Norwich City Res 2, West Brom Res 4
PUBLISHED: 19:03 06 September 2011 | UPDATED: 09:30 07 September 2011
Archant © 2011
The Canaries' hopes of a second successive FA Premier Reserve League victory were gone with the wind at Colney on Tuesday.
City included only three players with first team experience and, despite taking an early lead, they were eventually outgunned by a physically bigger Albion side in conditions more akin to November.
Torrential rain an hour before kick-off subsided but it was a very blustery 90 minutes.
Striker Saido Berahino was the two-goal wounded hero for Albion, stretchered off after scoring his second and the Baggies’ third goal, following a clash of heads with home defender Richard Brindley.
The collision caused a seven-minute delay but the youngster was later reported to be not seriously injured.
Patrick Drmola gave Norwich the lead in the 12th minute when he latched on to Sam Kelly’s pass, nipped the ball wide of Albion goalkeeper Luke Daniels and slid it home.
Berahino levelled the scores six minutes later with a cool finish from Romaine Sawyers’ pass.
Albion snatched the lead on the stroke of half-time when City ’keeper Remi Matthews misjudged his attempted clearance on the edge of the area and Kayleden Brown rolled the loose ball into an empty net. But it was 2-2 on the hour when George Francomb equalised from the penalty spot after Josh Murphy had been pulled back by Wesley Atkinson.
Berahino scored the decisive goal for Albion after 71 minutes from Kemar Roofe’s inch-perfect cross, but suffered the collision with Brindley as he jumped to head home. There was a long delay, but a minute before the end of normal time Sawyers wrapped up victory with the Baggies’ fourth after good work by Brown and Sam Mantom. Eight minutes of added time failed to bring more goals.
City assistant manager Ian Culverhouse was disappointed with the scoreline but pleased with the youngsters’ spirit.
He said: “It’s just a shame the score didn’t reflect the way we tried to play. We created our own damage at times. Remi should have stopped the second goal and we should have stopped the cross coming in for the third.
“But they’re going to have to learn quickly because this young side here are probably going to play the majority of games in this league. It’s a step up for them. They’re used to playing in their own age group then all of a sudden they’re playing in the Premier Reserve League. It will be hard – as long as they stand up and don’t hide from it.”
• Norwich City: Matthews; Brindley, Francomb, Barker, Toffolo; Josh Murphy, Smith, Kelly, Dawkin; Jacob Murphy (Clunan, 81), Drmola. Subs (not used) Cable, Dobbs, Florence, Hall-Johnson.
• West Brom: Luke Daniels; O’Neil, Downing, Donervon Daniels, Atkinson; Roofe, Edge, Man-tom, Brown; Berahino (O’Sullivan, 78), Sawyers. Subs (not used) Lewis, Tunnicliffe, Birch, Goldsmith.
• Referee: Adam Crysell.