Cup heartbreak for Canary kids
Paddy Davitt Manchester City Youth 1 Norwich City Youth 0Norwich suffered late spot-kick misery in today's FA Youth Cup quarter-final against the classy holders at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Manchester City Youth 1 Norwich City Youth 0
Norwich suffered late spot-kick misery in today's FA Youth Cup quarter-final against the classy holders at the City of Manchester Stadium.
Canaries' striker Nick Davey blazed over the crossbar on 79 minutes for Ricky Martin's men after Tom Adeyemi was upended by Blues' sub Omar Elabdellaoui.
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England youth striker Robbie Mak had coolly slotted past international colleague Declan Rudd in the first half in front of a sizeable 3,254 Eastlands crowd to book a two-legged semi-final against Arsenal.
The home side carried the greater attacking menace but Martin's battlers pushed the hosts all the way before Man City extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 24 matches.
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Martin named an unchanged line-up from the club's win on penalties in the previous round against Everton. City included four of last season's victorious FA Youth Cup team.
Arsenal Academy boss Steve Bould was an interested spectator as the former Gunners centre half ran the rule over potential semi-final opponents following his side's 3-1 comeback win at archrivals Tottenham on Friday night in front of 19,000.
Korey Smith was the fulcrum of a rousing pre-match huddle for the young Canaries before City's Republic of Ireland youth international Danny Kelly forced an early corner - Joe Clegg grasping Dario Dumic's near post flick underneath his crossbar.
Captain Smith set the tone for Norwich's high-tempo pressing game in the first quarter as the visitors tried to knock the highly-rated hosts out of their smooth passing stride. Canaries' right-back George Francomb headed away inside his own six-yard box with dangerman Mak ready to pounce after Rudd misjudged Ahmad Benali's hanging cross.
Dumic earned a lecture for a mistimed tackle on halfway that poleaxed Alex Nimley. Rudd spilled Dedryk Boyata's deep free kick but Francomb was again on hand.
Smith was booked for a rash lunge that wiped out Benali in front of the home dugout before the alert Rudd dived smartly at the feet of Mak with the hosts moving through the gears.
Mak pounced on a fortunate ricochet in midfield to nudge Man City in front - gliding past David Stephens 20 yards out to impudently flick past Rudd into the bottom corner.
Davey's heavy touched robbed skipper Smith of a clear chance to test Clegg. Rudd denied Chris Chantler on 34 minutes with a sharp parry after Nimely's perfectly-weighted throughball pierced Norwich's backline.
Kelly fashioned the Canaries' best chance of the half on 43 minutes when Clegg acrobatically tipped over his close range poke after Stephens caught the hosts napping at a well-worked throw.
Clegg foiled Adeyemi when the athletic Norwich midfielder burst into the six yard box after tidy approach play between Davey and Kelly. Dumic became the second Norwich player cautioned for another ill-judged block on Greg Cunningham. Norwich's towering centre back then landed a final warning for a clear pull back on the pacy Mak - the home support voicing their disapproval at referee Webb's leniency.
Davey dragged his angled 20 yard strike well wide of Clegg's right-hand post to end a prolonged midfield stalemate. Mak latched onto to a hopeful throughball on 67 minutes but Adeyemi sensed the danger to block the striker's cute cutback.
Man City's goal scorer then blazed horribly wide seconds later after Adeyemi's miscued clearance dropped for the frontman with only Rudd to beat.
Norwich were handed a gilt-edged chance to level the tie from the penalty spot on 79 minutes after Adeyemi was upended by Man City substitute Elabdellaoui.
Davey steadied himself but skied the spot kick well over Clegg's bar into the empty terraces. The increasingly influential Adeyemi's dipping half volley landed on the roof of Clegg's goal as the Canaries' probed to force the tie into extra time.
Blues' skipper Kieran Trippier looked to catch out Rudd with a well-flighted free kick but the City stopper was equal to the task - the cue for Arsenal's spy Bould to head for the exit.
Rudd pushed Nimely's goal bound strike round his left hand post in the first of three stoppage time minutes as the holders played out time without any real alarms.
Man City: Clegg, Trippier, Cunningham, Wabara, Boyata, Tutte (Elabdellaoui 75), Benali, Ibrahim, Mak, Nimely, Chantler. Subs (not used): Redshaw, Johansen, Guidetti, Helan. Booking: Ibrahim
Norwich: Rudd, Francomb (Drmola 85), Habergham, Smith, Dumic, Stephens, Omoregie (Brindley 77), Adeyemi, Kelly, Davey, Dawkin. Subs (not used): Clarke, Steer, Reeves.
Bookings: Smith, Dumic
Goal: Mak (20)
Added time: 1 min / 3 mins
Referee: D Webb (Wearside)