Spyrou leads young Canaries’ fightback at Dereham
PUBLISHED: 22:21 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 23:50 06 August 2018
Anthony Spyrou’s late double ensured pre-season finished on a high at Dereham for Norwich City Under-23s.
There was no senior involvement for the Canaries but it wasn’t long before Matt Gill’s squad opened the scoring, with a classy team goal.
Scottish goalkeeper Jon McCracken launched a superb drop-kick to the left wing in the 11th minute, where Tom Scully cut inside and found Spyrou, who played Adam Idah through on goal and the Irish striker made no mistake, burying the ball into the bottom-right corner.
With the young Canaries dominating possession it looked like it could be a good night for the visitors, with Spyrou so nearly controlling a fine Alfie Payne pass in the box two minutes later.
However, Dereham, who play at step four of the non-league pyramid, calmed themselves and knocked City out of their stride.
Former Brighton striker – and Swardeston CC skipper – Joe Gatting tested McCracken with a low shot from the edge of the box in the 32nd minute.
Six minutes later the hosts were frustrated by an offside flag as Ashley Jarvis played Gatting clean through but the Magpies found an equaliser five minutes before the break.
Former Liverpool and Huddersfield midfielder Saul Milovanovic pushed on-running Dereham skipper David Hinton to concede a free-kick 25 yards out in the right channel. Danny Beaumont stepped up and curled a powerful low set-piece around the wall to catch out McCracken and give the home fans something to cheer.
There was more within 45 seconds of the second half as substitute Adam Hipperson lashed a 20-yard shot in off the underside of the bar for the Magpies.
Norwich moved to a more attacking 4-3-3 formation on the hour when Josh Coley replaced Scully and nearly equalised eight minutes later when Devonte Aransibia’s shot from the edge of the box forced a fine save from Elliot Pride.
Dereham hit the post in the 70th minute when McCracken’s wayward clearance fell to Gatting, who beat the keeper with his poked shot but saw the ball agonisingly roll against the right-hand post.
The Canaries made the most of the let off as five minutes later they were level, with centre-back Ciaren Jones playing a defence-splitting ball to Spyrou, whose fine touch made the space to tuck into the bottom-right corner for 2-2.
Right-back Bilal Kamal fired just over for the Canaries in the 79th minute, with the hosts visibly tiring, before a horror moment for Town keeper Pride with a minute left.
Lively substitute Josh Coley powered a header forward and Joe Manning knocked the ball back to his keeper with Idah breathing down his neck, only for Pride to scuff his kick horribly to Spyrou, who calmly took a touch into space and lashed home from close range to snatch the win.
Dereham get their Bostik League Division One North campaign started away to Aveley on Saturday and City’s U23s play their first Premier League Two fixture away to Aston Villa next Monday night.
Dereham: Pride, Bangara, Anema, Hinton (C – Quantrell 46), Ebbage, Manning, Edge (Warne 67), Smith (Wengrzik 54), Gatting, Beaumont, Jarvis (Hipperson 46). Unused subs: Cox (GK), Crisp
Goals: Beaumont (40), Hipperson (46)
Norwich: McCracken; Kamal, Odusina, Jones, Richards; Payne, Milovanovic, Aransibia (C), Scully (Coley 59); Spyrou, Idah. Unused sub: Johnson (GK)
Goals; Idah (11), Spyrou (75, 89)