Omotoye the hat-trick hero as City U21s thrash Newport 5-0 in EFL Trophy
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Tyrese Omotoye was the hat-trick hero as Norwich City Under-21s brilliantly beat senior opposition again in the EFL Trophy, deservedly romping to a 5-0 win over League Two leaders Newport County.
The 18-year-old striker scored early in both halves before adding a fine third to take his tally for the season to six goals and send David Wright’s young prospects in to the knockout stages of the competition, confirmed after Cheltenham’s 2-0 win over Plymouth elsewhere in Southern Group F.
Newport made 11 changes to the team which started their 2-1 home win over Mansfield in the fourth tier on Saturday and named four teenagers in their XI, but did also have plenty of experience, with two players in their 30s and 41-year-old former Morecambe winger Kevin Ellison.
The young Canaries are allowed to name three overage outfield players and a goalkeeper but picked from the academy ranks - as they had for their impressive 3-2 win over League One side Plymouth last month.
Josh Martin, summer signing Bali Mumba and keeper Daniel Barden were the most experienced players for Norwich but it was Omotoye who stole the show, a Belgian youth international who was raised in the UK.
As an invited category one academy, all of City’s games are away from home, with the remaining match against Cheltenham.
It was a flying start at Rodney Parade though, after an early scare for keeper Barden as he was closed down, but the visitors quickly countered and Martin played a defence-splitting pass to Omotoye.
The striker’s first shot was thwarted by County keeper Tom King but he turned the loose ball into the unguarded net for a lead within 90 seconds.
Matthew Dennis was sent clean through by his fellow former Arsenal trainee Martin just four minutes later and went round the keeper to finish - only to be denied by an offside flag.
Mumba made a good tackle to deny Bristol City loanee Saikou Janneh as Newport chased an equaliser in the 14th minute and midfielder Zach Dronfield needed treatment after a heavy collision as he was caught late in a tackle by Joe Woodiwiss, who was booked. Dronfield tried to carry on but after limping around was eventually replaced by Nelson Khumbeni five minutes before the break.
While he was off the pitch getting treatment City survived a scare, as left-back Rob Nizet tackled striker Pagraig Amond and Ellison received the ball in front of goal. Barden closed the angle and the winger fired wide under pressure.
Martin shot just wide after good skill for Norwich and Janneh lashed wide for the hosts but the score was still 1-0 at half-time - but not for long.
Nizet exchanged a throw on the left with William Hondermarck and crossed, with Omotoye getting in front of his marker to poke in at the near post for 2-0.
Reece McAlear, Jonathan Tomkinson, Andrew Omobamidele and Dennis all had chances for City, with Amond flicking on to the roof of the net for Newport, but Omotoye sealed the deal with a fine strike in the 75th minute.
Martin was crowded out in the box and Omotoye curled a left-footed effort into the top-left corner - and within two minutes it was 4-0.
This time it was Dennis, placing a wonderful shot in off the post from 25 yards, taking a bow in celebration.
Then the icing on the cake was provided by Martin from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute, after substitute Josh Giurgi was clipped as he controlled a long free-kick from Omobamidele.
NEWPORT (4-4-2): King; Baker, Woodiwiss, Webb, Twamley; Willmott (Bright 78), Bennett (Maher 32), Ryan-Phillip, Ellison; Janneh, Amond (C - Hillier 68). Unused subs: Brain (GK), Dolan, Abrahams
Booked: Woodiwiss, Willmott
NORWICH U21s (4-2-3-1): Barden; Mumba, Omobamidele (C), Tomkinson, Nizet; Dronfield (Khumbeni 40), McAlear; Martin, Hondermarck (Rowe 84), Dennis (Giurgi 79); Omotoye. Unused subs: McCracken (GK), Vaughan, Warner, Springett
Goals: Omotoye 2, 49, 75, Dennis 77, Martin pen 83
REFEREE: Will Finnie