Martin's young Canaries claim second place
John Landamore MK Dons U18 2, Norwich U18 3: RICKY Martin saw his young guns claim runners-up spot to Arsenal in their section of the Academy U18 League after they came out on top of a five-goal thriller at MK Dons.
MK Dons U18 2, Norwich U18 3
RICKY Martin saw his young guns claim runners-up spot to Arsenal in their section of the Academy U18 League after they came out on top of a five-goal thriller at MK Dons.
A goal down at the break the Canaries hit back to take a 3-1 lead before the home side hit a late penalty to make it a nervous final few minutes, as City needed to win the game to confirm their second place from Crystal Palace and Ipswich Town who are hard on their heels.
With Sam Habergham away with England U17s in Germany, Martin drafted Damien Lathrope into the left-back position, otherwise it was the same line-up that defeated Coventry City 4-1 at Colney last week.
City survived an early scare when Daniel Delderfield found himself with a one-on-one situation with Declan Rudd but the City keeper made a comfortable save.
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The lively Nick Davey set up Richard Brindley whose low shot across goal was just wide of the far post. Davey then created an opening for himself, dancing past two defenders before seeing his effort go just wide of the target.
With 20 minutes on the clock the Dons opened the scoring when DANIEL POWELL who played against City in the Carling Cup earlier this season, raced clear to slip the ball past Rudd.
Davey was looking to be City's best opportunity to get back on level terms when he saw a shot blocked by Kurt Fox in the Dons goal. It was MK however who finished the half on top and it needed saves from Rudd to deny Delderfield and Charlie Collins.
Five minutes after the interval City were back on level terms with a well taken low shot from JOHNBULL OMOREGIE.
It then got even better for City five minutes later when DAVEY got the goal his play so richly deserved when he was put clear by the impressive Brindley to fire the ball under Fox.
Davey went looking for his second and it needed a good save by Fox to deny him just that.
With 80 minutes on the clock Norwich looked to have secured the win when from a corner the ball fell to DAVID STEPHENS, who from the edge of the box he rifled the ball home.
The Dons were far from finished however and they pulled a goal back on 85 minutes from a penalty spot by POWELL.
City however held on to their slender lead to record their best ever finish in the Academy set-up.
t City: Rudd, Francomb, Lathrope, Omoregie, Dumic, Stephens, Brindley (Oakley 80), Kelley, Davey, Drmola (Reeves 73), Dawkin. Subs not used: Grieveson, Clarke, Ball.
Norwich City Man of the Match: Nick Davey.