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Norwich City U23s edge out Aston Villa’s U23s 1-0 at Villa Park

PUBLISHED: 20:55 23 April 2018 | UPDATED: 21:47 23 April 2018

Tristan Abrahams started up front for City's U23s at Villa. Picture: Ian Burt

Tristan Abrahams started up front for City's U23s at Villa. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Pierre Fonkeu’s fortuitous deflection earned Matty Gill’s development squad a battling 1-0 win at Villa Park on Monday night in their final Premier League Two fixture of the season.

Fonkeu diverted Alfie Payne’s goalbound shot home in the 20th minute in front of the Holte End.

Villa had already secured second place – and home advantage in the play-offs – in Division Two after a strong season.

Matt Gill’s side missed out on joining Villa in the play-offs due to results elsewhere.

“I’m really pleased because it was a good all-round performance,” Gill told the club’s official site.

“We played good football, but also dug in at times. We were aggressive when we needed to be.

“Everything came together and it was a nice way to finish the season. We mixed the game up really well, having long and purposeful spells of possession.

“There was lots of pace and movement up-front, and variation in our play. That was pleasing to see and the lads got the win they deserved.

“I’ve just said to them in the changing room it’s all about what’s next.

“They need to make sacrifices in the summer. I’m happy with how this year’s gone, with lots of challenges and lots of changes.

“We finished the game tonight with three Under-17s and put out a side with an average age of just over 18 against Brighton this season. The staff have really rose to that challenge.

“It’s been a really enjoyable season and something we’ll review next week to try and make next season even better.”

Gill’s side were quickly into their stride and took a deserved lead. Simon Power made what proved to be the only goal of the evening when he raced down the right before finding Payne whose shot took a deflection agains Fonkeu to wrong-foot keeper Matija Sarkic.

Savvas Mourgos struck the woodwork when well placed just before the break while Devonte Aransiba’s low drive just before the hour mark grazed the post. Villa also had their chances, but the visitors deserved the win.

Norwich U23s (starting XI): Oxborough; Aarons (C), Odusina, Wallis, Aransibia; Power, Payne, Phillips, Mourgos; Fonkeu, Abrahams. Subs: Hallett (GK), Idah, Milovanovic, Scully, Thomas

Goal: Fonkeu (20)

• Catch up on the game in the stream above

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