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23 July 2015

Thompson strikes late on to earn victory

LOUIS Thompson scored his first goal in Norwich City colours to earn the Club's Under-21s a 2-1 friendly victory against Gaziantepspor.

The midfielder, who signed last summer from Swindon Town but was immediately loaned back to the League One side, pounced after some hesitant defending to net the winning strike in Schwaz, Austria.

Jamar Loza tapped the Canaries into a seventh-minute lead but Abdulkadir Kayali's well-struck effort in the second half had restored parity for the high-profile Turkish side.

Victory comes after the development squad's 7-0 triumph over SV Kirchdorf on Tuesday, and they will now head back to England to face Lincoln City and Ipswich Town in two further games ahead of the competitive season kicking off on August 9.

The pitch at the Silberstadt-Arena was in excellent condition and both teams were competing well in the opening exchanges.

City's opener after just seven minutes owed much to the determination of Conor McGrandles, who had initially lost the ball but proceeded to win it back before playing in Josh Murphy on the left.

The winger's low cross was poorly dealt with by the Turkish side's goalkeeper, and Loza was on hand to tap in on the the line.

Cameron King should have added a second on 14 minutes, but after skipping by two challenges to leave himself with just the goalkeeper to beat, his effort was kept out by the man between the sticks.

They were largely dominant against their Super Lig opponents, with Demir Muhammet's free-kick that was blocked by the wall the sole half opening that Gaziantepspor created.

Loza spurned a decent chance to double his and his team's tally ten minutes before the interval, pushing his shot wide after McGrandles had laid on a perfectly-weighted pass.

Murphy then guided another opportunity the wrong side of the post, and the youngsters had to settle for a one-goal lead to take into the second period.

HALF-TIME: Gaziantepspor 0-1 Norwich City

Trialist Afolabi Coker was introduced at the break for City, replacing Cameron Norman - he also played 45 minutes in the victory over SV Kirchdorf earlier in the week.

Gaziantepspor were seeing more of the ball than they had before the half-time whistle, but Loza almost scored City's second on 59 when he was expertly picked out by McGrandles - the keeper was equal to his strike.

The match ticked over into its final third with the Canaries successfully restricting their opponents until the 71st minute.

When free around 20 yards from goal, Kayali struck a sweet shot beyond Ben Killip to bring the Turkish outfit level and set up an interesting final part of the friendly.

City responded to the disappointment in a professional manner and got their reward eight minutes from time.

Thompson dispossessed a Gaziantepspor defender, leaving him clean through on goal and the ex-Swindon man made no mistake, calmly slotting the ball home.

FULL-TIME: Gaziantepspor 1-2 Norwich City

GOALS: Falcons: Abdulkadir Kayali (71) - Canaries: Jamar Loza (7), Louis Thompson (82)

NORWICH CITY: Killip; Hall-Johnson, Miquel, Awuah (Crowe 85), Efete (Ramsay 70); Thompson, McGrandles; Norman (c) (Coker 45), King (Grant 75), Josh Murphy; Loza. Subs not used: Eaton-Collins, Oxborough (GK).

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