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Match Reports

Under-18s beaten by Fulham

23 February 2019

Norwich City’s under-18s lost 2-0 at home against Fulham in the Under-18s Premier League after two second-half goals from Fabio Carvalho and Timmi Abraham.

The first half was even, with neither side creating any clear cut chances, with the best opportunity of the game falling to Spencer Keller mid-way through the opening half. The midfielder cut in on his left foot before shooting straight at the ‘keeper.

Fulham took the lead early in the second half through a Carvalho strike before a goal from substitute Abraham  was enough to give them all three points.

Daniel Barden remained in-goal for the Canaries, with Sam Blair as the back-up ‘keeper. Ethen Vaughan, Matt Richardson and Ante Berkeley all kept their places in the City side, and were joined by captain, Zac Dronfield who completed the back four.

William Hondermarck was partnered by Denzelle Olopade in-front of the back four, with Spencer Keller and Josh Martin as City’s attacking midfielders. Kole Lambert was alongside Tom Dickson-Peters up-front for the Canaries.

Five minutes into the game City were on the front foot and went close after Dickson-Peters shot from the edge of the six-yard box was blocked magnificently on the goal line by De Havilland in what looked like a certain goal for the Canaries.

After City’s chance Fulham started to see plenty of the ball, but City were forcing the visitors away from their goal, and managed to deal with the wide threat of the Cottagers well in the first half.

Lambert made a darting run into the box twenty minutes in after receiving the ball on the half-way line, but after finding some space in the Fulham area Lambert could only get the end of his boot on the ball, which saw the ball roll wide of the Fulham goal.

Mid-way through the first half Barden was called into action for the first time. The ‘keeper forced Sylvester Jasper into a wide position and away from any danger after the forward was one-on-one with the City 'keeper.

City’s best chance of the first half came when Keller cut inside from the right before teeing himself up outside the 18-yard-box, but his left footed was caught with ease by Luca Ashby-Hammond in the Fulham goal.

The visitors started to break forward in numbers after a good spell of pressure from City. Jean-Pierre Teihi saw his shot from the edge of the City area deflected before going out for a corner. The following corner was met by the forward, but his header went out for a goal-kick.

Berkeley provided a crucial interception to stop Showkat Tahir's cross from finding Tiehi in the six-yard box.  Moments later another one-on-one situation arose for Fulham, and once again Barden came out on top, intercepting the ball before the Fulham forward could get his shot off.

Just after the re-start Olopade had an opening on the edge of the Fulham box, but the midfielder saw his shot narrowly miss the top of the cross-bar after a good spell of pressure for the Canaries.

Five minutes later Berkeley was forced into making another fantastic interception to stop Tahir in his tracks inside the six-yard box before clearing away from danger.

Fulham took the lead against the run of play 15 minutes into the second half. Fabio Carvalho took the ball on the outside of Vaughan the forward put the ball into the bottom right corner with a driven shot from a tight angle.

Norwich responded well, and nine minutes after the goal, City had a chance to equalise. Half-time substitute Josh Giurgi hit the ball on the half-volley, but his effort was blocked by a Fulham defender before the ball could reach the goal.

As the half went on, Vaughan became an outlet for City on the right hand side, with the full-back finding a constant pocket of space between Fulham’s right-back and right-midfielder. Vaughan found space on the right before crossing, but his driven cross was caught by the Fulham keeper.

Thirty minutes into the half the game started to become scrappy, and City’s good spell was broken up after a series of bad tackles on City players, which caused stoppages in play which disrupted the Canaries rhythm on the pitch.

Fulham doubled their lead with five minutes to play, after Timmi Abraham’s nicked the ball of Barden before forcing the ball over the line to give the visitors all three points.

City starting XI: Barden; Vaughan, Berkeley, Dronfield ©, Richardson, Keller (Giurgi 45), Hondermarck, Olopade, Lambert (Omotoye 65), Dickson-Peters, Martin.

Unused Subs: Blair (GK), Jackson.

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