Norwich City striker James Vaughan scores in reserve outing at West Brom
West Brom Reserves 3, Norwich City Reserves 1: Norwich striker James Vaughan today pressed his claims for involvement in this weekend's FA Cup fifth round home tie against Leicester with a second consecutive goalscoring reserve outing in the 3-1 Premier Reserve League defeat at West Brom.
Vaughan opened the scoring in the third minute at Albion's training ground after Marton Fulop had initially saved his penalty, but the Baggies hit back through Lateef Elford-Alliyu and Sam Mantom before Kemar Roofe added a third in the second half.
Academy chief Ricky Martin was delighted to see Vaughan on the scoresheet as he steps up his recovery from knee ligament surgery but disappointed a young Canaries' line up were pegged back within five minutes.
'Unfortunately we didn't hold onto the lead for long, and it was disappointing for that to happen,' he said. 'It was one of those where we felt we could have got something out of the game. Although West Brom are one of the more experienced sides in this reserves league, with first team players, we felt we had enough chances to get a draw and possibly even win the game. We had chances throughout the second-half - Jamar Loza went through one-on-one, James almost scored from a goal mouth scramble, Josh Dawkin had a chance as well as Matthew Ball.'
Vaughan had previously played an hour against Chelsea's youngsters at Carrow Road in late January in what was the former Evertonian's first outing since undergoing surgery in September. The 23-year-old's Carrow Road career has been interrupted by a series of injuries following his summer move from Merseyside. A knee problem suffered on the club's pre-season tour of Germany ruled him out of the start of the campaign before picking up a facial injury in an ugly clash with West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas and then damaging knee ligaments in his third cameo appearance towards the end of a 2-1 Premier League home win over Sunderland. Vaughan travelled with the first team squad for the recent FA Cup fourth round win at West Brom, but has yet to be involved in Paul Lambert's senior plans since his comeback.
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Albion's second string today included recent Scottish U21 signing Scott Allan and centre back Craig Dawson – the defender whose late error at the Hawthorns allowed Simeon Jackson to fire City into this weekend's fifth round tie against Leicester.
The Baggies could have scored prior to Vaughan's opener with young Norwich keeper Conor Cable saving Roofe's close range effort. Donervan Daniels brought down Vaughan inside the box, but the striker kept his composure to score after Fulop had saved his initial spot kick. Elford-Alliyu drew Albion level four minutes later when he profited from indecision involving City defenders Harry Barker and Taylor McKenzie. Mantom despatched Liam O'Neill's cross to double West Brom's lead before Allan and Billy Jones combined to tee up Roofe for a near post tap in on the hour mark.
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• West Brom: Fulop; Jones, Dawson, Daniels, Gayle, O'Neil (Nabi 50), Thorne, Mantom, Allan (Edge 69), Roofe, Elford-Alliyu (A Jones 88). Subs not used: Rose, Garmston.
• Bookings: None
• Goals: Elford-Alliyu (7), Mantom (14), Roofe (59).
• Norwich: Cable; Florence, Barker, McKenzie, Toffolo, Dawkin, Brindley, Hall-Johnson, Ball, Vaughan, Loza (Josh Murphy 76). Subs not used: McGeehan, Jones, Dobbs, Jacob Murphy.
• Bookings: None
• Goal: Vaughan (3)
• Referee: J Meyhew (Dudley)