Portsmouth U18 0, Norwich City U18 0

PUBLISHED: 09:55 19 December 2011

Norwich City youngster Harry Barker came close to finding a winner against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Norwich City youngster Harry Barker came close to finding a winner against Portsmouth on Saturday.

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Norwich City's Under-18s finished 2011 with a point in 0-0 draw away at Portsmouth in freezing conditions on Saturday.

In their final fixture of the year, Academy Manager Ricky Martin made seven changes to the side that beat Oldham U18s 5-0 in the FA Youth Cup Third Round in midweek.

There were plenty of chances throughout for both sides at Bognor’s Nyewood Lane ground.

However City – who had Kyle McFadden sent off for two bookings, had to settle for a point in their second goalless draw with Pompey of the season.

Defender Harry Barker went closest for City as he continued to be a threat from set pieces. His header from a free kick went over the bar this time as he was unable to add to his headed goal against Oldham in the cup.

City also hit the post as the dominated the opening stages, but both sides were thwarted by a combination of good goalkeeping and missed opportunities.

Academy Manager Martin said afterwards: “The lads did well and started game very brightly. We could have and should have been in front with two very good chances – we hit the post with one, and Harry Barker headed one over.

“Both of those chances came from set plays. The game was an even game, both teams created lots of chances but neither team could find that final touch.”

Next up for City in the Academy Premier League is a home clash with Arsenal at Colney on Saturday, January 7, 2012, before a mouth-watering FA Youth Cup Fourth Round clash with one of the favourites for the trophy, Chelsea.

Martin added: “I’m very pleased to be at home. Chelsea have won the Youth Cup several times, and they are always there or there abouts, so we know we are going to be up against a very good team.

“They have got some very good individuals, but we have got home advantage.

“We’ve played them in the league, and although we lost the game we know we can get at them and on our day we could possibly cause an upset.” The game will be played before Saturday, January 21, 2012 and will take place at Carrow Road.

• Norwich City: Matthews; Barker, Jones (c), McFadden, Kelly; Dobbs (Jacob Murphy, 68), McGeehan, Carroll, Josh Murphy; Howard (Hall-Johnson, 74); Loza (McKenzie, 85). Subs not used: Clunan, Peacock.

• Portsmouth: Gledhill; Wheeler, Magri (c), Grant, Triggs; Colson, Webster, Wallace; Maloney, Higgins; Harris (Antelmi, 77). Subs not used: Fitzharris, Warren, Jennings, Vine.

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