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Match Reports

Late equaliser saves Canaries a point against Arsenal

12 February 2020

The young Canaries made sure to take a point from their clash with Arsenal, after another late goal levelled the scoring.

As the game began, it was Arsenal who looked more comfortable on the ball, moving it well and playing each other into good positions. The effort they put in didn’t take long to pay out, with Ben Cottrell finding the back of the net just after the tenth minute mark.

The ball found itself in the Canaries 18-yard box, inviting several players to take a swing at getting it out. Cottrell managed to find the decisive kick, lacing it past Blair amongst the confusion.

After the 20th minute, the Canaries seemed to hit their stride. The shape was well-maintained, and the pressure applied on the Gunners forced errors, giving them the ball for majority of the second-half.

A challenge from behind on Tom Dickson-Peters in the 18-yard box saw the referee point to the spot, giving the Canaries the perfect chance to level the scoring just before the end of the first-half. Dickson-Peters stepped up, converting the penalty nicely, as the ‘keeper dove the wrong way.

Sitting on level pegging, but arguably playing better football, the Canaries deserved to be confident going into the last 45 minutes.

The second-half began, and it was clear Arsenal had made some changed. Just ten minutes into the half, two subs came on for the Gunners, changing the tactics entirely. City’s press was met with a lot more composed play, making the game a lot more difficult than it had been.

What was a good-looking half now became more of a 50/50, with each team scrappily robbing the other of the ball before making an attempt on goal.

With just over 15 minutes to go, Arsenal found that much-needed goal. A well-taken strike on the edge of the 18-yard box from Alfie Matthews blazed towards the goal, finding the top corner. The goal wasn’t well met by the Canaries, who were rightly feeling hard-done by.

Just as the added time was coming into effect, the Canaries found the leveller, almost identical to the Tottenham Hotspur game just weeks prior. A free-kick on the edge of the Gunners box was struck by Giurgi, who saw his effort deflected. The deflection pinballed around a huddle of red and yellow shirts, before spilling out the side to Zach Dronfield.

Wasting no time, Dronfield struck the ball nicely, watching it roll to the far post and bounce into the goal.

Just minutes after the goal came, the City side were looking for more, as two strikes from Tony Springett and Abu Kamara were painfully blocked to keep the scores level.

Despite the wonderfully timed leveller, but the Canaries still seemed disappointed in the result, especially since they had been on top for the majority of the game.

Norwich City Under-18s: Blair, Pitcher, Brown, Warner, Vaughan (Stewart, 75), Springett, Dronfield, Earley (c), Rowe (Giurgi, 70), Omotoye, Dickson-Peters (Kamara, 70)
Subs not used:
N/A
Bookings:
N/A
Goals:
Dickson-Peters (37), Dronfield (90)

Arsenal Under-18s: Graczyk, Ogungbo, Kirk, Lopez (Sraha, 21), Cottrell, Laing, Taylor-Hart (Matthews, 55), Alebiousu, Cirjan (56), Greenwood, Azeez
Subs not used: Plange, Mitchell
Bookings:
Azeez (68)
Goals:
Cottrell (11), Matthews (74)

Referee: Shaun Gregory
Venue:
Lotus Training Centre
Kick-off time:
1pm
HT:
1-1


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