Norwich City’s Under-18s lost 2-0 against West Ham United at Little Heath Training ground despite a spirited second half performance.
Daniel Barden started in goal for a second consecutive game, with Ryan Dickerson named on the bench for the Canaries.
Ethen Vaughan came in for Aaron Ekumah at right back after starting for the Under-23s in the same role on Monday against Reading. Atli Barkarson remained at left-back, with Andrew Omobamidele partnering Ante Berkeley at centre-back.
Last week’s second half goal scorer Finlay Barnes started on the right hand side of midfield. Matthew Richardson and Zac Dronfield once again started in the central midfield positions for the Under-18s with Denzelle Olopade starting on the left.
Kole Lambert and Spencer Keller started up front for the Canaries, who were hoping to take their confidence from last Saturday’s victory into the game.
City started off well, getting their first shot on target in the 2nd minute. Barkarson’s free kick from around 40-years curled straight into the hands of Harness who caught the ball with ease, despite pressure from Berkerley.
Three minutes later the home side had their first chance of the game, Chester cut in from a wide position before taking a touch and sending a shot towards goal, but Omobamidele slid and and made a fantastic block to put the ball away from danger.
West Ham started to gather a momentum going forward after 10 minutes, with both Barkarson and Berkeley called into making some key interceptions to stop West ham forward Langelo from getting onto the end of crosses from Rosa and Greenidge.
Twenty-five minutes in, Parkes picked up the ball on the half-way line before driving down the left-hand side and taking the ball past three City players. Parkes cut in and sent a shot well over the City bar.
The Hammers continued to press City back, with Longelo going very close in the 30th minute. Rosa’s chipped cross was met by the head of the West Ham striker, however the ball rolled past Barden’s right-hand post.
Three minutes later the home side took a well-deserved lead. A cross from the right found Parke with plenty of space on the edge of the box. The winger took a good first touch before placing the ball past Barden and into the bottom right corner.
City nearly responded instantly. Keller used a bit of skill to work himself into enough space for the forward to drive in a cross however Lambert was unable to get to the ball. One minute later Barnes floated a ball over the top of the West Ham defence, which Keller managed to get to but he couldn’t keep his shot on target.
The Canaries ended the first half the stronger of the two sides, but City were unable to force Harness into a save.
Five minutes into the second half City fell further behind. Greenidge’s cross from the right hit Berkeley before bouncing underneath Barden and into the back of the net to give the hosts a two goal cushion.
City responded well, as they did in the first half. Vaughan picked up the ball on the right of the box before his cross to the near post was met by the stretching leg of Keller who put his effort agonisingly wide.
With just under 30 minutes to play, City were nearly right back in the game with Lambert taking a touch around a West Ham defender before curling past the far post. And that was a sign of things to come for City.
Seventy-five minutes into the game Keller received the ball from Ahmadi on the left before switching the play to Josh Giurgi who got control of the ball and then sent a cross into the box, but Lambert’s header went well over the bar.
The final 10 minutes saw City continue to press the home side looking for a way back into the game. Olopade and Giurgi both went close for the visitors but neither were able to beat the in-form West Ham keeper.
City’s Starting XI: Baden; Vaughan, Berkeley, Omobamidele, Barkarson (Olopade 45), Barnes (Giurgi 60), Richardson, Dronfield, Ahmadi, Lambert (Dickson-Peters 80), Keller.
Unused Subs: Dickerson (GK), Jackson