Norwich City's Under-23s are beaten at Carrow Road with Isak Thorvaldsson and Josh Coley with City's goals in the second-half.
City started positively with Morris going close on two occasions inside the opening 20 minutes. But it was Middlesbrough who opened the scoring against the run of play when Dan Ward slid the ball past Oxborough 30 minutes in. One minute later the visitors were two ahead when Tyrone O’Neill headed the ball into an empty net after getting to the ball before Aston Oxborough.
Boro extended their lead straight after kick-off when Ward got his second of the game and looked to put the game out of City's reach. However goals from Isak Thorvaldsson and Josh Coley made for a tense last 10 minutes with City unable to find an equaliser.
Aston Oxborough started in goal for the Canaries in what was a much changed side at Carrow Road. Akin Famewo made his first appearance for Norwich, starting alongside Louis Lomas at centre-back with senior members Felix Passlack and Philip Heise starting as full-backs.
Louis Thompson joined Saul Milovanovic in the central midfield with Josh Coley and Isak Thorvaldsson starting on the flanks. Carlton Morris continued his return from injury, starting a second consecutive game alongside Adam Idah.
The first chance of the game fell for City three minutes in when Heise’s curling ball from deep was met by the back heel of Morris’ right foot, but the strikers shot proved to be comfortable for the Boro keeper.
Five minutes later Idah managed to nick the ball off Nathan Wood on the half-way line before the striker used his pace to drive forward, but the forward was stopped in his tracks by Enes Mahmutovic.
City continued to dominate the opening exchanges, with Morris getting another chance but once again the striker was unable to get enough power behind his header to test Sol Brynn.
The visitors then started to get on the ball, and after 18 minutes Boro had the best chance of the game, but luckily for Norwich Passlack was switched on at the back which meant he was able to get to the ball before Tyrone O’Neill.
After 30 minutes, a quick double for Boro meant they took an undeserved lead. The first goal came when Ward intercepted a short pass out from the back before driving into the box and slotting past Oxborough.
Moments later Middlesbrough doubled their lead when a cross from the right saw O’Neill get to the ball before the City ‘keeper with the striker heading the ball into an empty Norwich goal to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.
At the end of the half City nearly got a goal back. Idah pulled the ball back to the edge of the six-yard box before Morris placed a shot towards goal however the ball was blocked by Wood at the near post.
The visitors nearly added a third just after the re-start when Djed Spence’s driven run allowed him to find some space before drilling the ball across goal. The ball found Brahimi who’s shot was superbly blocked by Famewo.
Just over 10 minutes into the second half Middlesbrough extended their lead even further when Ward netted his second of the game. The midfielder received the ball inside the City box before taking on Heise and powering into the top left-hand corner.
Five minutes later City nearly got a goal back, but Passlack failed to convert from six-yards out after Throvaldsson’s shot deflected into the right-back’s path.
City pulled a goal back with just under 30 minutes to play when Idah’s switch of play found Thorvaldsson who brought the ball done before lobbing over Brynn in the Middlesbrough goal to give Norwich a lifeline.
City started to dominate and grow in confidence after the goal and got right back into the game when Coley found the back of the net with 20 minutes to go. Thorvaldsson laid the ball back to Coley who curled the ball beautifully from the edge of the box.
With just over 10 minutes left to play at Carrow Road Thorvaldsson was fouled inside the Boro box just before the Icelandic man could get his shot away. However, the referee waved away appeals for a penalty from the City players.
Substitute, Ciaren Jones had a golden chance to equalise with four minutes remaining, but the defenders header was glanced just wide of the Boro goal and was to be City's last chance.
City’s Under-23s starting XI: Oxborough; Passlack, Lomas, Famewo (Jones 61), Heise, Milovanovic, Thompson, Coley, Thorvaldsson, Idah ©, Morris.
Unused Subs: Fonkeu, Johnson, Payne Ahadme