Norwich City’s Under-23s beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Colney with goals coming from Isak Thorvaldsson and Ant Spyrou.
Aston Oxborough came in and replaced John McCracken who was moved to the bench after starting against Reading at Hogwood Park last time out.
Bilal Kamal was named on the bench, which allowed for a return to Under-23s action for Caleb Richards who has been out on loan to FC United of Manchester. Ethen Vaughan was not involved in the match day squad, with Timi Odusina taking up the right-back role. Louis Lomas and Ciaren jones partnered each other at centre-back.
There were no changes to the midfield and forward line from City’s game against Reading Under-23s on Monday which produced three City goals, two of which were in the last five minutes.
Thorvaldsson started on the right side of midfield with Josh Coley starting on the left. Tom Scully and Alfie Payne started alongside each other in midfield for the third consecutive game. Adam idah partnered Spyrou up top for the Canaries.
Villa started the better of the two sides, with the visitors dominating the opening exchanges. Oxborough was forced into a fantastic early save within the first 10 minutes of the game, keeping out Jacob Badeau’s close-range header.
The visitors carried on to dominate in the opening minutes and put City under pressure. Jack Clarke and Corey Taylor went close for the visitors with both their shots drifting wide of City’s left hand post not troubling the City ‘keeper.
Around 20 minutes in City were finally able to start taking a foot hold in the game as they kept possession and looked to force Aston Villa back, but despite keeping the ball well in midfield, City were unable to register a shot in this period.
Villa continued to look the most likely team to get the opening goal and very nearly went ahead 30 minutes in. Taylor went past Richards on the right before sending in a floated cross to the back post. The cross was met by the head of Clarke who was unable to keep his effort on target as the ball sailed over the bar.
Four minutes later after a good spell of pressure from City, Thorvaldsson put the home side a goal up. The midfielder was left with plenty of space 25-yards from the villa goal before seeing his driven shot deflected and find its way past Sam Lomax and into the back of the net.
City finished the half the stronger of the two sides, keeping possession well and forcing the visitors back but Aston Villa still remained a threat every time they got in behind the City defence.
Five minutes into the second half, after a series of deflected shot’s Idah rifled a ball towards goal however, despite not knowing much about it Lomax kept the ball out of the goal before Scully’s rebound was blocked by a Villa defender.
The Canaries went two goals ahead ten minutes into the second half. Idah did well to hold off a Villa defender before leaving it to Spyrou to take it beyond two Villa defenders before placing past Lomax.
Sixty minutes into the game, Richards took a superb first touch to get him beyond Jake Walker on the left before sending in a teasing cross however , Dominic Revan was able to intercept the cross before Spyrou could get his head on it.
After making a substitution, Villa started to regain some control of possession but Norwich were dealing with the crosses coming in from the right and left with ease; Although, the visitors had started to see a lot of the ball inside the City penalty area.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Villa pulled a goal back against the run of play. Clarke dribbled past Thorvaldsson before pulling the ball back to substitute Kelsey Mooney inside the box, Mooney then placed the ball between the legs of Lomas and into the bottom right corner.
Despite conceding, City were determined to get hold onto the lead and get the three points there performance deserved.
City Starting XI: Oxborough; Odusina ©, Richards, Lomas, Jones, Payne, Thorvaldsson, Scully, Spyrou, Idah, Coley.
Unused Subs: Omobamidele, McCracken (GK), Milovanovic, Kamal, Dronfield.