Norwich City Under-23s took their first win of their pre-season after a late-winner from Rob Nizet in a behind-closed-doors friendly to Ipswich Town on Friday evening.
The young Canaries got off to a bright start against their East Anglian rivals, finding the first chance of the game by the third minute. Ethen Vaughan played a tidy weighted pass through to Tyrese Omotoye, who’s cross was destined for William Hondermarck before being blocked in a last ditch tackle.
It’s not so hard to believe this game had fierce completion about it, the two teams battling end-to-end for the first 20 minutes, neither side registering a shot on target in that time. Whilst no opportunities were easily forthcoming, the Canaries were the brighter side of the period, in both an attacking and defending mindset.
As a result of that advantage, City were the first to find a real chance. Another through ball from Vaughan made it’s impact, slicing through the defence as summer signing Matthew Dennis struck it first time on goal, his effort scrappily saved.
Looking for the opener, Melvin Sitti tried his luck from distance as the hosts looked sloppy to organise themselves on the back foot, his effort just over the bar on the stroke of the 30th minute.
It was a quiet affair for the last 15-minutes, before City stole the opener. A beautiful counter-attack was set in motion with a positive pass from McAlear to Rob Nizet, who’s low-driven cross found Hondermarck, who flicked it into the bottom corner nicely.
The second-half saw no competition lost between the sides, both reverting back to their fierce battling mindsets for the last 45-minutes.
Omotoye was on the receiving end of the first chance in the second-half, the forward’s shot on the edge of the 18-yard box curling away from the crossbar in just the 49th minute.
Despite the fact City were cruising nicely through the game, Ipswich found their leveller, owing it to a slip from Nizet. From there, the door was open for the hosts, who slotted it past Jon McCracken at close-range to equalise.
Nizet went on to nearly source the redemption for the prior slip just ten-minutes later, being taken out from behind on the edge of the Town 18-yard box. The referee ignored appeals for a penalty, giving it as a free-kick.
The resultant free-kick looked good as it travelled, but couldn’t quite dip enough as it scathed the crossbar, keeping scores level at the 70-minute mark.
Just when all seemed over, Nizet and good. A free-kick on the edge of the Ipswich box from Reece McAlear found Nizet, who thumped it from 20-yards out into the bottom corner, stealing the win in the last second.
Heading home with their heads held high, a not-so friendly pre-season match ended in favour of the Canaries once more.
Norwich City XI: McCracken, Vaughan (Jackson, 76), Nizet, Omobamidele, Tomkinson, McAlear, Giurgi (Springett, 76), Sitti (Dronfield, 58), Omotoye, Dennis (Dickson-Peters, 71), Hondermarck (Hutchinson, 71)
Goals: Hondermarck (45), Nizet (90)
Subs not used: Blair