Match Reports

Under-23s settle for draw against Reading

Norwich City Under-23s settled for a point after a last-minute leveller from Reading at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Monday evening.

The young Canaries saw just one change from the side that took their 3-3 comeback draw from Derby County in the Premier League Cup last week, Nelson Khumbeni coming back into the starting XI in place of Flynn Clarke.

City started the game well in the opening stages, finding their first chance in the first four-minutes. Jon Rowe did what he does best and beat his man down the left-side before squaring for Tom Dickson-Peters, the forward just shy of getting his boot on the cross.

Just minutes later, it was the Royals who would go on to take the lead after surviving early pressure, Ethan Bristow’s cross finding the head of Michael Stickland to nod past Joe Rose into the back of the net.

Now looking for an equaliser, City’s pressure remained unchanged in front of the hosts. Just after the halfway mark in the first 45 minutes, the young Canaries best chance came from Tony Springett, who saw his shot just outside the six-yard box blocked.

Josh Giurgi’s interception down the right-side gave the Irishman room to charge up the pitch before sliding Dickson-Peters into the box. The forward took the ball nicely and quickly squared it for fellow forward partner Abu Kamara, who’s shot was turned away from goal by Harvey Collins.

Despite this continuous pressure throughout the first half, it was the Royals who would double their lead through Malachi Talent-Aryeetey as a fumble in the Canaries’ box gave the midfielder an easy header from a yard out.

The opening 45 minutes wouldn’t go Reading’s way completely, however. On the stroke of half time, Dickson-Peters saw himself gliding through the Royals’ defence before calmly slotting past Collins to pull one back, giving City a well-deserved goal to take into the break.

Coming out for the second half, City’s control of the game was no different, defending tightly with a sharp counter-attack keeping Reading on their toes.

Pushing on into the half, the young Canaries would soon earn their reward as they kept knocking. Rowe did well to curl his corner into the box nicely for City, seeing Abu Kamara turn it into the back of the net for 2-2.

Just seven minutes later, the lead would go on to become City’s as Kamara turned from goalscorer to provider, setting Dickson-Peters up in front of goal for his cool finish into the bottom corner.

The young Canaries came close to making it a two-goal lead not long after as substitute Oscar Thorn fizzed his shot past the post, the U18s striker almost making immediate impact on the game coming off the bench.

However, it was heartbreak for City with the last kick of the game, Mamadi Camara's half-volley from outside the box nestling into the bottom corner to equalise in the 95th minute.

As the full-time whistle sounded shortly after the restart, City were forced to settle for a point from the Royals in their six-goal thriller.

Norwich City U23s starting XI: Rose, Giurgi, Tomkinson (c), Warner, Earley (Shipley, 75), Khumbeni (Brooke, 71), Gibbs, Springett, Kamara, Rowe (Thorn, 71), Dickson-Peters Subs not used: Berry, Hutchinson Goals: Dickson-Peters (45, 69) Kamara (62) Bookings: N/A

Reading starting XI: Collins, Samuels, Ashcroft, Bristow, Stickland (c), Holzman, Osorio, Talent-Aryeetey (Purcell, 65), Camara, Clarke (Sackey, 73), Ehibhatiomhan Subs not used: Rowley, Abrefa, Vickers Goals: Stickland (8), Aryeetey (42), Camara (90+5) Bookings: Holzman (14), Talent-Aryeetey (59)

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