Tariqe Fosu scores stoppage time equaliser in eight goal thrillerA last-gasp penalty from Tariqe Fosu earned the Royals' U21s a hard fought point against the Canaries at Carrow Road in the Barclays U21 Premier League.
A game that seesawed both ways ended up with the scores level at 4-4 come the final whistle; Fosu's injury-time penalty prevented the Canaries from taking the spoils for themselves.
Heading into the game Reading faced a difficult task, as the hosts fielded a strong side featuring the likes of Graham Dorrans, Youssouf Mulumbu and Andre Wisdom, who boast over 400 senior Premier League appearances between them.
It was the Royals however that started the quickest when, in the opening ten minutes, they beat Norwich’s offside trap down the right hand side. A fine cross from Jack Stacey found Harry Cardwell in the centre, who coolly knocked past Canaries keeper Ben Kilip.
It was not long until Norwich created a chance of their own when Ebou Adams picked up the ball. With the hosts looking for an equaliser, the youngster shot from range but saw his effort well saved by Lewis Ward in the Reading goal.
Norwich continued to push forward and found their equaliser through Glenn Middleton. Benny Ashley-Seal set up the striker after winning the ball back high up the pitch before feeding his team mate on the edge of the area. Middleton’s snapshot just evaded Ward’s fingertips to level the scores.
Reading responded quickly to the goal, and were clinical in their reply. Cardwell was again a thorn in the side for the Norwich defence, beating his man to cut inside and rifle a low drive into the bottom corner to restore Reading’s lead.
The Royals extended their lead just before half time with another high quality finish. Good work on the edge of the box from Fosu saw the winger lay the ball off invitingly to George Evans 25 yards from goal. The midfielder took the shot first time and drilled a fierce effort past Kilip with the ball nestling in the bottom corner, putting Reading 3-1 up at half time.
Norwich started the second half strongly and it was not long until their experience began to tell. Ashley-Seal got the home side back into the game when he tapped home after a superb one handed save from Ward. The keeper denied Michee Efete, reacting brilliantly to save his header, with the ball bouncing fortunately to Ashley-Seal, who finished into the open goal from a couple of yards out.
Norwich levelled the scores through a contentious penalty decision, when Ashley-Seal was adjudged to have been tripped. The forward stepped up to slam home his spot kick and make it 3-3 in what was turning out to be a topsy-turvy game.
After the penalty, the momentum was with the Canaries; they took the lead for the first time in the 70th minute when Reece Hall-Johnson slotted past Ward from inside the area to complete a remarkable six-minute turnaround.
The Royals did not give up the ghost however and in stoppage time, Tennai Watson broke forward from left-back, driving past his man in the box but was brought down Adams and the referee pointed to the spot. Fosu stepped up for the Royals right at the death, to sweep home his spot kick, earning Reading a richly deserved point on their travels.
Full Time: Norwich U21 4 Reading U21 4
Reading: Ward, Watson, Owusu (Rinomhota 76), Evans, Dickie, Shaughnessy, Stacey (Kelly 76), Kuhl (c), Cardwell, Husin (Novakovich 61), Fosu.
Unused Subs: Osho, Southwood.
Norwich City: Killip (c), Wisdom, Coker (Awuah 58 (Grant 78)), Efete, Hall-Johnson, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Eaton-Collins (Uade, 58), Adams, Middleton, Ashley-Seal.
Unused subs: Oxborough, McIntosh.