening because you need to look back on these times and enjoy them.

"We'll let them off the leash a little bit and then refocus on Thursday."

Murty made two changes from the side beaten by Swansea on Saturday, as captain Joe Crowe replaced Owen Wallis in defence and George Couzens came in for Louis McIntosh.

Meanwhile, there was a place on the bench for Alan Fleming after the striker netted a hat-trick against Swansea Under-16s four days earlier.

The Tigers had the first opening of the game inside the opening five minutes, but Lewis Ritson could only head over having been picked out well by a precise Josh Tymon free-kick.

Ritson then found himself in trouble at the other end, with Cantwell robbing the defender to break towards goal before a heavy touch allowed goalkeeper Johnny Saltmer to gather.

City gradually began to assert their authority on the game; Sambu testing Saltmer with a low drive before Ashley-Seal sent wide from Cantwell's pass with quarter of an hour gone.

Midway through the first half the visitors went close again, only for Ashley-Seal to be denied by Saltmer's save having collected a direct clearance from Crowe and rounded the last defender.

The forward wasn't to be denied for long however, nodding home from close-range following a corner on 28 minutes to give his side a deserved lead.

City came close to extending their advantage before the break, but the impressive Saltmer tipped Couzens' angled drive away from danger to keep the deficit to one.

That ensured the Tigers remained in the contest, and they went into the interval level courtesy of Ben Hinchliffe diverting Mitchell Langton's shot past Aston Oxborough on 42 minutes.

Having been pegged back, the Canaries made a determined start to the second period as Cantwell won a corner inside 60 seconds which Hull eventually cleared.

The two teams then exchanged chances, with Toby Syme's rasping effort flying narrowly over on 53 minutes ahead of Langton's curling strike sailing beyond Oxborough's crossbar moments later.

City continued to press, and came within inches of retaking the lead when Cantwell's corner narrowly evaded Crowe after the defender had broken free of his marker.

Middleton was next to threaten midway through the half, cutting in from the left flank to fire at goal and call Saltmer into action once more before a similar burst ended with his shot being deflected wide.

The winger then had what appeared to be a firm call for a penalty waved away on 79 minutes, hitting the deck after racing past his man and into the box.

Having pushed hard for a winner for much of the second half, the excellent Ashley-Seal restored his side's advantage with just eight minutes remaining.

Racing onto a Cantwell through-ball following a swift City counter, the striker displayed the composure needed to calmly slip the ball under Saltmer and make it 2-1 to the visitors.

The provider of that goal then put the game beyond doubt as injury-time loomed, and in some style.

Collecting the ball on the edge of the box, Cantwell skipped past a number of challenges before whipping a superb strike into the top-corner to secure City's place in the Fourth Round.

Reflecting on his goal, Cantwell told Norwich City TV: "I've got to the corner of the box and moved inside.

"Once I cut in I saw the top-corner and thought I'd just have a shot. We all worked really hard, which we knew we had to having gone out of the Youth Cup early last year.

"A lot of us were involved in that game, but tonight we showed a real togetherness in our determination to get through."

FULL-TIME: Hull 1-3 Norwich City

Tigers: Hinchliffe (42) - Canaries: Ashley-Seal (28, 82), Cantwell (87)

: Oxborough; Syme, Crowe (c), Ellesley (Wallis, 81), Lewis; Pollock; Sambu; Couzens (McIntosh, 90), Cantwell, Middleton; Ashley-Seal. Subs not used: Hale-Brown (GK), Black, Fleming.

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