Fit-again midfielder Elliott Bennett plays his second 90 minutes in Norwich City’s 2-2 Premier League development draw at Manchester United

Norwich City striker Carlton Morris scored one and was involved in Reece Hall-Johnson's equaliser in Thursday's 2-2 Premier League Under-21 development draw at Manchester United's Under-21s. Picture: Matthew Usher. Norwich City striker Carlton Morris scored one and was involved in Reece Hall-Johnson's equaliser in Thursday's 2-2 Premier League Under-21 development draw at Manchester United's Under-21s. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Thursday, April 17, 2014
10:26 PM

Norwich City’s stirring late fightback at Old Trafford on Thursday night salvaged a point to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for next season’s elite tier of the Premier Under-21 Development League.

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Carlton Morris and Reece Hall-Johnson struck in the final ten minutes for the visitors, who had Ray Grant sent off for a second bookable offence in a frenetic finale against the Red Devils, after James Weir’s second half brace appeared to have put the hosts in command. Elliott Bennett again played 90 minutes as an over-age outfield player for Jerry Gill’s squad as he stepped up his fitness comeback from a long term knee injury with David Fox making a late cameo against his boyhood club.

City complete their inaugural development campaign against Wolves next week knowing a victory would secure a top half finish ahead of a proposed split to a two league format from next season. United dominated the first period without really testing Remi Matthews. The highly-rated James Wilson was particularly wasteful after intelligent link up play with Andreas Pereira in the opening exchanges.

Louis Rowley failed to cash in on Joe Rothwell’s perfect pass before City survived a handball shout when Pereira’s free kick caused a degree of panic in the visitors’ defence. Rothwell mis-kicked from Saidy Janko’s set-up play with Gill’s side at full stretch to remain on level terms prior to the break.

Wilson’s injury exit seven minutes after the interval left United without a recognised striker on the pitch which forced Warren Joyce to push Pereira up front and it was the makeshift forward who brought a smart stop from Matthews on the hour mark.

United’s pressure finally told in the 70th minute when Rothwell’s clever back heel triggered a flowing move involving Guillermo Varela and Janko to pick out Pereira who drilled a deflected shot at Matthews which saw Rowley and Weir react quickest to bundle home the rebound. United doubled their advantage when the predatory Weir powered a right-footed shot past Matthews from Varela’s teasing cross.

City’s young side set up a tense finish when Rowley was adjudged to have handled inside his own box and Morris coolly outwitted Joel Castro Pereira from the penalty spot.

Grant was harshly punished for apparent simulation five minutes from the end to reduce Gill’s side to 10 players but with United sitting increasingly deeper the Canaries cashed in when Hall-Johnson’s long range hit deceived Pereira after persistent work from Morris in the build-up. United captain Reece James’ speculative cross almost embarrassed Matthews before it drifted wide but the visitors held out to make it only one defeat in their last five matches at this level.

• Manchester United U21s: J Pereira, Varela, McNair, Ekangamene, James, Janko, Pearson, Rothwell, A Pereira, Rowley, Wilson (Weir 62). Subs (not used): Gollini, Rudge, Harrop, McConnell.

• Goals: Weir (70, 76)

• Norwich City U21s: Matthews, McNeil, McFadden, Awuah, Efete, Bennett, Norman, Grant, Byrne-Hewitt (Cole 78), Hall-Johnson, Morris (Fox 90). Subs (not used): Killip, Ashley-Seal.

• Goals: Morris (80), Hall-Johnson (90)

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11 comments

  • 10\10 for persistence, zebbee! Frustrating, isn`t it? I wonder if Archant can manage this simple and reasonable request? Others have made it before, to no avail. Meanwhile, The Padster still gets "there" and "their" mixed up, and even "there" and "they" - while simultaneously spewing up large, semi-digested slabs of Roget`s Thesaurus.

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    Mad Brewer

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

  • Morris must be worth a shout - he's confident in front of goal. At least get him on the bench as an option. Will someone try and man-mark Suarez on Sunday?

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    Surrey Canary

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • And agree. Would be nice if Archant could show the table in future. After all, we can see whos where in Division 4 of the South Norfolk League but not where our promising youngsters are. Weird!

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    zebbee

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • MB - tried to reply but ethered. Gist is that 6 teams 'could' overtake us but 4 have far inferior goal difference. A win guarantees us that precious 11th place. A draw would be ok unless one team wins both matches. A defeat and either of 2 teams could overtake us BUT again they'd need to win both of their last two matches.Simples!

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    zebbee

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • MB - having checked the premier league under 21 web pages, it seems that (unlike our first team) our goal difference is far superior to all 6 teams immediately below us in the table. A win for us at Wolves on Monday will guarantee us 11th place and being in the top tier next year. A draw at Wolves would mean Reading would have to win their last 2 games - one of which is against Man U - and a defeat would mean either Reading or Arsenal having to win their last 2 games. Hence, looks quite promising for our young lads. As you say though, would be nice if Archant could show the league table. After all, I can even find out who's bottom of Divsion 4 of the South Norfolk league but not how our promising young lads are doing.....nice if they could sort it for next year!!.

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    zebbee

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • I would rather see Carlton in the squad than RVW at least he always look likely to score

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    leslie cater

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • ....I found the report a bit confusing, until I realised ManU had a Pair o` Pereiras! Congrats on publishing the team lists.

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • There seems to be real talent there. Becchio not in the squad this time, so Neil`s preumably keeping him for Sunday`s game? Maybe for more than just bench-warming duties. Likewise, JoshM. As DD said, the goals just aren`t coming, so why not give someone else a chance. Request to Archant: Can you publish this U21 League table in future? Norwich fans ARE interested. It`s not all about the glitz and glamour of being ritually slaughtered in the Premiership, you know. Thanking you in anticipation....

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • Well Double D if there was anyone who would trust him with a place in the squad it would be Niel Adams

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    ragniblov

    Friday, April 18, 2014

  • Is Carlton Morris getting closer to a first team call? I know it would be a massive gamble, buy no-one else seems to know where the goal is and we are beyond desperate for someone who can score. A place on the bench has got to be worth a go.

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    Double D

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

  • Again, the lads seem to be leading the way.

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    Swiss Canary

    Thursday, April 17, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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