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REPORT: UNDER-21s 1-0 VILLARREAL

7 October 2015

Youngsters battle to deserved victory

NORWICH City's Under-21s hosted Spanish third-tier side Villarreal in the Barclays Premier League International Cup and won 1-0 thanks to a Louis Ramsay goal.

Dmitri Halajko had to shuffle his pack as a mixture of injuries, international call-ups and players leaving on loan deals meant four Under-18s were promoted to his starting eleven and made up the entirety of the bench.

The visitors currently play in the Segunda División B in Spain, but the Canaries matched them throughout and walked away with three points.

Halajko said: "I think we got what we deserved. It was a close game but I think we were slightly better, and the scoreline reflects our good performance.

"It's the best team performance we've had from minute one to minute 90, we were the dominant force.

"It showed the strength of the Academy as a whole that we had an array of players right from the Under-21s through to Under-16s.

City started well, as Michee Efete surged forwards and laid the ball off to Todd Cantwell on the edge of the area, but the youngster could not keep his shot down.

Leo Suarez had a jinking run brought to a hault illegally by Conor McGrandles at the other end but the Spanish side could not take advantage as Ben Killip brilliantly thwarted Suarez's free kick.

15-year-old Glenn Middleton flashed a shot just wide of the target shortly after half-time, before being felled in the penalty area on 55 minutes. Benny Ashley-Seal stepped up, but was denied by Ander Cantero's full-length dive. 

Louis McIntosh then went close to breaking the deadlock as he volleyed narrowly over from 20 yards out after Cantwell's neat lay-off.

However, Villarreal then attacked with real pace as Franco Acosta raced through on goal, but Killip came out and saved well to keep the game goalless with 23 minutes remaining.

City took the lead through a beautifully curled effort from Louis Ramsay, delicately floating the ball into the top corner of the net and far from the out-stretched hand of Cantero.

It got worse soon after for the Yellow Submarines as substitute Carlos Martinez was given his marching orders for an off-the-ball incident as the game neared its conclusion.

FULL-TIME: Norwich City 1-0 Villarreal

TEAM: Killip (c); Efete, Norman, Coker, Ramsay; Grant, McGrandles (McIntosh 15), Cantwell; Eaton-Collins (Couzens 76), Middleton (Lewis 63), Ashley-Seal. Subs not used: Oxborough (GK), Pollock, Wallis.

Attendance: 3,508

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