Three goals from Joshua Martin sent Norwich City Under-18s into the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup with a thrilling 3-2 win against Newcastle United at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.
City were twice pegged back by the visitors in the first-half, but a stunning solo strike from Martin with just under ten minutes remaining wrapped up an impressive 3-2 win in style.
United found joy in the game's opening exchanges down the right hand side, Dylan Stephenson and Joe Oliver bombing forward as the former saw his cross parried away by Samuel Blair in the fourth minute.
In truth, the game could hardly have got off to a better start for City. With their first chance of the game, the Canaries opened the scoring. Rob Nizet found Tony Springett on the left flank. With time and space to charge forward, he bursted into the 18-yard box and setup Thomas Dickson-Peters. Completing the team move, he laid it off to Martin on his right, who sold the defence by cutting inside and burying the ball into the roof of the net with his left foot for 1-0.
Newcastle's Stephenson had the visitors next chances either side of a strike from distance by City's Tyrese Omotoye. 23 minutes in, Stephenson headed over from Elliot Anderson's deep free-kick. He got the equaliser moments later, going on a lung-busting run down the right and smashing a shot into the bottom left corner for 1-1.
The offside flag put a stop to a handful of potential Newcastle chances towards the end of the first half as the visitors looked particularly potent from set-pieces and crosses into the box.
Martin's brace came by way of some excellent footwork from Springett on the left wing in the 36th minute. He got the better of Oliver before putting the ball on a plate for Martin inside the 18-yard box. The latter was left with the simple task of cushioning a shot first time into the bottom left corner. 2-1 to City.
City almost had a gift-wrapped chance to make it 3-1 when Dan Adshead capitalised on a defensive error to play Omotoye through on goal. His shot from distance was saved well by Brown, however.
In a first-half full of action, United grabbed their second equaliser with a corner kick that went all the way to the far post. City failed to clear it and Kain Reed was on hand to nod the ball over the line, United's danger from set-pieces paying dividends.
Goalscorer almost turned provider for City at the start of the second half, when Martin's corner was headed onto the roof of the net in the second phase of the attack by Dickson-Peters.
City's high press caused problems for United's defence as Adshead won the ball high up the pitch and played Dickson-Peters through on goal via Omotoye, the Canaries stringing precise passes together quickly in the final third. However, Brown narrowed the angle and made himself look big to keep the scores level.
After Blair saved a long-distance strike from Stephenson, Newcastle should have taken the lead when Lucas De Bolle pulled the ball back for Reed in the 62nd minute. With no yellow shirts around him, Reed dragged his shot just wide, much to the relief of those in City colours at Carrow Road.
Steve Weaver was forced into making his first change of the night when Nizet pulled up with a knock in the 69th minute. He was replaced by Josh Giurgi before Martin bent a free-kick over the wall and into the hands of Brown.
Martin continued to pull the strings, putting Dickson-Peters through the left immediately thereafter, but his shot rocketed well wide of the right hand post.
City remained on top, Dickson-Peters going desperately close with a strike crashing onto the post after he took down Giurgi's powerful cross inside the 18-yard box.
Pleasingly, the pressure did not amount to naught. With just under 20 minutes left to play, Mr. Martin stepped up once again. Receiving the ball about 25 yards out, Martin completed his hat-trick in style, taking time to look up and set himself before unleashing a rocket into the top left corner, well out of Brown's reach.
Despite presenting United with a handful of chances in the second-half, City ultimately held on to a memorable FA Youth Cup victory. They will face either Manchester United or Lincoln City in the fourth round, with those two teams playing on Friday night.
Norwich City: Blair, Pitcher, Nizet (Giurgi 70'), Tomkinson, Omobamidele, Dronfield (C), Martin, Adshead, Omotoye (Kamara 85'), Dickson-Peters, Springett
Unused substitutes: Warner, Rose, Brown
Goals: Martin (5', 36', 81')
Bookings: Dronfield (74')
Newcastle United: Brown, Oliver, Midgley, De Bolle, Swailes, Gamblin (C), Stephenson, White, Reed (Harrison 72'), Anderson, Scott (Gilchrist 78')
Unused substitutes: Brannen, Marshall, Miley, Nicholson, Clark
Goals: Stephenson (26'), Reed (41')
Bookings: Reed (69')
Referee: George Byrne
Kick off time: 7pm
Venue: Carrow Road
Half time: 2-2