Norwich City Under-18s took an emphatic 4-1 victory over Cambridge United on Tuesday afternoon, with two new scholars getting their names on the scoresheet in their second pre-season fixture.
The game didn’t take long at all to get heated up, as Cambridge started with a fast-pace energy from the whistle. This early intensity paid off for the visitors, when their first shot on-target found the back of the net past Sam Blair, giving them an early lead over the young Canaries.
Whilst it didn’t take long to find the opener, it took even less time for City to find the eaualiser. Starting afresh on the reset, the Canaries passed the ball around United nicely, dribbling it into the box for Joe Duffy to tuck the effort home, levelling the scores almost immediately.
From this point on, City found their stride and dictated the pace of the game without giving Cambridge many chances. Adapting to this, Cambridge were looking to be clinical on their second chance in 20 minutes, their effort rolling wide of the post.
In a back-and-fourth exchange, City were looking to take their chance where Cambridge couldn’t. Abu Kamara nearly made it 2-1 as he darted into the 18-yard box, the effort just too tight for the forward as it rolled past the post in the 22nd minute.
Kamara was determined to get himself on the scoresheet, catching a low-driven cross from Sean with the end of his boot, the shot crawling towards the goal line. Cambridge’s ‘keeper fumbled and scrambled away at the ball, managing to swipe it off the line to keep the scores level.
Continuing their hunt for the lead, Brad Hills got in on the act, his bullet header darting side of the target as he couldn’t quite catch it clean by the 32nd minute.
After knocking on the door constantly, that goal to poke City ahead was finally found. The goal came in excellent fashion too, after one-touch passing on the right-flank ended in a low-driven cross to Thorn in space, who blasted it into the roof of the net.
That door stayed open for another chance going the young Canaries way, after a turnover in possession saw Cambridge suffer another conceded goal, Duffy bagging his second after slotting it home past the ‘keeper on the stroke of half-time.
Upon the returning 45-minutes, United found a new intensity to keep City at bay for the most part, a new high press giving the hosts less time on the ball to pick the passes they wanted around the backline.
This intense play gave Cambridge motivation they needed going into the final 45 minutes, even managing to knock one past Blair to potentially make it 3-2. The referee wasn’t satisfied with the innocence of the effort, however, calling a foul on Blair as multiple white shirts swung for the ball around him holding the ball.
From that point, City managed to get back into holding their own pace nicely, being given the creative freedom they had before hitting half-time, but no goals were found for either side as the Canaries were often off-target by a margin.
With less than ten minutes remaining, Thorn managed to find that fourth goal for City, receiving the ball in heaps of space in the 18-yard box, lacing it past the ‘keeper with ease.
Despite continued effort and domineering control, the visitors managed to see the game out to a 4-1 loss, after efforts like substitute Tony Springett’s were off-target or saved.
Norwich City XI: Blair (Trialist, 65), Okeowo, Shipley (Warner, 76), Hills (Jackson, 45), Stewart (Brown, 70), Earley, Alidor-Hamilton (Khumbeni, 76), Thorn, Pitcher (Dickson-Peters, 76), Duffy (Springett, 70), Kamara (Rowe, 70)
Goals: Duffy (8, 41), Thorn (40, 82)
Subs not used: N/A