Norwich City’s Under-23s lost 6-2 against West Bromwich Albion at Colney Training Centre although the result didn’t reflect on City’s improved second half display.
The visitors started the game well and took the lead 25 minutes in after an unmarked Julian Lamy placed the ball under Nick Hayes and into the back of the net. The Baggies didn’t let off for the remainder of the half, adding another two goals via Morgan Rogers and Jamie Soule.
City were the better side in the second half, but a mad 10-minute spell mid-way through the second half saw both sides get two apiece which meant the Baggies ran away 6-2 winners.
New-signing Hayes started in goal for the Canaries replacing Jon McCracken. Bilal Kamal, Atli Barkarson and Ciaren Jones all remained in defence and were joined by Louis Lomas who replaced Caleb Richards.
Tom Scully partnered Saul Milovanovic in the central midfield with Isak Thorvaldsson and Josh Coley starting in the wide midfield positions. Adam Idah replaced Carlton Morris up front for City and was partnered by Alfie Payne.
West Brom had the first real chance of the game just less than 10 minutes in, with Rogers’ powerful free kick from 30-yards out crashing against the crossbar, although Hayes had the shot covered.
Fourteen minutes in City nearly went ahead. Barkarson’s direct run down the left resulted in a low cross which was met by Payne on the edge of the six-yard box. Payne managed to get his toe on the ball, but couldn’t direct his shot on target with the ball rolling agonisingly wide of the right post.
Lamy received the ball on the left from Finn Azaz’s switch of play. The forward went round Kamal before sending a left-footed shot high and wide of Hayes’ goal, not troubling the City keeper.
Five minutes later West Brom took the lead slightly against the run of play. Soule’s cross from the right found Lamy in the box unmarked, the forward took the ball down before putting the ball under Hayes.
The Canaries nearly responded instantly. Payne’s chip into the box saw Thorvaldsson hit the ball on the volley from the edge of the six-yard box, but his effort was stopped in spectacular fashion by House with a magnificent diving save at his near post.
The visitors went two head eight minutes after taking the lead. Soule managed to nip in-front of Jones at the near post before poking the ball into the back of the net.
City once again responded well, with Coley’s cross from the half-way line causing problems at the back for the Baggies. However, House managed to get his finger tips on the ball and push it over the bar just before it reached the head of Thorvalldsson.
Just before half-time West Brom extended their lead. Rogers lofted the ball into the top left corner of the City goal to put the game further out of the reach of City.
West Brom started the second half as they had finished the first, and extended their lead just a minute after the re-start. Rogers latched onto a ball through the City defence before rolling it past Hayes and into the bottom right corner.
City responded five minutes later with Alfie Payne netting for the Canaries. The forward went to shoot on his right before cutting back on his left and then seeing his deflected shot find its way into the back of the net.
The Canaries were given a lift after the goal, and had an erray of different chances in response to the goal. The best fell for Payne who saw his effort cleared off of the line by a brilliant Solanke block to deny City from pulling another goal back within quick succession.
The visitors added a fifth twenty minutes into the second half, with Rogers getting his hat-trick. The striker was played through by Soule before driving it into the far corner out of the reach of Hayes.
City once again responded. Idah placed the ball into the bottom right hand corner to give the Canaries another lift, although the Baggies went up the other end and cancelled out any sign of a comeback with Soule getting his second of the game.
City went on to create the better chances in the remainder of the second half, but knew the game was out of reach. Despite this the players carried on fighting and put in a performance which wasn’t reflected in the score line.
Starting XI: Hayes; Kamal, Barkarson, Jones ©, Lomas, Milovanovic, Thorvaldsson, Scully (Ahadme 70), Idah, Payne, Scully.
Unused Subs: Omobamidele, Barden, Dronfield, Barnes