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Report | U23s pipped by late Norwich winner

Royals hit woodwork but Norwich take three points

25 November 2019

A late winner from Adam Idah was enough to give Norwich's Under-23s a 1-0 win over the young Royals at Adams Park on Monday night.

Both sides hit the woodwork in the match, but a late close-range finish from Idah was enough to send the Canaries back to East Anglia with all three points.

Reading lined up with four players who are eligible for Under-18 football, bolstered in midfield by the experience of Charlie Adam.

The visitors started the brighter of the two teams at Adams Park, with Coniah Boyce-Clarke tested twice early on - first from a Daniel Adshead strike that he tipped over the bar, before getting down low to his left to stop Josh Martin's arrowed drive.

With plenty of rainfall during Monday and a continuous drizzle over Wycombe, the players found conditions difficult as neither side was able to gain supremacy for the opening 20 minutes.

Reading did threaten as they held possession and Josh Barrett headed into the path of the on-rushing Ryan East, whose attempted volley was well blocked at the back.

Norwich broke quickly up the other end to force a corner, which was whipped in and Gassan Ahadme won it first, but he glanced his header narrowly over the crossbar.

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Up the other end, Barrett spotted the goalkeeper off his line while on the left and lobbed him from range, but his attempt went half-a-yard wide.

Reading kept up the pressure, and Imari Samuels found joy on the left as he got forward into a dangerous area. The full-back slid a ball back to Adam Liddle, who opened up his body to strike first time, but put it wide.

Barrett found himself in space again, chipping Rose once more but he rattled the woodwork in the best chance of the half.

Half-time | Reading U23 0-0 Norwich City U23

The second half started with Andre Burley introduced at the back for the Royals, in place of Roberto Nditi.

It was a match dominated in the midfield, with neither side able to threaten in earnest before the hour mark at Adams Park.

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A low ball across goal from Samuels was prodded back towards goal by Liddle, with the ball creeping back towards the line but the Norwich defence managed to scramble it off the line in the nick of time.

The match certainly wasn't a classic on Monday night, with the teams mostly reduced to pot-shots as the defences were winning the day in this Premier League 2 clash.

Samuels and Barrett had built up a good understanding on the left, though, with the full-back playing forward for Barrett to advance.

He broke into the area, getting into a shooting position but Jordan Thomas threw his body in the way and blocked behind for a corner.

Up the other end, Ahadme cut back onto his left foot and struck from the edge of the box, narrowly wide after a deflection. The resulting corner came in, glancing off a head in the crowded area and ricocheting off the foot of the post in a lucky escape for the Royals.

The match looked as though it would head for a draw, but a ball across goal found Idah in space 10 yards out, calmly slotting into the open part of the net to give the visitors three points on the night.

Full-time | Reading U23 0-1 Norwich City U23

Reading U23: Boyce-Clarke, Nditi (Burley HT), Elva-Fountaine, Dorsett, Odimayo, Samuels, East (c), Adam (Frost 27), Barrett, Liddle, Nevers.
Subs: Roberts, Caetano.
Goals:

Norwich City U23: Rose, Thomas, Nizet, Omobamidele, Famewo (c), Adshead, Martin (Hondermarck 77), Thorvaldsson (McAlear 59), Idah, Ahadme, Heise.
Subs: Johnson, Lomas, Hutchinson.
Goals: Idah (90+1)


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