05.11.11 Arsenal U18s 2 Norwich City U18s 3
Saturday, 05 November 2011 21:07

Norwich collected a second win on their travels this season, with a hard fought victory over fourth placed Arsenal at Bell Lane.

Three goals in nine minutes left Norwich well placed with a three goal advantage just after half time but the talented home side were not out of the game for long as they worked tirelessly to claw their way back.

Norwich looked positive in the early stages, and when Kelly put Loza away inside the Arsenal penalty area on eleven minutes he looked to be impeded, but play was allowed to continue.

On sixteen minutes, Loza played a perfect through ball to Reece-Johnson who could find a finish from a tight angle inside the penalty area.

Arsenal, with ex-Canary youngster Phil Roberts in their line-up, started to move the ball around and when Olsson got sight of goal Matthews did well to grasp the ball at arms length.

On thirty one minutes Arsenal were awarded a free-kick just outside the Norwich penalty area. Olsson again brought the best out of Matthews who produced a stunning save as the ball swerved towards the far top corner of the goal.

Norwich then had a clear opportunity to open the scoring through Loza, but hecould only shoot past the near post.

On thirty four minutes another Arsenal attack. This time Montiano hammered the ball on target, and again Matthews was in the way, as he produced yet another diving save to parry the ball away.

Then on forty minutes Norwich took the lead. Loza put Monteiro und pressure and the Arsenal defender appeared to loop the ball over McDermott for an own goal.

Olsson then had another opportunity from a free kick, but Matthews was alert to punch the ball clear.

Just a minute before half time Norwich were then awarded a penalty when Kelly was brought down in the Arsenal penalty area. Josh Murphy calmly sent the ball into opposite direction of McDermott to put City two goals up.

After the resumption the Canaries again went for Arsenal, but Josh Murphy’s lay back had no takers as he got behind defenders.

On forty eight minutes, a corner by Kelly found the head of McKenzie, only to be cleared from under the crossbar.

But Norwich then added a third on forty nine minutes as Loza followed up and got in first to head the ball over McDermott.

Within two minutes Arsenal reduced the arrears as Monakana found the net with a free-kick that took a couple of deflections.

Arsenal brought on two substitutes and they had an immediate impact on the game.

On sixty minutes a superb left wing cross from Campbell was met by Neito, but he headed wide.

Arsenal then grabbed a second goal, on sixty three minutes, as Toral made the most of a loose ball inside the Norwich penalty area to strike from close range.

The canaries were committed to defending the slim advantage, which they did in inspiring fashion. They had one further chance late on as Florence moved forward to feed Reece- Johnson but his shot was saved by McDermott.

It was a good around performance by Norwich with Clunan taking my man of match.

City Line-Up: Matthews, Dobbs, Barker, Clunan, McFadden, McKenzie, Reece-Johnson, Florence, Loza (79. Peacock), Kelly (81. McGeehan), Josh Murphy.

Subs Not Used: Jacob Murphy, Norman.

Arsenal Line-Up: McDermott, Glasgow, Campbell, Wynter, Monteiro, Fagan, Monakana (54. Bunjaku), Tarol, Roberts, Olsson (54. Rees), Neito.

Subs Not Used: Huddart, Bihmoutine, Hayden.

Norwich City Man of the Match: Clunan

Report courtesy of Rob Maynard

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