Norwich City U23s 4 MK Dons 1
- Credit: Matthew Usher/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's U23s cruised into the knock-out stages of the EFL Trophy with a 4-1 win over League One MK Dons to top their Southern Group F with a 100pc winning record.
Nelson Oliveira's brace and goals from Carlton Morris and Ebou Adams completed a routine victory for Dmitri Halajko's squad, which was again bolstered by the presence of some fringe first team talent in front of the watching Alex Neil. Finn Tapp grabbed a late goal for the visitors who also qualified after finishing runners-up behind the Canaries.
City's line up featured Oliveira and Josh Murphy, who were both in the matchday squad for Saturday's Championship 3-2 defeat to Leeds United. Michael Turner and the fit-again Steven Whittaker added vast experience to the backline and Sergi Canos was also included for the hosts.
Canos triggered Norwich's opening goal in the 11th minute when he freed Oliveira who cut back infield and rolled in the overlapping Morris to thumping a ferocious strike from the angle of the penalty box above Lee Nicholls.
The youthful visitors carried a threat down the channels with Daniel Powell spooning a good chance to test home captain Ben Killip in the 23rd minute.
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City were struggling to slice through with quite so much authority as the opening period elapsed but referee Haines spotted a shove inside the MK Dons area from Jack Hendry on Morris to concede a penalty. Oliveira confidently rifled the spot kick into the bottom left-hand corner.
Murphy spotted Canos' intelligent dart into the box shortly after but Morris's near post header dropped over the bar.
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Whittaker was replaced at the interval by Michee Efete after his first outing since the EFL Cup win at Everton in September.
Killip preserved Norwich's two-goal lead when he foiled Powell with his legs in the 49th minute and that stop proved crucial when Oliveira rolled the ball into an empty net after Canos' angled shot squirmed through Nicholls.
The plucky Dons did pull one back when Tapp stabbed home following an excellent initial parry from Killip to deny George B Williams but Adams crashed home an unstoppable fourth in the 86th minute.
• Norwich: Killip, Whittaker (Efete 45), Godfrey, Turner, Ramsay, Canos, Grant, Adams, Josh Murphy, Oliveira (Jaiyesimi 85), Morris (Cantwell 79). Subs (not used): Hallett (GK), Crowe, McIntosh, Middleton.
• Goals: Morris (11), Oliveira (38, 63), Adams (86)
• MK Dons: Nicholls, GB Williams (Brittain 86), Hendry (Tapp 76), Downing (Jackson 76), Tilney, Rasulo, Osei-Bonsu, Powell, GC Williams, Thomas-Asante, Tshimanga. Subs (not used): Burns, Logan, Furlong, Nombe.
• Booking: Hendry (37)
• Goal: Tapp (84)
• Time added on: 2 minutes / 4 minutes
• Referee: Andy Haines (Tyne & Wear)
• Attendance: 1,042