Young Canaries denied by Middlesbrough’s second-half comeback
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Norwich City Under-23s were on the wrong end of a second-half comeback as they went down 3-1 to their Middlesbrough counterparts at the Lotus Training Centre.
The young Canaries went into the game on the back of 2-0 loss to a highly-experienced Leeds United side in their previous Premier League 2 game.
City keeper Daniel Barden, who came in for Jon McCracken, had his reflexes tested early when he tipped a header over the bar in the second minute.
At the other end Reece McAlear fired just over from the edge of the 18-yard box.
Barden was called into action when he smothered an attack well and four minutes before the break, City went ahead after a quick counter-attack. The ball found striker Tyrese Omotoye, who made space for himself as he shook off a Boro defender before lacing the chance into the bottom corner.
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But the visitors came out for the second half with a more intense press, giving City little time on the ball.
Barden was busy in the 57th minute, making an excellent fingertip save to tip the ball over the crossbar and keep the Canaries lead intact.
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But the advantage disappeared when a cross to the far post was headed home by Rumarn Burrell.
City substitute Shae Hutchinson came close to restoring the soon after, his shot from a tight angle blocked.
Middlesbrough then took the lead from the penalty spot, Hayden Hackney converting, and as City fought to get back into the game in the final quarter of an hour, the visitors wrapped it up with a decisive third goal, again from 12 yards and again by Hackney, after a player had been pulled back in the area.
Norwich were top of the table going into the game, but Middlesbrough are now a point clear in pole position with a game in hand.
Norwich City: Barden, Vaughan, Omobamidele, Tomkinson, Stewart, Rowe (Hutchinson 52), Dronfield (Khumbeni 70), McAlear, Hondermarck (Kamara 64), Dickson-Peters, Omotoye. Subs not used: Blair, Jackson, Kamara, Hutchinson, Khumbeni.
Goal: Omotoye (41)