Ipswich U18s 2, Norwich U18s 1

Norwich City rounded off their FA Premier Academy season with a high profile performance at Ipswich, but came away empty-handed.

Norwich City rounded off their FA Premier Academy season with a high profile performance at Ipswich, but came away empty-handed.

After Norwich netted an early penalty, Ipswich had just a few chances, but sealed the win with a debatable spot kick of their own late into the game. It leaves City with a fourth-place finish, behind Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

Although Norwich played to their potential, they were thwarted by excellent Ipswich goalkeeper Ian McLoughlin, who produced a string of superb saves.

With the nearby church bells sounding and plenty of spring sunshine in Suffolk, Norwich made early advances on the Ipswich goal, and after 11 minutes referee Adam Crysell awarded the Canaries a penalty after Town's Joe Whight made a rash challenge. George Francomb stepped up to take the kick, and steered the ball inside McLoughlin's left post.


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Jason Dobbs saw a shot from outside the area deflected for a corner on 14 minutes and Patrick Drmola beat three challenges before shooting.

But it was all square on 18 minutes when Caolan Lavery pulled clear of the Norwich rearguard and rounded keeper Remi Matthews to coolly slip the ball into an empty net.

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Ricky Martin made changes for the second half, with Josh Dawkin and Sam Kelly replacing Alex Stephens and Dobbs.

Dawkin saw a low effort kept out by McLoughlin's legs and three minutes later Kelly picked out Matthew Ball and his header just missed the target.

Ball then played in Drmola, who was denied by a tremendous save by McLoughlin.

But Ipswich rallied and on 77 minutes were awarded a penalty, much to the astonishment of the Norwich contingent, after Matthews came and spread himself to narrow the angle, but got a glove on the ball as Lavery hit the deck.

However, for the second time referee Crysell pointed to the spot. Lavery's penalty kick was well saved, but the Ipswich forward followed up to net the rebound.

Norwich were then chasing the game, and on 80 minutes were denied again when, from a Francomb free-kick, Dawkin collected the ball out on the left, made inroads and let fly from 30 yards with McLoughlin producing the save of match by palming the ball away.

City were still not finished, with McLoughlin denying Kelly, but it was not to be.

t Ipswich: McLoughlin, Bennett, Dunbar, Carson, McKeown, Whight, Jones, Brandon, Lavery, Simmons (October 81), Griffiths. Subs not used: Winter, Welling, Acott.

t Norwich: Matthews, Brindley, Gordon, Osemwegie, Francomb, D Kelly, Oakley, Dobbs (S Kelly 46), Drmola, Ball, Stephens (Dawkin 46). Subs not used: Clunan, Clarke, McKenzie.

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