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Match Reports

Under-23s fall to late Sunderland defeat

16 April 2021

Norwich City Under-23s twice took the lead before being pegged back in Friday afternoon's game against Sunderland at Lotus Training Centre, the visitors winning it 3-2 in the 92nd minute, Matthew Dennis and Abu Kamara the scorers for City.

Norwich had the perfect start, Dennis giving City the lead inside the second minute following a tidy one-two with Kamara, both forwards under pressure from the Sunderland defence.

Josh Hawkes, one of the league's top scorers, looked dangerous throughout the first half, getting his first chance when he won a free-kick on the edge of the area, fired it at the wall and smashed the re-bound high and wide.

Dennis almost returned the favour for Kamara at the other end when he got on the end of a good ball down the left wing from Jonathan Tomkinson. Dennis crossed early but the ball was just behind Kamara, who retrieved it and fired over the bar.

Hawkes made no mistake at the other end, darting in from the left wing with pace to pick out the bottom left corner with his right foot to equalise.

But Sunderland's comeback was short-lived, as Kamara made amends for his earlier miss when he got on the end of another Dennis cross to cushion the ball across the line to give City a 2-1 lead.

Hawkes was certainly in the mood, daring to go from goal from about 35 yards out moments later, Daniel Barden relieved to see the ball crash onto the crossbar and away.

The Canaries 'keeper then made a good reflex save to deny Sam Wilding from equalising, before Hawkes had an effort ricochet off Tomkinson and onto the crossbar once more.

Kamara had the first chance of the second half following a promising City counter attack led by Regan Riley. He found Louis Lomas on the right, whose cross was shot into the ground and over the bar.

Barden pushed a shot over from Hawkes at the other end as both sides continued to look dangerous going forward.

Hawkes then sent a cross in from the left wing that evaded Lomas, the ball sailing to the far post where Barden was on hand to make another good reflex save.

Sunderland then hit the crossbar for the third time in the game, Ellis Taylor hitting the woodwork before the pressure paid off once more, a cross coming in for Hawkes to dispatch for 2-2.

The visitors took the lead in the 92nd minute, Dan Neil scoring from Hawkes' corner.

Norwich City starting XI: Barden (GK), Lomas, Warner (Vaughan 60'), Tomkinson (C), Nizet, Khumbeni (McAlear 46'), Riley, Rowe (Dickson-Peters 78'), Dennis, Kamara, Stewart
Subs not used: Rose (GK), Vaughan, Springett
Goals: Dennis (2'), Kamara (26')
Bookings: Nizet (68')

Sunderland starting XI: Patterson (GK), Richardson, Taylor, Wilding, Beaumont, Almond, Wearne, Trialist, Harris, Neil, Hawkes
Subs not used: Richardson (GK), Kelly, Chapman, Gardiner
Goals: Hawkes (23'), Hawkes (72'), Neil (90+2')
Bookings: Wearne (84')

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