Norwich City Under-18s took a 2-0 defeat to Southampton on the opening day of the 2021/2022 U18 Premier League season on Saturday afternoon.
A select few of the new first-year scholars got their first league start of the 2021/2022 season, including Finley Welch, Osman Foyo and Reece Trueman.
It didn’t take long for the game to heat up at the Lotus Training Centre, both teams scrapping to create whatever they could early on.
The best of these efforts fell to the visitors when they squared the ball across the face of goal, but it was just too fast for the Saints’ as it fizzed away from danger, much to the Canaries relief.
In a quiet half by way of chances, Southampton then saw their second chance of the game blocked by City skipper Brad Hills as they emerged with the ball from a scramble inside the 18-yard box.
While the Canaries couldn’t quite find their clean-cut moments in front of goal, Southampton struck just before half time. Countering City with pace, the visitors outnumbered the young Canaries as they set-up a two-on-one against Trueman, finishing into the bottom corner calmly for the lead.
Coming out for the second half, City looked to make things right early on with Harry Brooke’s free-kick on the edge of the box, but it was just painfully wide of the top corner.
It wasn’t long until Southampton showed their danger once more, punishing City for missing their miss with a goal of their own as Rylee Wright tapped-in Trueman’s deflected save.
Just five minutes later, and the Saints were given the chance to make it three when Trueman’s foul inside the 18-yard box saw a penalty awarded in the visitors’ favour.
Not letting his mistake get the better of him, the young ‘keeper did excellently to dive the right way and comfortably save the spot-kick, holding the scores at 2-0.
A scrappy final 30 minutes meant neither side saw themselves with the chance to score, the Saints taking all three points by full time on the opening day.
Norwich City starting XI: Trueman, Alidor-Hamilton, Hills (c), Shipley, Okeowo, Welch (Foyo, 46), Duffy (Reindorf, 71), Brooke, Matos, Aboh, Coker (Thorn, 56)
Subs not used: St. Paul