Tristan Abrahams’ second-half strike saw Norwich City’s Under-23s beat Bury 1-0 in the Premier League Cup.
A closely-fought match burst into life on 51 minutes when Abrahams smashed the loose ball home from inside the box.
The Canaries had chances to add to their lead afterwards but the City striker’s emphatic strike was the difference at Gigg Lane.
Matt Gill made six changes to his starting eleven which started the defeat to Aston Villa last weekend. First teamers Paul Jones, Russell Martin, Marcel Franke were unavailable, Max Aarons and Bilal Kamal were named on the bench after their involvement for the Under-18s on Saturday and Adam Phillips was suspended.
In came Aston Oxborough, Alan Fleming, Owen Wallis, Emmerson Sambu and Kieran Higgs with left-back Jamal Lewis making his long-awaited return to action after a four-month injury absence.
Bury started with a number of first team players and they made the brighter start in possession, despite rarely threatening to break the deadlock. Their best chance came on 10 minutes when Tsun Dai had a low effort well held by the City stopper.
Moments later City created a chance of their own. A throw-in was cushioned by Tristan Abrahams to Todd Cantwell and the City playmaker shifted the ball onto his right before fizzing a strike just over the crossbar.
City looked the more likely to score from then on in the first half but an acrobatic effort from Abrahams and long-range strike by Higgs failed to give Bury real cause for concern.
However, City stepped up their game at the beginning of the second half and got the breakthrough from which their general play merited. Cantwell was played through and his cross was cleared but only as far as Abrahams and he emphatically lashed the ball home to break the deadlock.
Things almost got even better for Gill’s men moments later. Lewis played a neat one-two with Cantwell before firing just wide of the far post. Then on 65 minutes, Devonte Aransibia launched a powerful effort from the edge of the area but Scott Moloney produced a brilliant stop to tip the ball against the upright.
Bury rallied as the climax approached. Rob Harker had the ball in the net on 74 minutes but it was flagged offside and the same man fired inches wide from a good position just minutes later.
However, City managed to hold on for a crucial three points, enhancing their chances of qualifying for the next phase of the Cup from Group C.