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Match Reports

Under-23s lose against Wolves in PL2

15 February 2019

Norwich City’s Under-23s lost 4-0 against Wolves at Compton Park, despite having large spells of possession throughout the game.

Jon McCracken remained in-goal for the Canaries, with Billy Johnson on the bench for City. Bilal Kamal and Atli Barkarson kept their places at full-back whilst Louis Lomas was joined by Max Statham who replaced Aarons Ekumah at the heart of the City defence.

The midfield and forward line remained unchanged from the side which lost against Exeter City in the Premier League Cup last time out. Josh Coley started on the left side of midfield, with Isak Thorvaldsson starting on the opposite side.

Saul Milovanovic started as the deep midfielder, with Alfie Payne and Tom Scully as the more advanced midfielders. Adam Idah started up-front on his own.

City started brightest inside the opening ten minutes of the game, forcing Wolves back from the off and not letting the home side relax on the ball. Their pressure would have been rewarded if it wasn’t for a few lucky breaks by the Wolves defence.

Seven minutes in, City found themselves a goal down against the run of play. Ryan Giles found some space on the left before crossing in to Austin Samuels on the penalty spot. The striker spun and powered the ball into the bottom left corner.

Tom Scully’s free kick five minutes later was played from the left to the back post, and was met by Thorvaldsson, but the Icelandic midfielder was unable to keep his shot on target as his half volley hit the side netting.

Scully was the driving force going forward once again, starting a counter attack inside his  own half, but after a good passing move Thorvaldsson found Scully on the edge of the area, but his effort was weak and was caught with ease by Andreas Sondregaard.

Thirty-five minutes in City went 2-0 down with Ed Francis getting on the end of Dion Sanderson’s driven cross from the right following a scramble from a corner.

City enjoyed large spells of possession in the first half, but went even further behind on the stroke of half-time when Samuels added another, when his first time effort from the edge of the box smashed against the post before going into the back of the net.

The start of the second-half was even, and City nearly pulled a goal back with 30 minutes remaining. Josh Coley’s weaving run on the left saw him cut onto his left foot before curling his shot towards the Wolves goal, but Sondergaard managed to get two palms on the ball to parry it away.

City didn’t push on from this chance and Wolves started to dominate the ball in search of adding to their tally. Samuels once again was causing City’s defence problems, but this time his weak shot from the edge of the City box was smartly stopped by McCracken.

However, 10 minutes later Wolves added a fourth. Pedro Goncalves capitalised a mistake in the City box, with the Wolves number 10 nicking the ball off a City defender before toe-poking home to put the game out of reach for City.

In the final stages of the game McCracken made a fine stop to save Sanderson’s effort after cutting in from the right past Barkarson.

City starting XI: McCracken; Kamal, Barkarson, Lomas, Statham, Milovanovic, Scully, Payne, Coley (Ahadme60), Idah, Thorvaldsson.

Unused subs: McIntosh, Johnson (GK), Barnes, Mehmeti

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