Soto and Martin in action as Norwich City U23s are beaten at Stoke in PL2
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Josh Martin and Sebastian Soto were unable to prevent Norwich City Under-23s going a seventh game without a win in Premier League Two, as the young Canaries were beaten 2-1 at Stoke City.
David Wright's development squad, bolstered by USA international striker Soto and first-team contender Martin, had taken the lead in the 12th minute through striker Tom Dickson-Peters on Monday night.
The Scotland youth international finished a swift counter triggered by Martin - who has made 11 senior appearances for City this season - sending Tony Springett on the attack and the winger prodding to Dickson-Peters, who slid the ball under the Stoke keeper.
It was a 10th goal in 18 games at U18 and U23 levels this season for the 18-year-old, who signed a three-year professional contract in September and was an unused substitute for the first team during four Championship games earlier in the campaign.
However, the hosts equalised five minutes before the break at their Clayton Wood training ground when Tom Sparrow thumped a shot through the City box after a corner had been cleared.
The Potters had the chance to take the lead before half-time but Canaries keeper Jon McCracken guessed correctly to save a Christian Norton penalty.
Soto saw a shot saved early in the second half before limping off in the 56th minute, three minutes after McCracken had brought down Ethon Varian, with the Scot unable to save the spot-kick as Stoke took the lead.
Despite a bright start to the season, the young Canaries now sit just four points clear of bottom side Newcastle in Division Two, with the three teams below them all having three games in hand. Their last PL2 win was a 2-0 success at Newcastle in November.
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They are scheduled for a return to action on Friday afternoon, when Leeds are due to arrive at the Lotus Training Centre (1pm kick-off).
CITY U23s: McCracken; Vaughan, Omobamidele (C), Tomkinson, Nizet; Springett (Giurgi 69), Dronfield (Riley 65), McAlear, Martin; Soto (Dennis 56), Dickson-Peters. Unused subs: Rose (GK), Lomas