Match Reports

Under-23s denied three points after late Boro leveller

A late equaliser from Rumarn Burrell denied Norwich City's Under-23s all three points in their 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough at the Lotus Training Centre.

City went behind in the opening 20 minutes when captain Ben Liddle's deflected strike found the top corner, however they responded on the stroke of half-time through Gassan Ahadme.

David Wright's side took the lead just before the hour mark when Ciaren Jones nodded home from a Tom Scully corner.

However, Boro made sure they took something back when they equalised on 89 minutes when Burrell smashed home from six yards.

After City dominated the opening stages, Boro took the lead on 14 minutes. The ball was lost by City in their own third, allowing the visitors the chance to build pressure. Burrell had a low strike saved by Michael McGovern, only for Liddle to stick away the rebound with the help of a deflection.

Boro’s Sam Folarin then went close twice in quick succession. Initially, Burrell broke with the ball at pace and slid the ball to the winger but he drilled wide. The same man then had a go from further out but once again missed the target.

City rallied after this and had two headers cleared off the line in a matter of minutes. First, Jones headed Scully’s corner goalbound and Ahadme flicked it on but Boro cleared the danger. Then Scully delivered again and Ahadme had a go himself but his header, destined for the top corner, was nodded clear once more.

City began to dominate once more and Aidan Fitzpatrick trickery down the right fashioned a crossing opportunity. He found Adshead coming in at the back post but the England U19 man’s strike cracked the bar. The rebound fell kindly for Scully on the edge of the box but his curling effort narrowly missed the top corner.

At the other end, it was Boro’s turn to hit the woodwork. Burrell shifted the ball onto his right and curled against the crossbar with McGovern beaten.

City got their deserved equaliser on the stroke of half-time. Idah found himself on the right and managed to squeeze a cross into the area and find Ahadme whose touch and finish from 12 yards was sublime.

The Canaries emerged from the break the better and took the lead on 57 minutes. A routine set-piece delivery from Scully was met by Jones leaping highest in the area and he guided a header in the bottom corner.

It could have been two shortly after by Adshead’s long-range effort narrowly missed the bottom corner.

In a rare second-half chance from Boro, Isaiah Jones went close to levelling on 72 minutes but he was denied by a superb low save from McGovern. Jones almost nipped home the rebound but a combination of McGovern, Akin Famewo and Rob Nizet managed to get the ball clear.

City went closely to sealing the victory on 82 minutes when Idah fired the ball across the edge of the area to Saul Milovanovic. He played a one-two with Scully but couldn't quite a shot away, however Scully was on hand to have a go himself but he fired harmlessly over.

Boro stepped up their search for an equaliser late on and substitute Terry Stephenson's cross smacked against the crossbar by Stephen Wearne on 86 minutes.

However, they managed to make their late pressure count on 89 minutes when a bundle in the box, following another Stephenson cross, eventually saw the loose ball lashed home by Burrell.

Norwich: McGovern, Lomas, Nizet, Lomas, Famewo (c), Milovanovic, Fitzpatrick (Hutchinson, 88), Scully, Idah, Ahadme (McAlear, 68), Adshead (Thorvaldsson, 70)
Subs not used: Johnson, Hondermarck
Goals: Ahadme (45), Jones (57)
Bookings: None

Middlesbrough: Hemming, Dodds, Reading, Liddle (c), Wood, Dale, Folarin (Stephenson, 76), Hackney, Burrell, Wearne, Jones
Subs not used: Hood, Balde, Flatters
Goals: Liddle (14), Dale (89)
Bookings: None

Referee: A. Dale
Kick off time: 7.00pm
Venue: Lotus Training Centre
Attendance: TBC
HT: 1-1

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