City narrowly beaten by Spurs in captivating gameDMITRI Halajko reflected on a worthwhile exercise after seeing his Under-21s side go down 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur at Carrow Road on Thursday night.
An extremely youthful Canaries outfit were narrowly beaten in a game broadcast live on BT Sport, and after the match Halajko told Norwich City TV: "For such a young team to play in front of a big crowd and television cameras is impressive.
"We felt we were a little bit off it technically in comparison to Villarreal last week. Our technical ability wasn't quite as good as in that game, so we're a bit disappointed with that.
"However, we worked hard and were competitive, which is pleasing. The character they showed to get back in the game is testament to the work they put in."
The hosts started brightly and enjoyed most of the possession, but it was an early goal from the visitors that opened the deadlock: a well-worked corner enabled Filip Lesniak to find space and drill the ball low past Ben Killip.
City, however, levelled proceedings soon after when Todd Cantwell's corner was met by the head of Cameron Norman, who thumped the ball into the top corner.
Jamie Eaton-Collins could have put the hosts ahead just minutes later when a mis-kick from Tottenham's goalkeeper Tom Glover passed the ball to Eaton-Collins on the edge of the area, but he dragged his shot just wide of the target.
The high intensity of the first 45 minutes carried over into the second half, with first Christian Maghoma heading straight at Killip before Eaton-Collins brought a neat save from Glover.
Ray Grant's free-kick was met by the unmarked Cameron Norman six-yards out, but this time his header went over the bar and out of play.
A slip in midfield allowed a measured pass to be played through to Ryan Loft, who was able to calmly knock the ball past the onrushing Killip and into the back of the net to put the visitors back in front.
15-year old Glenn Middleton was then denied first by Glover, then by a sliding Spurs defender as City sought an equaliser.
Anthony Georgiou later flashed a shot narrowly wide and the resulting corner was cleared off the line by Ray Grant as chances were being carved out at both ends.
Halajko's side thought they had secured a point with 13 minutes remaining, as a fantastic team move resulted in Middleton's cross being tapped-in at the far post by Eaton-Collins.
Spurs were to hit back almost instantly however, replying with their own stylish team play when Zenon Stylianides' cross was tucked away neatly with a first-time finish from Anton Walkes.
An enthralling second half drew to a close with City pushing hard for a point, forcing Glover to make a succession of punches to divert crosses away from his goal, but it was not to be for the home side.
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 2-3 Tottenham
TEAM: Killip (c); Efete, Norman, Coker, Ramsay; Grant, McIntosh (Hall-Johnson 60) , Cantwell; Eaton-Collins, Middleton, Ashley-Seal (Couzens 88). Subs not used: Oxborough (GK), Crowe, Lewis.