Norwich City’s Under-23s ended their run of four successive draws in Premier League 2 with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Southampton at Carrow Road.
City led by two at the break after two Glenn Middleton crosses were diverted home by two different Southampton defenders – first, Aaron O’Driscoll and then Florian Gardos – before substitute Louis McIntosh added gloss to the scoreline with a stunning free kick in the second half.
Matt Gill welcomed first-teamers Michael McGovern and Russell Martin to the fold, replacing Aston Oxborough and Grant Hanley in the defensive positions. The other change saw Devonte Aransibia come in for Emmersson Sambu in midfield.
City dominated for most of the first half and had the lead within ten minutes. Todd Cantwell threaded a ball through to Middleton whose teasing delivery was diverted into his own net by O’Driscoll.
Tristan Abrahams then went close ten minutes later for the hosts. He was played in just wide of goal and showed great awareness to tuck the ball past Jack Rose however, Gardos did well to clear off the line.
Southampton had a great chance to equalise around five minutes before half-time when Marcus Barnes diverted just wide when it looked easier to score.
City justified their superiority moments later though – Middleton, again, whipped in a brilliant cross and it was tapped home again by a Southampton defender - this it was Gardos.
The second half was relatively comfortable for City and their victory was sealed with 15 minutes to play. McIntosh has endured a difficult spell on the sidelines through injury but, after coming on as a substitute, he made an instant impact, curling a sensational free-kick into the top corner from 30 yards.
Saints went close to adding a late consolation through a couple of Dan N’Lundulu headers but the win was never in doubt for City. The victory extends their unbeaten run to six games in Premier League 2.