Premier League 2 Division 2
Rowe 34, Dickson-Peters 52
West Bromwich Albion F.C
Khumbeni (OG) 37, Castro 48, Cleary 54, Windsor 61 & 74
City youngsters defeated in seven goal thriller at the Walks
- Credit: Ian Burt
Norwich City's U23s squandered the chance to move to the top of the Premier League 2 Division 2 after being beaten 5-2 by West Brom U23s at the Walks.
In a highly entertaining game under the floodlights in West Norfolk, Alan Neilson's men fell on the wrong side of a seven-goal thriller despite taking the lead in the first half.
The young Canaries early season momentum was visible in the opening exchanges of this encounter. Unlike their colleagues in the first team, their attacking phases of play contained plenty of confidence and creativity.
Both chances inside the opening five minutes fell the way of winger Jon Rowe. He saw the first saved by Mac Chisholm and the second blocked off the line by Albion defender Caleb Taylor.
The 18-year-old was a real bright spark in an engaging and highly competitive first half. Rowe was the man who opened the scoring, latching onto Tom Dickson-Peters' through ball before rounding the goalkeeper to give City the lead.
Joy will have turned to frustration three minutes later, when midfielder Nelson Khumbeni scored a comical own goal to level proceedings.
The Canaries were attempting to build from the back and Khumbeni received the ball in the centre of the pitch. Pressure from Rico Richards forced the youngster to play the ball back to Joe Rose, but he got it badly wrong and fired the ball over the keeper's head into his own net.
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West Brom then sprung from the blocks early in the second half to move in front.
City's desire to play out from the back saw the visitors initiate a high press. They robbed possession from Josh Giurgi before squaring for Quevin Castro to smash into the net from inside the box.
The game burst into life thereafter, with City behind for just four minutes before equalising.
Rose's long pass picked out the onrunning Dickson-Peters, who saw Chisholm off his line and perfected a beautiful chip from 25 yards to make it 2-2.
City's lead lasted for just two minutes before Baggies striker Reyes Castro bundled his way through City's backline, slotting the ball into the net with aplomb to reclaim the visitors lead.
Dickson-Peters attempted a cheeky lob from inside his own half immediately from the restart, but his audacious effort dropped just wide of the post.
The game resembled a basketball match thereafter, with both sides having opportunities at either end of the pitch. West Brom made one of theirs count, with Tom Fellows delivering a low cross that found substitute Owen Windsor. He displayed composure to cut inside and dispatch a shot into the net.
A defensive mix-up between substitute Harry Brooke and Rose gifted Windsor the chance to net his second of the evening. He pounced to tap the ball home after the two City men collided attempting to clear a pass over the top.
City have their second game of the week at the Walks against league leaders Fulham on Friday.
Norwich City U23 (4-3-3): Rose; Giurgi, Tomkinson (c), Warner, Earley; Khumbeni (Shipley, 73), Rowe, Clarke (Brooke, 68); Kamara, Springett; Dickson-Peters. Subs not used: Berry (GK), Hutchinson
- Bookings: None
- Goals: Rowe 34, Dickson-Peters 52
West Brom U23 (3-4-3): Chisholm; Ingram, Taylor, Joshua; Teixeira, Castro (Delaney, 77), King, Ashworth; Fellows, Cleary (Faal, 60), Richards (Windsor, 60). Subs not used: Hollingshead (GK), Andrews
- Bookings: Castro (foul on Springett, 32), Delaney (foul on Rowe, 87)
- Goals: Khumbeni (OG) 37, Castro 48, Cleary 54, Windsor 61 & 74
- Time added on: 1 min/ 1 min
- Referee: Lloyd Wood
- Venue: The Walks, Kings Lynn