Youngsters defeated by their Carrow Road counterparts
Wanderers’ under-21 side slipped to a 5-1 defeat in their final league outing of the season against Norwich City at Carrow Road on Friday evening.
Zach Clough had opened the scoring early on for the Whites, but the hosts soon overturned the deficit courtesy of a brace from Carlton Morris with Elliott Bennett notching a third before the break.
The visitors did rally following the restart in a bid to pull themselves back into the clash, but Luciano Becchio and Cameron Norman both found the back of the net in the second period to put the result to bed.
Fresh from consecutive victories over Arsenal and West Ham in recent weeks, Wanderers began brightly and were rewarded with just five minutes on the clock as Clough fired home past the Norwich goalkeeper to get the visitors off to the perfect start.
Their lead wasn’t to last however, with the home side rallying for an equaliser which came just eight minutes later through Morris who collected Becchio’s pass before curling the ball into the top corner of Arran Lee-Barrett’s net.
A bitter blow for the Whites, the Canaries were visibly buoyed by their goal and proceeded to complete the comeback moments after with Morris again the man as he rose above the Bolton defence before powering a header home in off the upright.
Despite falling behind, Wanderers were almost back on level terms just after the half hour mark as Hayden White sprinted downfield with just the goalkeeper to beat, but Remi Matthews was equal to the full-back’s effort to maintain his side’s slender advantage.
A chance which cleared boosted Bolton, Andy Kellett came within inches of an equalising goal straight after as he dragged his effort agonisingly wide of the Norwich post.
As the half time whistle drew near, the hosts found themselves back in the ascendancy with Bennett ensuring that Lee-Barrett was on his guard with a stinging long range effort.
Not to be completely denied however, the Norwich man made no mistake two minutes before half time as he crashed the ball into the top corner of the net to extend City’s lead at the break.
Wanderers emerged for the second period with more vigour and were almost rewarded with five minutes gone as Chris Lester collected the ball and found himself in on goal, but the winger slammed his effort into the side netting with the goal at his mercy.
Up the other end of the pitch, Morris almost completed his hat-trick with 53 minutes on the clock as he somehow managed to connect with Ress Awuah’s cross into the box, but the youngster was denied by a superb save from Lee-Barrett.
Despite the Whites’ best efforts however, it was soon four for the home side as following a well-worked team move, Norman whipped the ball across the face of the Bolton penalty area with Becchio given the task of tapping the ball into the back of the net.
Not satisfied with just an assist however, Norman was on the scoresheet himself just three minutes later as he unleashed the ball from 25-yards to make it five and put the result beyond doubt.
Wanderers did come close to reducing the deficit as the game headed towards its conclusion with Matthews forced to back-peddle after Adel Gafaiti’s clearance rebounded back towards goal, but the keeper was able to clear his lines and preserve Norwich’s four goal advantage.
The Carrow Road outfit almost extended their lead in the final minutes of the game as Morris stung Lee-Barrett’s hands, but it was in vain as the referee blew for full time.
Norwich City: Matthews, McNeil, Awuah, Grant, McFadden, Gafaiti, Bennett, Norman (Randall 88), Becchio, Hall-Johnson (Byrne-Hewitt 74), Morris (Hodd 85)
Subs not used: Killip, Lokko.
Wanderers: Lee-Barrett, Maher, Kellett, Threlkeld, Holding, Woodland (Walker 70), Lester, White, Iliev, Clough (Thomas 66), Youngs (Wilkinson 63)
Subs not used: Campbell, Bastos