Jamaican international Jamar Loza scored a wonderful solo effort before it was cancelled out by Jack Dunn’s tap in late on for Liverpool. The main talking point was the incredible 8,300 fan turnout which nearly beats the highest ever U21 attendance against Spurs.
Norwich decided to field a very strong team against Liverpool U21s with Ryan Bennett and Mark Bunn both returning from injury to take part and Ignasi Miquel joined with Javier Garrido for some game time.
The first chance of the game came very early on when Josh Murphy’s delightful free kick was glanced just wide of the post and the stretching Cameron McGeehan from Ryan Bennett’s flicked header. The home fans were out in numbers and the ever present vocal section lead the evening’s chants which seemed to help the Norwich youngsters.
The pressure really was starting to build on the Merseyside team as Norwich continued to use their width to their advantage and the lively Cameron Norman swung in a dangerous cross which was nearly sliced in to the net by Llyod Jones – the reds’ captain.
It was evident in the opening stages that the fringe first team players were coping admirably with the lively Liverpool youngsters. Both Ryan Bennett and Ignasi Miquel controlled the back line with composure and order while Javier Garrido performed like a regular first team player. The defence was complete with the young Reece Hall-Johnson who put in an equally mature performance to suffocate all attacking presence out of Liverpool.
Josh Murphy was the next Norwich player to go close as he weaved in and out of players in normal fashion but couldn’t direct the shot goal wards; the intent of the run showed just why Josh Murphy is quickly becoming a fans favourite at Carrow Road.
Liverpool huffed and puffed near the end of the first half but Mark Bunn coped well and denied the only shot on target from Jack Dunn.
Half time: Norwich U21s 0-0 Liverpool U21s
The second half started much quicker than the first and it was evident that both teams wanted to take 3 points from this game. Norwich were not scared to throw their wing backs forward to support the midfield and create a condensed attacking force. Josh Murphy was constantly trying to go at the Liverpool defence while Cameron McGeehan and Cameron Norman provided a solid platform from the middle of the park.
The opening goal finally come mid-way through the second half and what a goal it was. Jamar Loza started off half way into the Liverpool half before weaving in and out of 2 Liverpool players and calmly slotting home past the Reds keeper. Loza has been sniffing around the first team for the past year and last night solidified his statement to obtain his first team call up.
Norwich had defended well throughout the game but Liverpool scored late on to level the game up. A corner was whipped into the box and Cameron McGeehan got the ball stuck under his feet before being dispossessed and Jack Dunn finished from close range, a painful blow for the Canaries youngsters.
It was another fantastic showing from the wonderful youth players we have and it was also great to see some senior players get time under their belt.
The mix of experience and youth was worked wonderfully well and Cameron Norman really stood out as a star performer, his mix of technical ability and willingness to dig in really shone. Canaries’ new boy Connor McGrandles had another solid performance as well and certainly looks like one for the future.
Norwich remains 10th in the U21 premier division while Liverpool moves up to 8th.
Full Time: Norwich U21 1-1 Liverpool U21