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📝 Match Report | Reading U23 succumb to Canaries defeat

Nevers pulls one back for Royals but Norwich lead is too much to recover

5 March 2021

Reading U23s suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Norwich City at Bearwood Park as despite their best efforts to stage a comeback, the Canaries added a third late on.

Thierry Nevers helped push for a Royals revival as he pulled one back for Mehmet Ali's side, but goals from Marco Stiepermann and Jon Rowe saw the Canaries take home the points from Friday afternoon's Premier League 2 encounter. 

The visitors took the lead in Berkshire after just five minutes, as former-Borussia Dortmund man Stiepermann capitalised on a loose Royals back pass before rounding Coniah Boyce-Clarke to give Norwich the lead.

Three minutes later the Royals almost fashioned an immediate response as Sone Aluko rattled an effort against the bar from 25 yards.

The Canaries were then awarded a chance to make it two from the spot after 13 minutes, as Rowe was brought down inside the area by Michael Stickland. Josh Martin stepped up to take the spot kick but he was denied as Boyce-Clarke saved well, diving to his left to push clear.

Canaries keeper Orjan Nyland was called into action after 24 minutes, as Ryan East's initial strike rattled the post before falling to Mamadi Camara who shot on goal only to be denied by a strong save from the norwegian in the Norwich net.

Half-time: Reading U23 0-1 Norwich City U23

12 minutes after the restart, Norwich doubled their lead after Stiepermann found Rowe inside the 18-yard box, who then took a touch and buried it into the bottom right corner.

Despite being two down, the Royals continued to look dangerous and had a number of chances to reduce the deficit, with second-half substitute Femi Azeez going close after 59 minutes as he found space before stinging the palms of Nyland with a left-footed strike inside the area.

The Royals persistence paid off after 72 minutes as they pulled a goal back, Norwich failed to clear a Ryan East delivery, and before Nyland could gather, Nevers got a foot in and stabbed home from close range.

Reading continued to apply pressure on the Canaries defence until the dying moments, but to no avail as Nyland again saved, as Azeez tried his luck with a low shot from the edge of the area on 85 minutes. 

With one minute left of the ninety and against the run of play, Stiepermann notched his second, he was found on the edge of the area, and as he let fly his impressive effort found its way in off the right-hand post.

Full-time: Reading U23 1-3 Norwich City U23

Next up for Mehmet Ali's youngsters is another home game in the Premier League 2, this time against Crystal Palace U23 who visit Bearwood on Friday 12th March for a 1pm kick-off.

Reading U23: Boyce-Clarke, Hewitt, Dorsett, Watson, Stickland, Luzon, Tetek (Leavy 46'), East (C), Aluko (Azeez 46'), Camara (Lawless 76'), Nevers
Unused subs: Holden, Ajose

Yellow: Watson 19'
Scorer: Nevers 71'

Norwich City U23: Nyland, Mumba, Omobamidele (C), Warner, Nizet, Riley (McAlear 79'), Sitti, Stiepermann, Rowe (Giurgi 74'), Dickson-Peters (Dennis 81'), Martin
Unused subs: Rose, Tomkinson

Scorers: Stiepermann 5', 89', Rowe 56'

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