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Match Reports

Under-18s through to FA Youth Cup quarter-finals

7 February 2018

Norwich City Under-18s made it through to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup after a pulsating 4-3 victory over Newcastle United at Carrow Road.

Newcastle struck twice early on but City responded just before half-time when Anthony Spyrou’s strike eventually went over the line.

City turned the game around in the second half thanks to goals from Timi Odusina and Alan Fleming but the visitors sent the game to extra-time in the dying embers after Adam Wilson found the net.

But Spyrou struck in extra-time to send City into the next round to set up another home tie against either Bury or Birmingham City.

City started the better of the two sides but it was their opponents who went closest to opening the scoring. The Canaries were indebted to captain Alfie Payne who was in the right place at the right time to clear a header from underneath his own crossbar.

It was then Aaron Ekumah’s turn to keep the scores level as he prevented the ball going in after Thomas Allan had crossed for Adam Wilson.

City were a real threat on the counter attack in the opening stages with Spyrou and Idah threatening in-behind the visiting defence. Spyrou crossed for Fleming on 23 minutes but he couldn’t get a good enough connection on his effort.

Newcastle took control of the first-half two minutes later. Watts’ initial strike was saved by Dante Baptiste but the midfielder managed to nod home the rebound to open the scoring.

Allan forced Baptiste into action once again before City went close twice in quick succession. Idah managed to spin his marker and make Daniel Langley produce a good save before Spyrou’s rebound was cleared off the line by Oisin McEntee.

Newcastle added to their lead on 40 minutes when Sorensen nodded home Matthew Longstaff’s free-kick but City responded on the stroke of half-time. Isak Thorvaldsson’s superb through ball was latched on to by Spyrou and although his effort was tipped onto the crossbar, the ball managed to spin over the line.

It took City until midway through the second-half to break through the Newcastle defence. A neat move involving Aarons, Bilal Kamal and substitute Finlay Barnes resulted in Aarons being prevented by Langley at his near post.

From the following corner, City managed to get themselves level. Payne’s near-post delivery was flicked home by Odusina as he scored for the second Youth Cup game in a row. City threatened again from a set-piece moments later but this time, Idah could only nod the ball wide of goal from a similar Payne delivery.

Remarkably, City completed the comeback on 81 minutes. Allan had hit the post for Newcastle at one end but Payne released Fleming storming forward. The winger showed superb composure to nutmeg the defender and coolly finish past Langley.

City looked set for the quarter-finals but Newcastle managed to equalise right at the death as Wilson cut in and fired low past Baptiste to send the game into extra-time.

Both sides had their chances in extra-time but when push came to shove, City had the cutting edge. The decisive moment came on 101 minutes when Idah’s effort was palmed away by Langley but Spyrou was on hand to fire home and send the Canaries into the next round.

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