Keeper's outstanding game
FA Premier Academy U18 League, Norwich City U18 0, Arsenal U18 1: Runaway league leaders Arsenal went away with all three points from Colney today but the story of the game was the outstanding performance by Canary keeper Steve Arnold.
FA Premier Academy U18 League, Norwich City U18 0, Arsenal U18 1
Runaway league leaders Arsenal went away with all three points from Colney today but the story of the game was the outstanding performance by Canary keeper Steve Arnold who kept the Gunners at bay with three outstanding saves and it took a hotly disputed penalty for Arsenal to finally beat the City stopper.
With the Academy travelling to Portsmouth on Wednesday in the FA Youth Cup, David Williams took the opportunity to rest several of his squad as he handed first starts to Nick Davey and Robert Revell. There was also a place in the starting line up for fit again Andrew Cave-Brown who has been sidelined since September when he picked up an ankle injury in the Carling Cup clash at Torquay.
City had an early scare as Rhys Murphy went to ground in the penalty area but referee Mr Sannerude was well placed to wave play on. Davey was playing lone striker for the Canaries and he was unlucky not to connect with a through ball from Tom Miller. After an impressive performance against Southampton last week Jordan Yong continued in much the same vane when he beat his marker to pick out Davey whose shot was well saved by Lee Butcher in the visitor's goal.
Into the second half, City defender Paul McLean had to be alert to tackle Jay Thomas as the Arsenal midfielder jinked his way into the penalty area. Arsenal continued to push forward and it needed an outstanding save from Arnold to deny Peggy Lokands who found himself free on the penalty spot. Moments later and Lokands was denied yet again from a similar position when Arnold's outstretched leg cleared the ball away for a corner from which somehow Arnold managed to make a save after Thomas fired a close range effort. With 75 minutes on the clock Arsenal finally broke the deadlock when Thomas went down all too easily after a challenge from McLean, MARK RANDALL stepped up to send Arnold the wrong way.
Try as they might City failed to create any good opportunities during the final quarter of an hour. The best they could muster was a shot from Yong that sailed across the face of goal.
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NORWICH CITY: Arnold, K Brown, (Matthews 45), O'Toole, Revell, (Quaye 76), McLean, Miller, Daley, Eames, Davey, (Byrne 80), Lathrope, Yong
Sub not used: Renton
ARSENAL: Butcher, Dunne, Traore, Lansbury, (Forte 75), Hoyte, Thomas, Vanden Berg, (Efrem 65), Randall, Barazite, Murphy, (Merida 75), Lokands
Subs not used: Szczesry, Gibbs.
Norwich City Man of the Match: Steve Arnold.