Halliday to the rescue for City Reserves
Norwich City Res 1 Stevenage Borough Res 1L: Central defender Matthew Halliday struck an equaliser in the dying minutes to help Keith Webb's second string side avoid a second consecutive defeat.
Norwich City Res 1 Stevenage Borough Res 1
Central defender Matthew Halliday struck an equaliser in the dying minutes to help Keith Webb's second string side avoid a second consecutive defeat.
Halliday got his header to an excellent cut-back from Matthieu Louis-Jean to earn City a point from a Pontins Holiday Combination clash that looked to be slipping out of their grasp.
The doom and gloom that has surrounded City in recent weeks showed no signs of clearing when the visitors went ahead on 74 minutes, but the men behind the City equaliser ensured that watching caretaker boss Martin Hunter had something to smile about.
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Hunter will be delighted to have seen Louis-Jean complete a rare 90 minutes in a yellow and green shirt - a sure sign that the injuries which have plagued him since his arrival more than a year ago are a thing of the past.
On a night when the reserves were in competition with England's European Championship qualifying campaign, it was no surprise that a sparse crowd turned up at Carrow Road - what was surprising was that it was officially counted at 1,151. Perhaps in view of England's performance, they were the lucky ones, although with all due respect to the visitors, Stevenage Borough aren't much of a draw.
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But the Conference outfit's second string clearly don't think like that and it was only their inability to create enough scoring chances commensurate with the rest of their play that cost them the points. They were neat, tidy and quick into the tackle, while City's youngsters were a little fragmented, firing occasionally, but failing to beat keeper Danny Potter.
Andrew Fisk and Robert Eagle stretched Potter but it wasn't until the impressive Chris Martin shot just wide on 35 minutes that he looked in danger of being beaten.
When the goal came it was Steve Arnold who was picking the ball out of the back of the net, sub Wayne Wilson getting his head on to Paul Smith's corner and Patrick Bexfield failing to stop the ball from crossing the line.
Martin did well on the turn but shot straight at Potter and just when it looked like Stevenage were taking the points, up popped Halliday.
Norwich: Arnold, Louis-Jean, Quaye, Halliday, Bexfield, Smart (Muddel 67), Fisk, Kelly (Lathrope 52), Eagle, Martin, El-Ouargui (Eames 77).
Stevenage: Potter, Peprak Annan, Bimson, Giles, Deen, Osei, Gradoielski, Ebayer, Stamp, Sullivan (Wilson 10, Glover 77).
Referee: J Hopkins.