12.11.11 Norwich City Under-18s 3 West Ham United Under-18s 2
Saturday, 12 November 2011 20:12

Norwich City clinched all three points through substitute Josh Murphy with just two minutes remaining in a pulsating encounter on a grey day in Norfolk.

With three minutes played both sides had early opportunities, with Loza for Norwich and then Lee for West Ham bringing in Larkins and Matthews respectively for there first sight of the ball.

But West Ham opened the scoring on twelve minutes when Fanimo exploded into the Norwich penalty area and buried the ball past Matthews after an exchange of passes.

On nineteen minutes, Norwich capitalised on an error from West Ham and Loza shot for goal but Larkins made the save.

Twenty six minutes and Hall-Johnson then got in on the act, testing Larkins twice in succession, the latter coming from a McGeehan cross field pass that allowed Hall-Johnson to ghost into the penalty area to shoot for goal.

Norwich kept up their momentum and levelled the scores on the half hour, when a misplaced ball from the West Ham defence was seized upon by Kelly. He in turn sent Loza rampaging through the middle of the park towards goal. As Loza approached the penalty area, Larkins came from his line but the Norwich forward coolly slipped the ball from around sixteen yards past the West Ham goalkeeper.

On thirty four minutes Powell sent the ball into the Norwich penalty area from the right flank and defender McKenzie slashed at the ball towards his own goal, but Barker managed to somehow clear the impending danger to concede a corner with Matthews left helpless.

Fanimo had the last worthy effort on goal, in the first half, which brought the best out of Matthews.

West Ham were then unlucky on fifty two minutes following a short corner. Fanimo back healed the ball back into the path of Vose who blasted the ball unchallenged against the outside of a Norwich post.

Kelly demonstrated accuracy in his passing going forward from midfield and he formed a good partnership with McGeehan. However, when the latter centred from the right, Loza could not direct his header on target.

On sixty six minutes West Ham had a further chance as Turgott burst through to meet a timed pass, but Matthews was alert to the danger.

On seventy eight minutes Norwich went in front.

Harry Toffolo beat two players to send a low cross into the West Ham penalty area where the defence was unable to clear the ball and Hall-Johnson somehow got in amongst them to bundle the ball home into the net. Untidy as it seemed, they all count.

Norwich kept on battling as the match was coming to a finale.

Hall-Johnson sent an inviting ball in and Loza blasted the ball on goal, only for Larkins to fingertip the ball over the crossbar.

The for West Ham Chambers made inroads through the Norwich half and let fly from twenty five yards with a blistering shot that rebounded from Matthews inside left post and back into play.

However West Ham still kept the ball manoeuvring around the Norwich penalty area, and with eighty six minutes gone, Potts slipped the ball home from Miles’ timely pass and it looked like Norwich would have to settle for a point.

But immediately the pendulum swung again, with Norwich again on the attack through Hall-Johnson.

With just two minutes remaining, Toffolo sent in another centre from the left and Josh Murphy beat Larkins all ends up with his shot from inside the penalty area to bulge the netting for a superb winner. It was a goal worthy of winning any match.

City Line-Up: Matthews, Barker, Toffolo, McGeehan, McFadden, McKenzie, Jacob Murphy (63. Josh Murphy). Florence (90+3. Clunan), Loza, Kelly, Hall-Johnson.

Subs Not Used: Peacock, Dobbs.

West Ham Line-Up: Larkins, Young, Potts, Hurley (83. Miles), Lee, Chambers, Turgott, Powell, Lee, Vose (76. Tombides), Fanimo.

Subs Not Used: Baxter, Shaw, Siafa.

Norwich Man of the Match: Sam Kelly. 

Photos in the Match Gallery

Match Report courtesy Rob Maynard, photos courtesy John Landamore

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