Goals from Tyrese Omotoye and Tom Dickson-Peters secured a professional 2-0 win against Fulham Under-23s at Craven Cottage in the Premier League 2 on Friday night.
As the heavens opened in Greater London, it was City who flooded Fulham’s 18-yard box with yellow and green early on, Rob Nizet having the first chance of the game from at least 30 yards out as he spotted Luca Ashby-Hammond well off his line, but his ambitious effort went well wide of the post.
Nizet again had a chance for the opener, when a Reece McAlear corner came out to City’s number three to shoot from distance straight into the hands of Ashby-Hammond.
The McAlear corner continued to cause Fulham problems, Andrew Omobamidele next to win an aerial duel and clip a header wide of the far post in the 20th minute.
McAlear looked like he was really in the mood for this one, pressing high up the pitch to win the ball from Fulham in the 24th minute, before putting it on a plate for Omotoye to take a touch and pick out the bottom right corner, precisely sending his low shot past the onrushing ‘keeper.
David Wright’s side continued to control the first-half beyond the half-hour mark, a Jon McCracken goal-kick finding its way to Josh Giurgi on the right way. He pulled the ball back for William Hondermarck to have his first sighter, volleying over with a first-time shot.
It wasn’t until the 34th minute that the hosts had their first chance of the game, Ryan Jones meeting a corner from Adrion Pajaziti but seeing his effort cleared off the line by Ethen Vaughan.
Following the half-time break, City continued to look lively, with Omotoye winning a corner after flicking the ball over a Fulham midfielder and driving at the defence. Another corner later and Omobamidele was again the target man for McAlear, but headed over the bar.
Fulham had a half-chance in the 55th minute, as Terry Ablade controlled the ball falling from the sky before playing it to Jayden Harris, who scuffed his shot wide of the post.
Jean-Pierre Tiehi had the physique to make himself a handful for defenders, but his first chance of the game for Fulham came in the 64th minute, a McCracken save being re-bounded wide by the home side's number nine.
Ashby-Hammond made a save for the cameras in an increasingly end-to-end second half. A misplaced pass was picked up by Hondermarck, who in turn found Zach Dronfield inside. The latter set his sights and leathered a shot from distance, but the outstretched Fulham 'keeper expertly tipped it onto the crossbar.
Tiehi had another chance to equalise in the 71st minute, but his headed attempt went straight at McCracken.
The Canaries continued to hunt for the second, McAlear finding Omotoye with a deep free-kick and the latter heading towards the bottom right corner. The busy Ashby-Hammond got down to his left to parry it round the post, before McAlear's corner was headed onto the bar by Omobamidele.
When the second came, it was courtesy of substitute Dickson-Peters, who had been on the field for less than five minutes. Giurgi burst down the right wing and pulled the ball back for the striker to cushion into the roof of the net, giving City a deservedly more comfortable lead.
At the other end, McCracken was adamant about keeping a clean sheet, somehow scrambling to his left to stretch out and save from a dangerous Fulham corner that had been met inside the danger area. Fulham went close again moments later, hitting the post after a goalmouth scramble.
Nine points from twelve in Premier League 2 - not a bad start to the season for the Under-23s!
Fulham: Ashby-Hammond, Murphy, Larkeche, Harris, McAvoy, Mundle-Smith, Ablade, Pajaziti, Tiehi, Davis, Jones (Stansfield, 62')
Norwich City: McCracken ©, Vaughan, Omobamidele, Tomkinson, Nizet, Dronfield, McAlear, Giurgi, Omotoye (Springett, 79'), Dennis (Dickson-Peters, 72'), Hondermarck
Goals: Omotoye (24’), Dickson-Peters (77')
Venue: Craven Cottage