Superb City U23s earn deserved 4-2 win over Aston Villa
- Credit: Tony Thrussell
An outstanding performance saw Norwich City Under-23s make it three wins from their opening four games of the PL2 season.
Jon Rowe’s opener was cancelled out by a brilliant Villa equaliser before the break but an Abu Kamara penalty and a brace from defender Jonathan Tomkinson made sure of the deserved 4-2 victory at Carrow Road.
Around 500 City supporters packed into a section of the South Stand and saw the young Canaries put in a really impressive and energetic display in the first half, regularly winning stealing possession with their high pressing.
Early pressure brought the opener in the 13th minute when Tom Dickson-Peters stole he ball on the edge of the Villa box and squared to strike partner Rowe.
It looked like Rowe had tried to be too clever as he cut onto his right but was able to move the ball back onto his left and fire low into the bottom-right corner with a nice finish.
Superb recovery work was needed from centre-backs Jonathan Tomkinson and Jaden Warner to keep a dangerous Villa at bay though.
Rowe was out-muscled after being played through on goal by Dickson-Peters thanks to Tony Springett’s tenacity on halfway in the 26th minute.
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Kamara was inches away from a second for the hosts on the half-hour after a sublime pass into the left channel from defender Warner, which was squared by Dickson-Peters and just evaded Kamara at the back post.
Tim Iroegbunam had rescued the young Villans in the 36th minute, after a Dickson-Peters free-kick deflected off the wall kindly to Kamara in the box.
Then Iroegbanum found the leveller, with a quite superb 25-yard strike as City had switched off in midfield, blasting into the top-left corner to give Dylan Berry little chance.
The hosts had been the better side but were punished for failing to take their chances - but that soon changed.
Kamara was brought down and converted the penalty himself in the 49th minute, for his fifth goal in four games.
Then it was Tomkinson taking centre stage, getting across the keeper to turn in from close range in mid-air in the 56th minute and spark delighted celebrations.
The USA youth international also bravely headed in City’s fourth just after the hour mark, after a frustrated tackle on Kamara on the left had allowed Liam Gibbs to whip a free-kick into the box.
The game petered out after a couple of lengthy injury stoppages, with Villa striker Caleb Chukwuemeka clattering an advertising board and City winger Springett making heavy contact as his shot was blocked - with both taken off on stretchers.
In the 10th minute of injury-time the visitors bundled in a consulate through winger Kahrel Reddin.
Norwich U23s (4-3-1-2): Berry; Giurgi, Tomkinson (C), Warner, Earley; Gibbs, Khumbeni (Clarke 62), Springett (Brooke 90+2); Kamara; Rowe, Dickson-Peters. Unused subs: Rose (GK), Shipley
Goals: Rowe (13), Kamara (pen 49), Tomkinson (56, 61)
Villa U23s (4-3-3): Zych; Zito, Bogarde, Swinkels, Ealing; Iroegbunam, Lindley, Thorndike; Reddin, Chukwuemeka (O'Reilly 72), Goodridge. Unused subs: Marshall (GK), Hart, Munroe
Goals: Iroegbunam (39), Reddin (90+10)
Booked: Bogarde (foul on Kamara, 60), Iroegbunam (foul on Clarke, 63)