Norwich City under-23s were reduced to nine men as the Canaries fell to a 2-0 home defeat to Leeds United.
Both Melvin Sitti and Reece McAlear were given their marching orders in the second half of the game, having picked up two bookings, and as a result goals from Leeds United’s Max Dean and Crysencio Summerville gave them all three points.
Norwich, who had lost at second placed Stoke City on Monday evening, named a strong side for the visit of Leeds, who were 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League 2 Division Two table going into the match.
Bali Mumba, Andrew Omobamidele, Reece McAlear, Josh Martin and Marco Stiepermann all started the game. And it was Stiepermann who looked to thread striker Matt Dennis in on goal early on but his through ball was successfully cut out before Melvin Sitti flashed a shot just wide.
However, in the first half it was a game of very few chances with the first effort on goal coming from a Bali Mumba cross that deflected and forced Elia Caprile to claw the ball to safety after 26 minutes.
Leeds were then given a great chance to take the lead 12 minutes before the break when Summerville was tripped by Rob Nizet in the area. However, Bobby Kamwa placed the penalty a foot wide of the post.
That let-off meant the sides went into the break all square and it was Norwich who started the second half the brighter as Dennis went agonisingly close to scoring with a shot from the left side of the box.
Then, against the run of play, Leeds took the lead Cody Darmeh got to the byline and pulled a ball back to allow Dean to fire a shot into the roof of the net on 53 minutes. Norwich continued to push forward but were dealt a blow just after the hour mark when McAlear was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Charlie Allen.
Moments later Dennis connected with a low cross from the left to send a shot crashing off the foot of the post, before the sides were evened up at 10 apiece when Nohan Kenneh also saw red for two bookable offences with 67 minutes played.
Martin, who looked the Canaries biggest threat going forward, then sent a shot whistling past the post from 25 yards out before another red – this time for Melvin Sitti – meant Norwich had to see out the remaining 15 minutes of the game with nine men, and one less than their opponents.
That forced City onto the back foot, looking to hit Leeds on the counter. And they almost found an equaliser when substitute Tom Dickson-Peters saw Caprile off his line and tried to chip him but got the execution of the shot wrong.
Leeds then wrapped up the match in stoppage time as Norwich conceded another spot kick, allowing Summerville to step up and send Joe Rose the wrong way from 12 yards and make the points safe.
Norwich City under-23s: Rose; Mumba, Omobamidele (C), Nizet, Warner (Lomas, 45); Sitti, Giurgi, Stiepermann (Khumbeni, 64), Martin, McLear; Dennis (Dickson-Peters, 74).
Subs not used: Tomkinson, Springett
Bookings: McAlear (38’), Sitti (72’), Nizet (78’)
Red cards: McAlear (61’), Sitt (75’)
Leeds United under-23s: Caprile; McCarron, Cresswell (C), Casey, Drameh; Allen, Dean, Summerville, Kenneh, McKinstry; Kamwa (Gibbon, 90+1).
Subs not used: Van Den Heuvel; Cholkoa-Mullen, Moore, McMillan
Goals: Dean (52’), Summerville (90+7’)
Booking: Kenneh (28’)
Red card: Kenneh (68’)