Norwich City U21s 3, Manchester City U21s 2
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City development chief Scott Marshall felt his squad were full value for yesterday's Colney win over Manchester City's U21s.
Senior trio Ryan Bennett, David Fox and Luciano Becchio all played 90 minutes in a competitive encounter against the Blues that eased the young Canaries a point behind Reading's U21s at the head of their qualifying section in this season's revamped reserve set-up.
Jacob Murphy fired the hosts into an early two-goal lead before highly-rated Manchester City striker John Guidetti reduced the arrears in first half stoppage time. The 20-year-old Swedish youth international, who scored 20 goals in a 23-game loan stint at Dutch giants Feyenoord last season, levelled shortly after the interval, but the Canaries claimed a priceless win when Blues' defender George Evans sliced into his own net in the closing minutes.
'I'm delighted with the result. We started well and got ourselves two goals in front, and I thought we were coping with everything they were chucking at us,' Marshall told the club's official site. 'The boys stuck at it after they equalised, dug in and got what they deserved with a victory in the end.'
Jacob Murphy coolly despatched his first in the 16th minute when he burst past two visiting defenders to roll beyond Ian Lawlor. George Francomb struck the post following a sharp passage of play triggered by Jamar Loza, but it was Jacob Murphy who doubled the hosts' lead when he hammered past Lawlor.
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Guidetti earned Attilio Lombardo's side a lifeline when he stabbed home in the final seconds of the opening period. Jed Steer was pressed into meaningful action on the restart when he denied Denis Suarez, but the keeper was left stranded when Guidetti's close range hit appeared to take a deflection to bring the visitors back on level terms.
Adel Gafaiti then denied Suarez when the Spaniard had menacingly cut back into the area, but it was Evans' slice which sealed the points after he diverted Francomb's cross over the stranded Lawlor.
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• Norwich City U21s: Steer, Sheriff, R Bennett, Gafaiti, McNeil (Clunan 57), Francomb (Young 89), Durojaiye, Fox, Jacob Murphy, Becchio, Loza (Hall-Johnson 83). Subs (not used): Matthews, Norman.
• Goals: Jacob Murphy (16, 34), Evans og (84)
• Manchester City U21s: Lawlor, Facey, Plummer, Bossaerts, Leigh, Rusnak, Huws (Bytyqi 74), Evans, Suarez, Lopes, Guidetti. Subs (not used): Marin, Gunn, Glendon, Cole.
• Goals: Guidetti (45, 54)
• Attendance: 81