Norwich City’s Under-18s were beaten by a strong Tottenham Hotspur side despite enjoying large spells of possession in either half.
Despite starting the game on the front foot, City were unable to test the Tottenham ‘keeper in the first half, with closest chance coming 17 minutes in when Andrew Omobamidele’s toe-poke went well wide of the goal. Spurs took the lead just before half-time when Markanday’s effort found the top corner of the City goal to put them one up at the break.
After the break Spurs extended their lead when mid-way through the second-half Shashoua rolled his penalty past Barden. Two minutes later Markanday got his brace and gave City a mountain to climb. City were given a lifeline with 10 minutes to play when they were awarded a penalty, but the subsequent spot-kick from Gassan Ahadme was saved.
Daniel Barden came in for Billy Johnson in-goal for the Canaries in a side which saw a few changes to the starting XI that beat Aston Villa last time out. Ethen Vaughan and Atli Barkarson remained in the full-back positions whilst Andrew Omobamidele partnered Zac Dronfield at centre-back.
William Hondermarck and Saul Milovanovic started as the central midfielder’s with Anis Mehmeti and Josh Martin starting on either side of midfield. Gassan Ahadme started up-front for City in what was his first game for the Under-18s since joining the club. The Spaniard started alongside Isak Thorvaldsson who returned from injury.
The Canaries started well against the league’s high-flyers and were on the front foot from the off taking the game to Spurs. However City were struggling to get in behind the Tottenham defence with some long balls from deep running on to the keeper, getting carried by the strong winds at Colney.
City’s first chance came 17 minutes in when Barkarson’s curling free-kick from the right to the back post was met by Omobamidele who managed to get his toes on the cross but his effort went narrowly wide of the Spurs goal.
Ten minutes later City remained on the front foot, pressuring Spurs’ every touch of the ball. Martin and Hondermarck linked up superbly in the middle of the park before the latter made a magnificent switch splitting the Tottenham defence. Mehmeti’s cross from the right was cleared at the front post, just before it could reach Vaughan inside the six-yard box.
Spurs started coming into the game after this chance, without really testing Barden in the Norwich goal. Markanday and Clarke both had two cross each in the space of ten minutes which were drilled across the face of goal, with no one able to get the final touch.
Spurs started to dominate the ball as the second half went on, and took the lead with a spectacular effort from the edge of the box. Markanday found some space on the edge of the City box before rifling into the top right corner giving Barden no chance in the City goal.
City started the second-half as they had started the first, pressing the Spurs side back in their own half. Barkarson went on a driving run down the left five minutes in, but his driven cross wasn’t met by either of the City strikers.
Just over 10 minutes after the break City looked to have the golden chance to equalise. A ball over the top of the Spurs defence was met by the on-running Thorvaldsson, but the City striker was judged to be offside before getting his shot away.
Moments later the visitors very nearly extended their 1-0 lead, but Clarke could only send his shot from three-yards out crashing against the City crossbar.
However Spurs doubled their lead mid-way through the second half when Shashoua rolled his penalty into the bottom right corner. The visitors then added a third two minutes later when Markanday bagged his second of the game.
Ten minutes later City were still working hard and looking for a route back into the game. Mehmeti very nearly got a goal back after his weaving run from the left saw him find some space on the edge of the Tottenham box before seeing his dipping shot caught with ease by the Tottenham ‘keeper.
With 80 minutes on the clock Thorvaldsson was fouled in the Tottenham box before a penalty was given. The following penalty was taken by Ahadme, but Oluwayemi made a terrific save to keep his clean-sheet intact.
City’s Under-18s Starting XI: Barden; Vaughan, Omobamidele, Dronfield, Barkarson; Mehmeti, Milovanovic, Hondermarck (Khumbeni 84), Martin (Springett 66), Ahadme, Thorvaldsson
Unused Subs: Blair (GK), Berkeley , Dickson-Peters