Norwich City Under-23s were denied a point after a Louie Barry last-minute winner in a 3-2 loss to Aston Villa on Friday evening.
It was Villa who found the first shot of the game, a corner headed out by the City backline being sent back on-goal with a volley outside the box. The shot was caught nicely, but drifted off-target in the fifth-minute.
The Villans kept their attack up, slipping past Jon Tomkinson and getting the ball to Charlie Farr in the centre of the box, who cut inside and fired for the target. Despite Farr’s effort from close range, his shot was heroically blocked on the line by Ethen Vaughan.
This block wouldn’t keep the visitors out for long, however. As Villa pushed for the opener once more, Louie Barry was pushed from behind inside the box, the referee pointing straight to the spot. Barry stepped up to the penalty, converting past Joe Rose, who’s fingertips weren’t enough to stop the shot.
Using the momentum of their first goal, the visitors looked for their second of the evening before the turn of the 20-minute mark, Miles Sohna heading a corner wide from inside the six-yard box.
Setting City up for their first shot of the game after a Villa-dominated 18 minutes, Matthew Dennis saw his shot from the edge of the box drag wide of the target, keeping the midlands side ahead.
Farr tested Rose once again inside the box as he found himself in a shooting position on the counter-attack, but it was a comfortable save for the Rose to deny the forward.
As the young Canaries picked their intensity up in the last 15 minutes of the first-half, they probed Villa for the equaliser. A few dangerous crosses from both Ethen Vaughan and Rob Nizet came looking for a City shirt, but were hastily cleared by the Villa defence.
Although, that leveller was soon found not long after. A stylish passing move from City ended with a Vaughan cross from the right flank, the pass curling nicely for Dennis, who got a foot on it to bury it into the back of the net.
Turning the tides of the game, City then came close to taking the lead when Josh Giurgi fired for goal from distance after intercepting a pass, his effort forcing the ‘keeper to a scrambling save to end the half.
Tom Dickson-Peters gave City their first chance of the second half, doing well to break away from the Villa defence and set-up a two-on-one with Giurgi. The chance wasn’t meant to be, however, Dickson-Peters’ pass to Giurgi intercepted.
But less than ten minutes into the second half, City found the lead. A corner delivered into the box from Reece McAlear was seen away from Villa, but only as far as Nelson Khumbeni, who laced his shot through the crowd of shirts and into the back of the net.
Just minutes after finding the lead, another penalty went Villa’s way. A tackle inside the box from Jordan Thomas was given as a foul by the referee, allowing Barry to take his second penalty of the evening and find his brace.
City thought they had the potential winner on their hands when Dennis did well to steal the ball from the backline and set himself up one-on-one with the ‘keeper, his shot steering just wide of the target.
Villa then took their turn looking for the possible winner as they made a run into the box, but Vaughan was there with another strong tackle to end the chance.
Dennis looked to make up for his previous miss, surging into the box and forcing Akos Onodi into a fast-reflex save at his near post.
Holding on until the 93rd minute, Villa found the winner when Barry capitalised on a City error, burying his shot past Rose to complete his hat-trick and earn the visitors all three points.
Norwich City starting XI: Rose, Vaughan, Thomas, Tomkinson, Nizet, Giurgi (Rowe, 71), Khumbeni, McAlear, Springett, Dennis, Dickson-Peters
Subs not used: Blair, Stewart, Kamara
Goals: Dennis (34), Khumbeni (54)
Bookings: McAlear (32), Thomas (57), Nizet (77)
Aston Villa starting XI: Onodi, Walker, Chrisene (Revan, 81), Bridge, M. Sohna (H. Sohna, 64), Sylla, Hayden (c), Bogarde, Barry, Ramsey (Chukwuemeka, 46), Farr
Subs not used: Young, Zych
Goals: Barry (11, 57, 90+3)
Bookings: Sylla (44)