|30.04.11: Watford Under-18s 2 Norwich City Under-18s 1|
|Monday, 02 May 2011 13:16|
Norwich City went down to their second defeat on the road within a week on Saturday as they lost at Watford following Tuesday's comprehensive defeat at Southampton.
However this was always going to be a difficult match against a Watford side who were unbeaten at their University College Grounds home this season and up to few weeks ago had been challenging for their own Academy Group B League title.
Norwich, playing in an all white strip, could count themselves unfortunate not to have come away with at least a point, after dominating the majority of a disjointed the match which was littered with free-kicks.
Norwich had the first sight of goal as Ball got a header on a deep right cross on just three minutes, but Bonham saved.
Watford shook Norwich with the opener just a minute later as Gardner jinxed his way through the Norwich rearguard on the far side of the penalty area, before unleashing an unstoppable angled drive high into the Norwich net past Steer.
On nineteen minutes, a Ball corner was headed wide by Werndly.
Then on twenty two minutes, as Norwich fought back, Kelly got through on goal from the left, and it took a good block from Bonham to keep Watford in front.
On twenty five minutes, following a Watford corner, Norwich failed to clear the danger, and only a reflex save by Steer, flinging himself to his right to palm away, denied Watford a second goal.
Norwich were moving the ball around with confidence, despite the breezy conditions. The final opportunity of the first half saw Brindley let fly from distance.
Ten minutes into the second half and Norwich created an opening, as Ball set up Drmola with a timely pass. The striker had only returned this week after recovering from a long term knee injury and paced into the Watford penalty area to sting the hands of Bonham with a fierce strike from around ten yards.
On fifty eight minutes, Kelly was penalised for hand ball in his own penalty area as he challenged, and Referee Avent awarded Watford the penalty kick which O’Nien hammered past Steer.
Norwich were then given a lifeline on sixty seven minutes.
Ball was again involved as he sent Loza away into the Watford penalty are and with Bonham rushing from his goal line Loza calmly nipped the ball past him, with a defender unable to keep out the rolling ball from entering the corner of the net.
On seventy seven minutes Kelly, who together with Ball was playing well in midfield, struck a delightful thirty five yarder which Bonham did well to keep hold of.
On eighty minutes, and Ball connected first time from the right flank, but was unlucky with his shot.
As he blew for full time, Referee Avent brought Norwich City’s campaign for the season to a conclusion. It was a season in which City had looked like challenging for the Group A title until falling away in the last couple of weeks but can take consolation from some creditable victories over the likes of Arsenal and Aston Villa.
A special mention at this point goes to David Hurrell, the coach driver of Dolphin Travel, whose has expertly driven the Academy up and down the country all season. Well done David.
Also thanks to Ricky Martin for his co operation in helping to compiling our reports.
City Line-Up: Steer, Barker (78. Clunan), Dobbs, Kelly, McKenzie, Florence, Werndly, Brindley, Drmola (61. Murphy), Ball, Loza.
Norwich City man of the Match: Sam Kelly
Report courtesy of Robert Maynard