Norwich City youngsters one step away from historic clash

Celebrations from Norwich City's FA Youth Cup win over Millwall.

Celebrations from Norwich City's FA Youth Cup win over Millwall.

Norwich City Under-18s have the chance to book an FA Youth Cup quarter-final trip to Everton – exactly 30 years after the two clubs’ epic meeting in the final of the same competition.

Neil Adams’ young Canaries face Birmingham City in the fifth round at Carrow Road next Tuesday (7pm), with an away tie against the Toffees in the last eight awaiting the winners.

It was back in 1983 that Dave Stringer’s City team beat Everton in a memorable FA Youth Cup final that went to three matches.

After winning the first leg 3-2 at Carrow Road, the Canaries were beaten 3-2 at Goodison Park in the return leg.

A 5-5 aggregate score meant a replay, which was played at Goodison on the toss of a coin, but City won 1-0 in front of a crowd of 20,652 with a second-half goal from Paul Clayton.

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The three matches were watched by a total of more than 46,000 fans.

It completed a golden season for Stringer’s team, with the South East Counties League title giving them a notable double.

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Everton booked their place in this year’s quarter-finals with a 4-2 victory over Arsenal at Barnet’s Underhill ground on Monday night, with goals from Matthew Pennington, Chris Long, Conor Grant and Harry Charsley.

It means Adams could pit his wits against his former Goodison team-mate, Kevin Sheedy, who coaches Everton’s youth team, but only if City dispose of Birmingham.

After two Harry Toffolo goals gave the Canaries a 2-1 win over Millwall in round four at Carrow Road, Adams was not thinking further ahead than the Birmingham tie.

He said: “It really is the case that we’re not looking beyond the next game. It’s fantastic we’re in the last 16. The target now is the quarter-final.

“Whatever happens, if and when we get there we’ll deal with that, but it would be disrespectful to Birmingham to look beyond them. I am sure they will come here fancying their chances as much as any team will at this stage of the competition.

“We’ll prepare thoroughly for that, hopefully if and when we get through that we’ll look at the next round but that’s furthest from my mind at the minute.”

Birmingham reached the last 16 with a 1-0 home win over Bristol Rovers.

Tickets for Tuesday’s game are £2 each, available from the Carrow Road ticket office and official stores at Chapelfield or The Mall or by calling 0844 826 1902.

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