Norwich City’s Under-23s produced another spirited comeback to draw 2-2 at Reading on Monday afternoon – their third consecutive draw in Premier League 2.
Sam Smith scored twice for the hosts in the opening half an hour before Savvas Mourgos’s sublime free-kick gave City hope going into the interval.
The Canaries had a number of chances in the second half through another Mourgos free-kick and two long-range Glenn Middleton strikes but their persistence paid off just minutes from time when Todd Cantwell rolled home from the penalty spot after a foul on Middleton.
Matt Gill made just one change to this starting eleven after last Sunday’s draw with Blackburn Rovers with Aston Oxborough coming in for Paul Jones in goal.
Reading made the brighter start and took the lead inside the opening three minutes. Smith rose highest in the penalty area to nod past Oxborough.
However, City almost responded moments later when Pierre Fonkeu slid a teasing ball across the face of goal but a stretching Cantwell couldn’t get enough on his effort.
The teams then exchanged penalty appeals midway through the first-half. On 22 minutes, Tristan Abrahams went down under a challenge from Gabriel Osho moments before Timi Odusina clattered into Danny Loader at the other end; on both occasions, the referee said no.
City got themselves back into the match in sensational fashion just before half-time when Mourgos sent a curling free-kick in off the woodwork.
Mourgos went close to an equaliser on the hour mark, again from a set-piece, but this time it cannoned the wrong side of the woodwork and flew behind for a goal-kick.
Gill then introduced Middleton on 70 minutes and the Scotland Under-19 winger had an instant impact, going close with two long-range efforts.
And the comeback was finally complete with just minutes to play – Middleton was fouled in the penalty area, leaving the referee with no choice but to show Axel Andresson a second yellow card, and Cantwell rolled home the spot-kick.