Josh Murphy features in Norwich City’s 3-0 development defeat at Everton’s U21s
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's miserable away run at development level continued on Monday night with a fifth consecutive league defeat this season against Everton's Under-21s at Southport.
The likes of Elliott Bennett and Ignasi Miquel were not part of the travelling squad ahead of City's televised Championship home game against Bolton on Friday night, but Josh Murphy and Jamar Loza did start for the visitors.
Murphy was an unused substitute in the weekend's 0-0 Championship draw at Sheffield Wednesday but formed part of an attacking line up that included his twin brother Jacob along with Jamaican international Loza and Carlton Morris. The FA Youth Cup winner returned to the club last week after his loan spell at League Two Oxford United was cut short.
Morris was on target in the previous 3-1 development win over Spurs' U21s in front of more than 10,000 fans at Carrow Road but City's youngsters were on the back foot from the start when Chris Long curled home a 20-yard strike in the 10th minute for his fourth goal of the season for David Unsworth's impressive side.
David Henen pounced on defensive hesitancy from the Canaries 10 minutes after the interval before Matthew Pennington wrapped up the win in the 81st minute.
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Norwich's best chances of the evening fell to Loza, who clipped the inside of a post minutes after Everton had taken the lead before the frontman was denied by a superb block from Tyias Browning five minutes into the second half.
Everton signalled their intent when England youth international Ryan Ledson's 40-yard pass found Gethin Jones on the right flank who shovelled the ball onto Long to beat Ben Killip from long range. Loza miscued at the other end but his stabbed effort eight yards out clipped the inside of a post before Pennington cleared the rebound.
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Brendan Galloway struck the woodwork for the hosts when his 25-yard chip cannoned back into play after striking the underside of Killip's bar.
City started the second period in positive fashion with Josh Murphy testing Russell Griffiths after robbing Galloway and then Browning foiled Loza with a vital block.
Henen doubled the Blues' lead when he charged down Cameron Norman's pass to round Killip before Pennington tapped home from two yards at the second attempt after City failed to clear Luke Garbutt's corner.
The young Canaries' latest away defeat made it five straight losses on the road in the elite tier of development football this season after previous defeats at Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton.
• Everton U21s: Griffiths, Pennington, Garbutt, Ledson (Williams 82), Browning, Galloway, Kenny, Grant, Henen (Byrne 66), Long, Jones (Walsh 78). Subs (not used): Stanek, McLaughlin.
• Goals: Long (10), Henen (55), Pennington (81)
• Norwich U21s: Killip, Norman, Kelly, Hall-Johnson (McGeehan 82), McFadden, Gafaiti (Efete 82), Jacob Murphy, McGrandles, Morris (King 68), Loza, Josh Murphy. Subs (not used): Beauchamp, Grant.