Barnet 0 Norwich City U23s 5
- Credit: Daniel Hambury/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's U23s cruised into the knock-out stages of the EFL Trophy with a 5-0 Southern Group F win at League Two Barnet on Tuesday night.
Josh Murphy notched a hat-trick with Sergi Canos and Nelson Oliveira also on target for a powerful visiting outfit who cashed in on a first-half red card for Bees' captain Bondz N'Gala.
Murphy finally made the breakthrough against Martin Allen's plucky side in first-half stoppage time before making it two in the 56th minute.
Canos' deflected strike added a third and Oliveira's thunderbolt from long range made it four. Murphy completed the rout with a minute left of normal time as City and MK Dons progressed to the last 32 ahead of their final pool fixture at Carrow Road next month.
The likes of Alex Pritchard, captain Louis Thompson and Ben Godfrey all played the full 90 minutes in front of the watching Neil.
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Among the less well-know names on the City roster was teenage central defender Timmy Odusina, who has been a regular at development level.
Oliveira was the figurehead with Pritchard operating in a central role flanked by Canos and Murphy. Ray Grant and Thompson held the middle ground as Godfrey settled into a central defensive role.
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Barnet were fully-committed and willing to mix it physically in the early sparring, urged on by Allen's vocal encouragement. City had to wait 15 minutes to fashion a clear chance but Murphy tamely struck a 16 yard effort at Josh Vickers.
Oliveira's burst sparked the game back into life on the half-hour after a prolonged lull but the Portuguese international choked a right-footed shot from 25 yards.
Barnet were reduced to 10 men moments later when towering centre back N'Gala was shown a straight red for an uncompromising lunge through the back of Murphy. Referee Johnson had no hesitation in producing a red card, much to the ire of the smattering of home fans. Murphy was able to return to the fray after a landing that appeared to wind the wide player and the 21-year-old slammed a shot into the side netting a minute later.
City's play continued to look laboured and the build up ponderous but Thompson had Vickers scrambling across his line with a thumping long range free kick in first half stoppage time.
But they finally made the extra man count when Murphy burst inside his full-back to draw the keeper and roll an angled finish into the bottom corner.
The battling League Two side still believed, despite their numerical disadvantage, with Jack Taylor lifting a shot over Paul Jones but Godfrey hacked off his own line. That proved decisive from the next passage of play when Murphy raced in behind the flat-footed home defence to slot a first time shot underneath the diving Vickers from Oliveira's pass.
Canos' deflected shot added a third in the 68th minute with the game hosts showing signs of wilting before Oliveira unleashed a thunderous 25-yard shot that clipped the underside of the bar to make it four.
Barnet finished the one-sided contest with nine men when Elliott Johnson had to limp off with the Bees having already made all three substitutions.
• Barnet: Vickers, Johnson, Dembele, N'Gala, Watson (Muggleton 66), Sesay, Kyei, Shomotun (Tomlinson 45), Taylor, Amaluzor (Mason-Clark 59), Vilhete. Subs (not used): Stephens, Fonguck, Cojocarel, Payne.
• Sending Off: N'Gala (foul on Murphy, 33)
• Norwich: Jones, Efete, Odusina, Godfrey, Ramsay, Grant, Thompson, Pritchard, Josh Murphy, Oliveira (Jaiyesimi 85), Canos (Morris 78). Subs (not used): Killip, Cantwell, Ashley-Seal, Middleton, Adams.
• Booking: Thompson (foul on Kyei, 14)
• Goals: Murphy (45, 56, 89), Canos (68), Oliveira (78)
• Time added on: 2 minutes / 3 minutes
• Referee: Kevin Johnson
• Attendance: 457 (80 away fans)