Norwich City’s U23s drew for the fourth Premier League 2 match in a row after a 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion at Carrow Road.
City dominated early on and Todd Cantwell had a penalty saved on 11 minutes before Evan Pierce gave Albion an undeserved lead at the end of the first half with an instinctive volley.
Glenn Middleton equalised moments later and City were indebted to Aston Oxborough in the second half when Albion were thwarted by the Canaries keeper after a spot-kick of their own.
In terms of team news, Matt Gill welcomed Grant Hanley to his starting eleven City’s summer signing aimed to get some minutes under his belt. There were also returns to action for Middleton and Emmerson Sambu.
City started on the frontfoot and almost had the perfect start within eleven minutes. Savvas Mourgos was brought down in the penalty area after some neat interplay but Cantwell’s spot kick was saved brilliantly by Albion keeper Brad House.
The hosts still continued their superiority and had three efforts on goal in the same phase midway through the first half – first Bilal Kamal cut in from the left and forced a save from House before Cantwell and Tristan Abrahams were both thwarted by the busy Albion stopper.
Cantwell was full of confidence in the opening half and could have made amends on half an hour after showing quick feet to beat two defenders in the box, however his strike was palmed away by House.
However, City were punished for not capitalising on their dominance on 41 minutes. A deflected pass fell kindly to Pierce and he ruthlessly volleyed the ball past Aston Oxborough, although within minutes, the hosts were back level. Cantwell’s deep corner was headed back into danger by Hanley and Middleton nodded the ball in off the crossbar for his third of the season.
There was danger for City at the beginning of the second half as Hanley was harshly adjudged to have brought down Callum Morton in the box, however Oxborough dived superbly to his left to tip Alex Bradley’s penalty past the post and keep the scores level.
Following that dramatic start to the second 45, there was rarely anything in the way of chances on goal. Albion were happy to sit deep and City were restricted to efforts from range with the best of them coming from captain Adam Phillips who stung the palms of House with a low drive.
There was a last chance for a City winner in the dying embers but House again proved vital for Albion, producing an outstanding save from a powerful Pierre Fonkeu strike.
The draw was City’s fourth in a row in Premier League 2 but it did stretch their unbeaten run to five going into their next fixture at home to Southampton on Friday.