Norwich City’s Under-23s beat Manchester United after two second-half goals from Gassan Ahadme and Adam Idah were enough to bring the points back to Norfolk.
City defended well for the majority of the first-half, but were undone with seven minutes of the first half to play when Josh Bohui’s driven effort was too powerful for Jon McCracken and meant United led going into the break.
Adam Idah scored a penalty just after the re-start, following a foul on Gassan Ahadme. The Spaniard then put the Canaries ahead with 10 minutes to play after his header found a way past Kovac. City went on to show resilience in the latter stages to see out the game.
Jon McCracken returned to City’s Under-23s starting line-up after Billy Johnson started the previous two games, Johnson took a place on the bench. Bilal Kamal and Alfie Payne started as full-back as they did against Nottingham Forest on Monday, whilst Louis Lomas was partnered by Zac Dronfield at centre-back.
The rest of the team was unchanged from Monday’s draw, with Saul Milovanovic starting alongside Tom Scully in the centre midfield with Louis Mcintosh and Josh Coley providing City’s width. Gassan Ahadme started up front and was joined by Adam Idah.
One minute into the game Jon McCracken caught a cross from the left before launching the ball to Adam Idah over the top of the Man United defence, but it ran on the ‘keeper just before Idah could get his toes on the ball.
As the first half went on City started to sit deeper, but their resilience was proving to be too good for United who despite enjoying a lot possession, were unable to find a route into the City box.
Just under 20 minutes in City had their first real chance of the game. Idah used his strength to get in behind the United defence before finding some space to the right of the six-yard box. The striker’s shot was gathered by Kovac with ease, although Ahadme was lurking just behind the United ‘keeper.
Moments later the ball was bouncing on the edge of the United area. Tom Scully stepped up and hit the ball with magnificent technique on the half-volley, but his shot was deflected narrowly wide of the United ‘keeper’s post.
Thirty-four minutes into the game United had the best chance of the first half. A cross from the left was met by the head of Burkart at the back post, but the United number seven could only guide his header into the hands of McCracken.
Four minutes later United took the lead after Bohui wriggled his way into a yard of space just inside the City box, before smashing past McCracken and into the far left corner of the goal to give the home side the advantage.
City nearly responded instantly, when a one-two between Kamal and Coley on the right saw the latter’s driven cross gathered once again by Kovac before the ball could find Idah or Ahadme who were waiting in the six-yard area.
Just before half-time City nearly got back level. Kamal’s direct run from right-back saw him progress through the United defence, but his shot was straight at the United ‘keeper before the ball was eventually cleared.
City started the second –half in great style. Idah’s direct run from the right saw him pass to Ahadme who turned the United centre-back but was brought down in the process. Payne proceeded to smash the ball into the back of the net, but the referee pulled it back for a penalty.
Idah stepped up and placed it the penalty past Kovac and into the back of the net to make it level at the start of the second period.
With just over 30 minutes of the game remaining, City were pushing forward looking for that second goal and nearly found that when Ahadme shot towards goal, but his effort could only find the side netting at the near post.
Moments later Kamal’s driving run from deep saw him ease past three United players before sending Idah through, but the striker’s effort was straight at the United ‘keeper.
Norwich were given a scare with 20 minutes to go when Bohui went past Kamal before working his way to the edge of the box, he then saw his cross somehow go untouched across the face of goal before running out for a throw on the opposite side.
City took the lead with 10 minutes to play. Tom Scully’s corner was met by the head of Ahadme, who headed into the far right corner of the goal to give the Canaries the lead after completely turning the game around after the break.
Mehmeti very nearly extended City's lead with five minutes to play, when the midfielder found some space on the edge of the United area before seeing his shot curl inches over the United crossbar.
United were looking for an equaliser in the latter stages of the game, but City held firm and saw the game out to get the win after a great performance.
City’s starting XI: McCracken; Kamal, Lomas, Dronfield, Payne ©, Milovanovic, Mcintosh (Mehmeti 45), Scully, Coley, Ahadme, Idah.
Unused subs: Johnson (GK), Keller.