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Match Reports

Under-23s beaten by Manchester United

28 September 2018

Norwich City Under-23s were beaten 1-0 by Manchester United at the Colney Training Centre.

In a match of few chances, the visitors took one of theirs in midway through the second-half when Aidan Barlow's low finish found into the bottom corner and it proved to be the difference.

Matt Gill welcomed Ben Marshall to his starting eleven as the summer signing returned to action following illness. There was a spot once again for Nelson Oliveira, with Alfie Payne and Ant Spyrou made their returns to the starting XI.

City began positively at Colney and they had the first meaningful chance of note on seven minutes. Oliveira worked a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box but shot straight at United keeper Matek Kovar with his right-boot.

There was an injury scare moments later when a late challenge left Simon Power requiring treatment to his ankle – luckily he was able to continue.

United grew into the first-half and looked sharp in possession although City were defending well and restricted the visitors to limited chances. They best they could muster was when Zac Dearnley found some room in the area but scuffed his effort wide on 20 minutes.

The majority of the first-half was played in the middle of the park with neither side going close to a goal. Ciaren Jones let fly on 38 minutes after corner was half-cleared by Kovar was equal to his strike, but that was the best City could produce.

City dominated possession in the early second-half exchanges but the visitors were defending resolutely and seemed happy to hit their opponents on the counter attack.

As the match approached the final 20 minutes, United grabbed the lead. A cutback from Josh Bohui was controlled and finished well by Barlow in the area.

City had an opportunity to respond right away when Marshall surged clear however his miscued his left-footed effort from the edge of the area and shot wide.

Gill turned his hand and brought on Tom Scully and Bilal Kamal for the final 15 minutes as City probed for an equaliser. Spyrou wasted a great chance on 78 minutes when he blazed over from inside the area and things got worse for the forward when he was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Devonte Aransibia skied an effort from the edge of the box in stoppage time and Oliveira headed over as the Canaries lost for the first time at Colney this season.

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