Norwich City’s Under-18s were left frustrated as they were forced to settle for a point against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon.
The game didn’t start in the easiest fashion for the Canaries, as the hosts opened the gap early. The Canaries were under pressure early on, not being allowed anytime on the ball to enjoy possession. This took its toll quickly when a squared ball in the City box allowed DJ Campton-Sturridge to tap it into an open net, giving the hosts the advantage in the second minute of play.
The young Canaries had answered back nicely just minutes later, however. A corner ball found Harry Pitcher on the edge of the box, who saw his effort deflect over the backline. Jon Rowe saw his opportunity to capitalise on this deflection, running onto it and half-volleying it wonderfully, seeing his effort lob the ‘keeper to level the scoring.
From this point, the Canaries took advantage of Villa’s unsettled play. A clean interception from Jaden Warner gave him optimal positioning on the edge of the Villans’ box, allowing him to play a through-ball into the area for Abu Kamara. The young forward wasted no time lacing it past the ‘keeper as he ran onto it, making it two goals to one in just 15 minutes.
The hosts were determined to fight back, and they did just that. A run into the Canaries box by Tristan Abldeen-Goodridge ended in a squared ball to ex-Barcelona man Louis Barry, who smashed it past Sam Blair in goal to take the scores level.
After four goals and the teams fully settling, neither side could find the back of the net for the remainder of the second-half, leaving just 45 minutes for the teams to fight for the points.
As the second-half started, the hosts had a new confidence about them. Within just two minutes of the second-half commencing, a distanced effort from Villa rattled the crossbar, leaving a stark warning for the Canaries of the danger they faced.
Despite the early chance, the Canaries managed to settle into the game quickly. The City side were able to drop back to defend excellently, whilst keeping their attacking threat very much alive.
Each team took their stabs, creating chances however they could, but by the 75th minute neither had found the goal to open the gap once more, leaving just 15 minutes to try and find the decider to take all three points.
Just as the game was coming to it’s end in the final ten minutes, the Canaries had the best chance possible to take all three points. Tyrese Omotoye made a run into the 18-yard box, badly fouled before he could get a shot off, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
Substitute Tom Dickson-Peters stepped up, converting from the spot, giving City the deserved lead once more in the games dying minutes.
Just when all three points seemed certain to be heading back home with the Canaries, Villa struck back. A late run by Louis Barry into the City box saw the young prospect free to lace it towards goal, passing Blair to save the home side a point as the game came to an end.
Norwich City Under-18s: Blair, Pitcher, Stewart, Shipley, Brown, Warner, Rowe Dickson-Peters, 71), Alidor-Hamilton (Duffy, 81), Omotoye, Kamara, Springett
Subs not used: Okeowo, Hills, Trueman
Bookings: Rowe (12), Alidor-Hamilton (49), Brown (61)
Goals: Rowe (7), Kamara (15)
Aston Villa Under-18s: Onodi, Sohna, Appiah, Farr, Sylla, Chukwuemeka, Lindley, Raikhy (Young, 55), Barry, Abldeen-Goodridge, Campton-Sturridge (Reddin, 66)
Subs not used: Sewell, Rowe, Marshall
Bookings: Sohna (9), Barry (32), Sylla (33), Raikhy (54)
Goals: Campton-Sturridge (2)
Referee: Oliver Nolan
Venue: Bodymoor Heath Training Ground
Kick-off time: 12:30pm