Norwich City Under-23s opened their 2020-21 league season with a dominant display, taking a 3-0 win over Reading on Monday evening.
David Wright’s Under-23s side was treated to a host of first-team stars in their starting line-up as Sam McCallum, Melvin Sitti, Josip Drmic and Danel Sinani joined the team in their 2020-21 league opener against the Royals.
It was a quiet start for both sides at the Lotus Training Centre, neither team able to get a good enough handle on the ball to create any convincing or dangerous looking chances, although it City who enjoyed most of the possession in the opening exchanges.
However, it wouldn’t take long for that quiet start to come to an end as City’s first chance proved to be lethal.
The young Canaries first corner was delivered from Reece McAlear, which was nicely driven into the middle of the box. Centre-half Andrew Omobamidele couldn’t be tracked by the Reading defence, shaking his man and getting airborne, heading the ball past the ‘keeper to break the deadlock early.
Not letting up after scoring, City then went on to threaten another goal with a header on the edge of the 18-yard box, the effort just rolling wide of the post.
First-team duo McCallum and Sinani made their impact on the game just minutes later, ensuring City’s next chance reaped its rewards. The young left-back darted down the sideline as he left the opposition defender behind, squaring a low-driven cross into the box for Sinani to nestle into the back of the net from close-range.
In a dominant display, City’s final chance of the half nearly made it three. An early cross from Ethen Vaughan accurately found the head of Josh Giurgi, who’s nod was headed for the goal, only to be deflected by a City shirt.
As the first-half came to an end it was more or less completely City. With most of the action being played in the Royals’ half, the visitors didn’t trouble recent first-team debutant Daniel Barden, unable to register a shot to trouble the ‘keeper.
The start of the second-half picked up nicely from where the first had left off, with City looking comfortable on the ball as they dictated the pace of the game. Luxembourg international Sinani tried to find the back of the net early on, curling a composed shot on goal, his effort just too high for the crossbar.
Relentless in his distanced efforts, the forward tried his luck from the edge of the box once again, this time on-target. Despite both good pace and accuracy from the first-team forward, the shot was met by the leap of Coniah Boyce-Clarke, who kept it out of danger with strong hands.
After consistent attacks, City didn’t have to wait long to find their third of the evening. An overhit cross from McAlear was put back into the box from the Canaries, seeing Drmic chest it down and volley it into the far corner, taking City’s tally of the evening to three.
It took a while for City to let up, but Reading managed to register their first shot of the game just before the 80th minute, catching City on the counter. As threatening as it may have been, it was no trouble for Barden, who quickly came out to smother the chance away from any danger.
Finishing the game in the same dominant fashion they had for majority of the 90 minutes, Wright's side took a more than deserved three points in their opening fixture of the 2020-21 Premier League 2 season.
Norwich City Starting XI: Barden, Vaughan, McCallum, Omabamidele (c), Tomkinson, McAlear, Giurgi, Sitti (Dronfield, 78), Drmic (Omotoye, 70), Sinani (Dennis, 70), Hondermarck
Subs not used: McCracken, Nizet
Goals: Omobamidele (14), Sinani (27), Drmic (65)
Bookings: Vaughan (90)
Reading Starting XI: Boyce-Clarke (c), Harry, Samuels, Pendlebury (Aryeety, 60), Hewitt, Ashcroft, Ajose, Onen, McGiff, Lawless (Purcell, 46), Azeez
Subs not used: Holden, Melvin-Lambert, Ehibhaimhan
Bookings: Aryeety (89)