Plenty to be impressed by but Idah was star of the show for Norwich City U18s
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After a memorable victory for Norwich City Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup third round, David Freezer assesses which youngsters stood out for the Canaries.
The FA Youth Cup is once again proving to be a competition well suited to the academy youngsters of Norwich City.
Adam Idah’s memorable 10-minute hat-trick and a fine strike from Anthony Spyrou warmed the Canaries fans who braved the freezing temperatures at Carrow Road on Tuesday and were rewarded by seeing City’s under-18s beat Barnsley 4-1 in the third round.
It was far from straightforward though, with the Tykes taking a deserved lead midway through the first half and angered by a goal being disallowed for offside early in the second half – one which their coaches were still fuming about after the final whistle.
The strong and determined Idah was the star of the show with his three goals, having fired just wide early on before the visitors took control of the game through a fine finish from Matthew Wolfe.
At that point disappointment got the better of the young Canaries and they were extremely fortunate to not fall 2-0 behind before their Irish striker took the game by the scruff of the neck.
That opportunity came in the 58th minute thanks to more fine play from right-back Max Aarons, with another surging run – that Ivo Pinto would have been proud of – winning a clear penalty. Idah’s initial effort was saved but the 17-year-old was alert enough to squeeze home the rebound.
Aarons also made a fine goal-line clearance in the closing stages to prevent the Tykes mounting a late rally, offering an energetic outlet in defence and attack all evening.
Less than two minutes after the equaliser Spyrou burst through and fired a low shot across the Barnsley keeper to put City in front, before his attacking colleague Idah finished the job by completing his hat-trick.
Wingers Connor Parsons and Jaden Thompson-Brissett were also willing runners but guilty of trying to force the issue at times, while midfielders Alfie Payne and Atli Barkarson worked hard to protect their defence, helping to wrestle back control after being over-run by their Barnsley rivals for a while.
It was Idah who made the biggest impact though, with the strength shown to resist the opportunity to win a free-kick when being fouled as he tore through to make it 4-1 – thanks to an excellent advantage played by the referee – topped off by a classy low finish to mark him out as one to watch this season.
Prospect’s attitude has impressed
The attitude of Irish striker Adam Idah has impressed the academy coaches at Norwich City since his summer arrival.
After joining as a first-year scholar in July the 17-year-old has scored nine goals in 12 games, following his FA Youth Cup hat-trick against Barnsley on Tuesday.
His 10-minute treble saw the Canaries’ under-18s come back from 1-0 down in rapid style to beat the Tykes 4-1 and seal a place in the fourth round of the competition – which City won in 2013.
“He’s an Ireland youth international, he’s been away a number of times this year at different tournaments and he’s doing particularly well,” City U18s boss David Wright explained. “I think he went away and scored six or seven, I lost count in the end over three games, so he’s done really well.
“More importantly he’s a really good boy, he wants to learn, he wants to get better and he’s very humble, so as a person that’s very important to us and the football club because they are the type of football players we want to produce.”
Rams heading to Norfolk
Derby U18s beat Manchester United 3-1 on penalties following a 2-2 draw last night to set up a fourth round clash with Norwich.
Full details are yet to be confirmed but the game must be played by Saturday, January 20, with City the home side and the game likely to be played at Carrow Road.
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