Norwich City Under-18s took a 3-0 loss to Fulham in their last game at the Lotus Training Centre of the 2020-21 season on Saturday afternoon.
The Under-18s saw five changes to the side that lost 5-2 to Spurs on Tuesday afternoon, Jayden St. Paul, Ola Okeowo, Oscar Thorn, Kenny Coker and Alex Matos all coming into the starting XI.
It was a competitive game from the first whistle as the visitors needed a win to continue their title chase with Crystal Palace, but City started brighter as they found the first chance of the afternoon.
Thorn managed to find himself space on the outskirts of the 18-yard box, the winger showing no hesitation to shoot from distance, but the winger couldn’t catch the ball as sweet as he’d have liked as it rolled straight to Alex Borto.
Just minutes later up the other end, U18s skipper Brad Hills was called into action as he made an excellent block to deny Fulham a sight of goal.
In real end-to-end drama, Matos then stole the ball from the Cottagers high up the pitch as he began the City counter. However, the move wasn’t meant to be in the torrential weather as his pass to Duffy was too heavy for the forward to get a cross into the box in time.
The game’s first quiet period lasted just shy of 15-minutes until St. Paul leaped into action with his terrific one-handed save to deny Luke Harris from the centre of the box.
Rounding off the half with the last clear-cut chance, Thorn teed Matos up inside the box, the striker shooting just wide of the target with his first touch.
Going into half time goalless, it was due to be a big 45 minutes to come for the young Canaries in their penultimate game of the season.
Fulham came out swinging for the second half in hopes of keeping their title dreams alive, forcing St. Paul into yet another vital save in the 52nd minute.
Just before the 60th minute, the Cottagers found their opener. Another addition to St Paul’s series of saves kept Mika Biereth’s effort out, but Harris would not be denied as he finished from close-range for the lead.
Using that momentum, the visitors then doubled their advantage with Biereth’s finish to take the score to 2-0 with 30 minutes remaining.
City would have to wait until the 77th minute to have their first chance of the second half, when Matos’ shot was saved by Borto, as the ‘keepers catch barely kept the ball out of his goal.
The Cottagers then went on to score their third just minutes later as they charged up the other end, Biereth finding his second after another close-range second-chance shot found the back of the net.
Finishing quietly, Fulham held onto their lead and clean sheet to take all three points, leaving City with just one game left of their season.
Norwich City starting XI: St. Paul, Okeowo, Stewart, Hills, Shipley, Alidor-Hamilton (Reindorf, 77), Thorn, Khumbeni (Welch, 53), Coker, Matos, Duffy (Foyo, 68)
Subs not used: Trueman
Bookings: Matos (65)
Fulham starting XI: Borto, Parkes, Bowat, Odutayo, O’Neill (c), Dibley-Dias, Biereth, Pajaziti, Bowie, Harris, D’Auria-Henry
Subs not used: Roberts, Williams, Antonsson, Lanquedoc, Sanderson
Goals: Harris (57), Biereth (59, 80)