Norwich U21s 3-1 Spurs U21s
Report from Carrow Road
14 October 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Our Under-21s gave a good account against an experienced Norwich side but ultimately fell to defeat in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League at Carrow Road on Tuesday night.
The line-up included Under-18s regulars Kyle Walker-Peters and Christian Maghoma, 16, who was pitched in against former Celtic striker Gary Hooper on his Under-21 debut. The later arrival of Luke Amos off the bench made it two debutants on the night.
Norwich, meanwhile, included nine players with experience of first team football either at the club or on loan, spearheaded by Hooper, Elliott Bennett and Spanish Under-21 international Ignasi Miquel, signed from Arsenal in the summer.
We gave as good as we got in terms of possession and chances created in front of the live television cameras and a 10,405 crowd - a new record attendance for the Barclays Under-21 Premier League.
Cristian Ceballos gave us hope of some reward for the performance with a belter to make it 2-1 in the 56th minute but Cameron King's strike on 70 minutes gave us too much of a mountain to climb.
The first half was an end-to-end affair packed full of goalmouth action.
We took an early hit as Norwich opened the scoring with the first meaningful attack on four minutes as Harry Toffolo's cross was met by Carlton Morris, whose header cannoned off Connor Ogilvie, leaving Luke McGee stranded.
However, the young team recovered well. Josh Onomah curled just wide after Ceballos' backheel and typical of the half, play switched straight to the other end where McGee blocked at his near post from Morris.
McGee produced a fine save to turn away Toffolo's blaster on 19 minutes and then we broke away, Onomah fed Ceballos who whistled a shot just wide.
Our best chance arrived midway through the half as Onomah and Daniel Akindayini cut the home side open through the middle, leaving Emmanuel Sonupe to sprint through on goal. Under pressure in the box, he fired wide.
Morris headed straight at McGee from close range in the 25th minute and after a relative lull in the action, the Canaries doubled their lead on 36 minutes.
The play actually started at the Norwich end as Ruben Lameiras' shot was blocked but Morris broke quickly down the left and his cross narrowly evaded Hooper sliding in. Play continued, Reece Hall-Johnson crossed, McGee saved well again from Morris but could do little to prevent King following in for 2-0.
The action carried on as McGee turned away King's low drive, Rudd tipped over Ceballos' corner and Ceballos had the final word of the half with another effort that zipped inches wide with Rudd at full stretch.
Norwich had the first chance of the second half in the 50th minute when McGee raced out of his box to deny Hooper, only for his clearance to fall to Miquel. He lobbed the ball back towards the empty net and missed by inches.
The next chance fell to Will Miller, who shaped to find the corner from 10 yards after Sonupe's dart into the box, only for Kyle McFadden to block. Play immediately switched to the other end and Bennett curled just wide from 20 yards.
Our response followed from Ceballos on 56 minutes. The Spanish winger picked the ball up just outside the box again, shifted left away from Raymond Grant and this time fired into the top corner, a fine strike for 2-1.
Sonupe was away in the 68th minute only to be dragged down by Conor McGrandles. Ceballos fired the free-kick to the near post, but it was blocked by McFadden.
Unfortunately, the Canaries restored their two-goal lead just two minutes later. Play moved up our left, Morris squared to King just inside the box and he sidefooted low beyond McGee from 16 yards.
Joe Pritchard and Anthony Georgiou were introduced for a second and first appearance of the season respectively and Pritchard forced a fine save from Rudd on 81 minutes after climbing well to meet a header at the far post.
Rudd was tested again in the final action of note as we finished the game on the front foot. Ceballos was fouled on the left edge of the box, Onomah curled over the wall but Rudd was there to claw the ball out of the top corner.
Ugo Ehiogu said
“They brought the big guns out and it was always going to be a challenge for us,” reflected coach Ugo.
“Christian Maghoma made his debut aged 16 at centre-half up against the experience, firepower and know-how of someone like Gary Hooper and we finished the game with six scholars.
“It was a very young team up against 600 games of league experience in that Norwich team, a lot of know-how, a lot of game knowledge
“Could our players handle it? We knew their know-how was going to be tested.
“We spoke about a few things (at half-time) and they responded well.
“I thought at 2-1 there was a chance. We were fairly on top, fairly comfortable and we were carving out opportunities. We threatened and had pace that unsettled them.
“It’s just a shame that we had chances to keep possession for their third goal and we were undone by sloppy play.
“The result was disappointing but I was pleased with our players.
“We’ve four or five players away on international duty so we had to plug a few gaps but it gave players the opportunity to impress and they did that.”
Norwich U21s: Rudd; Hall-Johnson, McFadden, Miquel; Toffolo; Bennett (C), Grant (Efete, 62), McGrandles, King (Ashley-Seal, 83); Hooper, Morris (Norman, 88). Substitutes (not used): Ramsay, Killip (GK).
Spurs U21s: McGee; Walker-Peters, Maghoma, Ogilvie, McQueen; Lameiras, Miller (Amos, 84); Sonupe (Pritchard, 75), Onomah, Ceballos; Akindayini (Georgiou, 79). Substitute (not used): Miles (GK).