Steer defies Hammers to seal City win
John Landamore Norwich City U18 3, West Ham U18 2: Ricky Martin's side took all three points in a five-goal thriller against West Ham in their first home game of 2010.
Norwich City Under-18 3, West Ham Under-18 2
Ricky Martin's side took all three points in a five-goal thriller against West Ham in their first home game of 2010.
The Canaries were three goals to the good at the interval at Colney, but the Hammers lifted their game after the break and it needed a man of the match performance from City 'keeper Jed Steer to secure victory.
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The visitors suffered a 3-0 home defeat by Newcastle in the FA Youth Cup in midweek and it seemed they were still suffering the effects of that as City opened the scoring after 12 minutes.
Josh Dawkin caused the visitors' defence all sorts of problems down the right flank and picked out Tyree Clarke, who drove a low shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Sam Cowler.
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Two minutes later, City doubled their advantage with Clarke again having a hand in the goal. He combined well down the right flank with Theo Jones, who sent in a low cross for Danny Kelly to slide home from close range.
City almost made it 3-0 when Danny Kelly headed down a David Stephens free-kick, but John Bull Osemwegie's shot was just wide of the target.
At the other end, Steer was called into action to deny George Moncur, with Remy Gordon on hand to clear the loose ball.
City's Dawkin sent a shot just wide after he had made space for himself down the left flank.
Martin was forced into a change after 37 minutes when schoolboy Jones, impressive at right back, came off injured. He was replaced by Sam Kelly but it was brother Danny who sent in an inviting cross for Osemwegie to head home the third after 38 minutes.
Shortly before the break, Dawkin almost made it 4-0 when he raced clear of the West Ham defence only for Cowler to make a fine save.
Steer was quickly called into action as the second half got under way when he spread himself to block an effort from Blair Turgot.
Cowler then came to the Hammers' rescue when he turned a shot from Clarke on to the crossbar after good work by Osemwegie.
Steer again made a great save as the visitors piled on the pressure with Dominic Vose thwarted by the City 'keeper but with 80 minutes gone, Steer was unable to prevent West Ham pulling a goal back. The City defence failed to clear a corner, allowing Callum Driver to drive the ball home.
In a frantic final few minutes, West Ham twice cleared the ball off the line with Stephens on hand at the other end to make a great block but, deep in injury time, the visitors scored a second goal, making it a very nervous final few seconds for the Colney regulars.
Norwich City Under-18: Steer, Jones (Sam Kelly, 37 min) (Drmola, 75 min), Gordon, Florence (Oakley, 83 min), Francomb, Stephens, Clarke, Ball, Danny Kelly, Osemwegie, Dawkin. Subs (not used) Matthews, Loza.
West Ham Under-18: Cowler, Sanchez (Hall, 65 min), Driver, Craig, Lampe, Moncur (Vose, 65 min), Turgot, Fanimo, Subuola, Tombides, Purdy (Weaven, 45 min). Subs (not used) Wooton, McNaughton.
City man of match: Jed Steer.