Match Reports

Tomkinson at the double as Under-23s thrash Villa

Norwich City's Under-23s continued their impressive start to the 2021/22 Premier League 2 season with a 4-2 thumping of Aston Villa at Carrow Road.

In front of a vocal home crowd, the Canaries edged a competitive first-half and deservedly went ahead on 12 minutes when Jon Rowe fired home with real composure.

Villa had their moments in the first-half and equalised through a sensational Tim Iroegbunam strike five minutes from half-time.

However, City blew their opponents away early in the second-half with an Abu Kamara penalty and Jon Tomkinson headed double putting them well clear of their west Midlands opponents.

Kahrel Reddin headed home a late consolation for the Villans to make the final score 4-2.

The win moves City up to second in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table, with three wins from their opening four matches. Up next is the visit of Derby County to the Lotus Training Centre in the Premier League Cup on Monday (12.30pm KO).

City began the game really well, with Tony Springett proving a real threat off the left flank. Twice he fizzed dangerous balls into the six-yard area inside ten minutes, but a Villa man was there on both occasions to clear.

Their early endeavours paid off on 12 minutes when Tom Dickson-Peters stole the ball in Villa's box and cut the ball back to Rowe who sat a defender down before drilling the ball into the bottom corner superbly.

City almost relinquished their lead on 20 minutes when Tomkinson was dispossessed by Caleb Chukwuekmeka and he surged into the area, before cutting back to Finley Thorndike who had two efforts heroically blocked on the line by City defenders.

At the other end, City countered at pace and Rowe almost had a clear shot at goal on 25 minutes, only to go down under pressure from Sil Swinkels. Referee Alan Dale waved away appeals for a free-kick, though.

Chukwuemeka threatened again on 26 minutes, storming clear only for Tomkinson to recover well to block his effort.

City definitely should have made it two on the stroke of the half hour, Dickson-Peters steaming down the left and cutting a low cross into the area, but Kamara at full stretch couldn't quite apply a finishing touch.

The Canaries continued their superiority as the game headed towards the break, with Rowe once again proving a thorn in Villa's side. He arrowed at effort towards the far bottom corner on 33 minutes, but the ball dribbled just wide.

Villa got their equaliser against the run of play on 39 minutes when Iroegbunam sent an unstoppage drive from 25 yards into the top corner.

Early in the second-half, City were awarded a penalty when Kamara was barged in the back by Patrick Zito. Up stepped Kamara to notch his fifth goal in just four Premier League 2 matches this year.

Things got even better for the young Canaries on 55 minutes when a corner was headed back into the danger area by Nelson Khumbeni, allowing Tomkinson to divert the ball home from close range to make it 3-1.

And moments later, Tomkinson got his second of the match as he beat Villa goalkeeper Oliwier Zych to a Springett set-piece to nod the ball home.

On 70 minutes, Chukwuekmeka collided with the advertising hoardings in front of the Regency Security stand, meaning he had to be replaced.

The final stages of the match were spent with City in complete control, however the game ended on a sour note with Springett coming with a nasty looking ankle injury.

Reddin's late consolation goal made the final score 4-2.

Norwich City Under-23s: Berry (GK), Giurgi, Earley, Tomkinson, Warner, Khumbeni (Clarke, 62), Kamara, Gibbs, Dickson-Peters, Rowe, Springett (Brooke, 90+1) Subs not used: Rose (GK), Shipley Goals: Rowe (12), Kamara (pen 49), Tomkinson (56, 60) Bookings: Kamara (90+3)

Aston Villa Under-23s: Zych, Zito, Ealing, Bogarde (Hart, 62), Swinkels, Lindley, Reddin, Iroegbunam, Chukwuemeka (O'Reilly, 74), Thorndike, Goodridge Subs not used: Marshcall, Munroe Goals: Iroegbunam (38), Reddin (90+8) Bookings: Swinkels (43), Iroegbunam (62)

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