Jarvis limps off as injury comeback comes to a swift end during City U23s’ defeat to Fulham
- Credit: Nick Butcher
The injury nightmare of Norwich City winger Matt Jarvis continued this evening as the former England international limped off after 20 minutes of a comprehensive under-23s defeat to Fulham at Carrow Road.
The 31-year-old was playing his first game in almost a year after an ankle injury but came off after 20 minutes as his comeback came to a swift conclusion.
The Canaries fell behind in just the sixth minute when winger Luca De La Torre got to the bye-line on the left and crossed low, where Tyrese Francois was waiting unmarked in the six-yard box to turn into an empty net.
Tristan Abrahams had a goal disallowed for the hosts three minutes later, although the whistle had already gone for offside from a Savvas Mourgos pass.
The half was overshadowed by Jarvis going down in the 18th minute holding his ankles, having seen a few crosses blocked and a couple of runs down the left wing come to an end due to his rusty touch.
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U23s boss Matt Gill gave the former West Ham and Wolves winger a big hug as he limped off looking despondent, after his first game in almost a year came to an end early – having not played for City's first team since the end of the 2015-16 season due to a string of injury issues.
Adam Phillips – playing due to a lack of game-time in League Two with loan club Cambridge – flicked against the bar after a Mourgos shot was well charged down in the 27th minute, but was also adjudged to have been offside.
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Nicolas Santos-Clase should have put the visitors 2-0 up in the 39th minute but his chip dropped just the wrong side of the post after beating Aston Oxborough, who made a good save at his near post from Jayden Harris on the stroke of half-time.
There was another let off for the hosts as De La Torre fluffed his lines from 10 yards in the opening minute of the second half, after a swift counter had allowed right-back Marlon Fossey to cross.
Greek midfielder Mourgos cut a spinning shot just beyond the far post on the outside of his boot in the 50th minute as he continued to offer City's biggest threat.
The lead was deservedly doubled for the Cottagers in the 63rd minute when defender Rob Atkinson thumped a low shot from the edge of the box which Oxborough got his gloves to but couldn't keep out.
The frustrations were evident as the home side struggled to cause Fulham problems but Adam Idah did break through with 20 minutes remaining, only to fire into the side netting from close range.
Oxborough brought down Adetayo Edun just outside his area in the 74th minute and was booked, with Fossey bending the resulting free-kick just beyond the far post for the visitors.
The game was put to bed by the Cottagers with 10 minutes left though, as former Norwich first-team manager Peter Grant's side continues to impress.
USA U20 international De La Torre, who had been excellent, set Steven Sessegnon – the twin brother of Fulham star Ryan – away down the left, who turned Max Aarons inside out before leaving him on his backside in the City box and crossing, where De La Torre slotted home from close range – again Oxborough getting his gloves to the ball but unable to keep it out.
City's U23s are back in action away to Southampton next Monday but look likely to have played their final Carrow Road game of the season, with their final home game against Wolves on April 15 scheduled to be played at Colney.
Norwich: Oxborough; Aarons (C), Odusina, Wallis, Thomas; Mourgos, Phillips, Aransibia, Jarvis (Payne 20, McIntosh 65); Abrahams, Idah. Unused subs: Hallett (GK), Power, Kamal
Fulham: Ashby-Hammond, Fossey ((Mundle-Smith 82), Davies (C), Jenz, Atkinson, S Sessegnon, Edun, Harris, de la Torre, Santos-Clase, Francois. Unused subs: Schwazer (GK), Nabay, York
Goals: Francois 6, Atkinson 63, De La Torre 80
Referee: Simon Barrow
Attendance: 300 (estimated)