Norwich U18s 0 Man Utd U18s 2 - Over 3,000 cheer City youngsters on during Youth Cup loss
- Credit: Tony Thrussell
Over 3,000 spectators braved the cold to cheer on Norwich City’s under-18s against Manchester United in the FA Youth Cup but the young Canaries couldn’t rise to the occasion.
With a singing section of around 300 City fans making themselves known in the Snake Pit from the first whistle, waving the flags which usually fill the Barclay Stand with colour on a first team match day, it was by far the best atmosphere that the home academy prospects had played in front of.
Both home centre-backs, Jonathan Tomkinson and Jaden Warner, drew cheers in the first 10 minutes for sharp defensive work that required good pace. Despite plenty of hard work from the hosts, it was United on top, dealing with several dangerous crosses from Belgian left-back Rob Nizet when Norwich attacked.
Scotland youth international striker Tom Dickson-Peters couldn't get any power on an early low shot and Dillon Hoogewerf could only divert wide for the visitors in the 11th minute after good play from left winger Shola Shoretire.
Aylsham goalkeeper Sam Blair made a decent save on the stretch soon after, holding a 20-yard shot from Charlie Wellens after Josh Martin's loose pass wasn't dealt with by Dan Adshead or Tomkinson.
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In the 20th minute midfielder Mark Helm blasted a rising shot just wide of the top-left corner for the Red Devils and Irish defender Andrew Omobamidele was needed for a potentially goal-saving tackle within 60 seconds, after keeper Blair came out but could only head as far as Hoogewerf, leaving his goal unguarded.
Towering American ace Tomkinson also did well to deal with Hannibal Mejbri as United's search for a goal continued, with Warner well place to halt rampaging left-back Reece Devine.
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The young Canaries rode out the storm though and Dickson-Peters glanced a header wide from a Nizet cross from the left on the half-hour mark, with Martin - the hat-trick hero of the last round - starting to influence things in midfield.
Tyrese Omotoye nodded on a Martin free-kick in the 32nd minute but Omobamidele's shot was charged down but Tomkinson was needed again before the break, doing well to recover after Hoogewerf was played clean through by Mejbri.
The hosts made a half-time change, with skipper Zach Dronfield replaced by Reece McAlear in midfield.
There was immediate disaster for City though, with Adshead robbed on the edge of his own box and hauling back Shoretire to concede a free-kick. Helm curled around the wall and Omobamidele appeared to have made a goal-saving block, only to see a penalty awarded for handball.
The defender wasn't booked, suggesting the referee hadn't thought it was a deliberate handball, with some pushing and shoving breaking out between the teams as Charlie McCann waited to take the spot-kick, before rolling it into the bottom-right corner for 1-0, with Blair going the wrong way.
City tried to respond, with left-back Devine doing well to tackle Omotoye just as the striker was about to pull the trigger after being played into the box by Adshead, but the hosts were being thwarted by a strong defence on the whole.
Nizet cleared off the line in the 68th minute, as defender William Fish tried to force a Wellens corner into the net, and it became 2-0 six minutes later.
Blair had got down well to deny Hoogewerf at his near post to concede a corner, the first was blasted against the face of Nizet by imposing United captain Teden Mengi and the second was powerfully headed in by the same player.
Tony Springett did force a save with a long-range shot in injury-time but the game was over as a contest, which meant a fourth round exit for the second successive season for Norwich, with United claiming a home tie against Leeds in the fifth round.
NORWICH: Blair; Omobamidele (Giurgi 83), Warner, Tomkinson, Nizet; Martin, Dronfield (C - McAlear 46), Adshead, Rowe (Springett 76); Omotoye, Dickson-Peters. UNUSED SUBS: Picther, Kamara, Brown, Stewart
MAN UTD: Mastny; Bejger, Mengi (C), Fish, Devine; McCann, Wellens (Svidersky 82), Helm; Hoogewerf (Sotona 75), Mejbri (Forson 89), Shoretire. UNUSED SUBS: Hockenhull, Mee, Stanley, Neville
Goals: McCann (pen, 50), Mengi (75)
REFEREE: Robert Whitton
- Keep scrolling down for more photos from the Youth Cup tie