Norwich City stick it to Toffees in Youth Cup
Everton Yth 1, Norwich City Yth 1 (City won 3-1 on penalties): Declan Rudd was Norwich City's FA Youth Cup penalty hero for the second successive round last night as Ricky Martin's academy boys reached the quarter-finals at the expense of Everton.
Everton Yth 1, Norwich City Yth 1
(City won 3-1 on penalties)
Declan Rudd was Norwich City's FA Youth Cup penalty hero for the second successive round last night as Ricky Martin's academy boys reached the quarter-finals at the expense of Everton.
The keeper saved three out of the four spot-kicks he faced in the penalty shoot-out in Widnes after the two sides had finished level at 1-1 after extra time.
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It followed his heroics in the last round, against Stoke at Carrow Road, when he saved two penalties in the shoot-out before stepping up to rifle in the decisive kick himself.
Rudd had been unbeaten in 90 minutes last night but Everton looked to be heading through when he was beaten by a free-kick from Lee McArdle 12 minutes into extra-time.
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That was rough luck on City, who had hit the woodwork twice during normal time with superb strikes from Josh Dawkins and Danny Kelly.
The Canaries, however, had different ideas, with nine minutes remaining they drew level, ironically when Toffees keeper Adam Davies misjudged Adeyemi's miss-hit shot.
When it came to the shoot-out Korey Smith, Adeyemi and Nick Davey all found the net while Rudd was almost unbeatable at the other end.
“When it comes to penalties, any situation when Declan Rudd is involved you have to fancy us,” said City academy boss Ricky Martin. “I honestly believe that at under-18 level he's the best in the country.
“They were great penalty saves, too, and the last one would have given him special satisfaction because it was from another England group player, Jose Baxter.
“The only disappointment for him was that it meant he didn't get the chance to step up and rifle in the decisive kick as he did last time.”
Martin added: “I'm proud of every one of them, and proud that we are not only flying the flag for Norwich City in the last eight but flying the flag for the Football League as well.
“I was particularly proud of the way they reacted when going behind after deserving to be in front at the end of the 90 minutes. I was looking for a reaction and they gave it to me. They are a very willing and honest group of players and they just buckled down and turned the game round.”
In the quarter-finals City will now go back to the north-west to face holders Manchester City, who were 4-2 winners over Newcastle on Wednesday.
The date has still to be confirmed but the tie will be played at the City of Manchester Stadium.
t Everton: Davies, McArdle (Kinsella 111), Barnett, McCarten, Duffy, Akpan, McCready (Powell 86), Wallis, Codling (McAleny 61), Bidwell. Sub not used: Roberts.
t Norwich City: Rudd, Francomb, Habergham (Brindley 90), Omergie (Clarke 105), Dumic, Stephens, Davey, Adeyemi, Kelly, Smith, Dawkin. Subs not used: Steer, Reeves, Oakley.