Norwich City U18 2, Charlton Athletic U18 1

In their first FA Premier Academy League game of the year, Ricky Martin's side put behind them the disappointment of their FA Youth Cup exit with a hard-fought win at Colney.

With all the goals coming before the break, the young Canaries had to withstand a more attack-minded Charlton in the second half but good defending ensured they collected three points.

City were quickly into their stride with Sam Habergham picking out Josh Dawkin with a delightfull ball out of defence, the winger cutting inside before firing across goal.

With 15 minutes gone, Norwich opened their account when Habergham fired in a free kick from 20 yards that Conor Gough looked to have covered, but the unfortunate 'keeper allowed the ball to slip through his fingers and into the net.

It was all City and Gough had to come off his line to deny Jamar Loza as he raced on to a through ball from Richard Brindley.


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After 30 minutes, City doubled their advantage when Harry Barker made a great run down the right before crossing to fellow full-back Remy Gordon, who beat his man before scoring with an unstoppable shot.

Remi Matthews made a fantastic tripple save to keep City two goals to the good. The City 'keeper parried the first shot and then half-saved the second from Joe Pigott, but had then to scramble back to prevent the loose ball crossing the line.

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Charlton pulled a goal back with almost the last kick of the half when Adebayo Azeez intercepted a pass and beat Matthews with a low shot into the corner.

With the wind advantage, Charlton soon had the City defence under pressure at the start of the second half and it needed a good clearance from captain Theo Jones to clear their lines. Matthews spread himself well to save with his leg as Tosan Popo looked to level the scores, while Jones was certainly playing the captain's role as he blocked an effort from Pigott.

City had a couple of late chances to put the game beyond doubt when, firstly, Matthew Ball sent Alex Stephens clear but Gough made a great save, then Stephens saw another effort deflected wide for a corner.

• Norwich City Under-18: Matthews, Barker, Gordon, Clunan (Florence, 45), Jones, Habergham, Dawkin, Brindley, Loza (Werndly, 55), Dobbs (Ball, 70), Stephens. Subs (not used) Gunn, Kelly.

• Charlton Athletic Under-18: Gough, Morris (Ajayi, 83), Carter, Cousins, Osborne, Fox (Goldberg, 85), Azeez, Jordon, Pigott (Camacho, 75), Popo, Harriott. Subs (not used) Hall, Wiuer.

• City man of match: Sam Habergham

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