Wallis finds late winner as City U23s beat Bury in the snow despite Raggett’s red card
PUBLISHED: 20:57 26 February 2018 | UPDATED: 20:57 26 February 2018
Archant Norfolk 2018
Heavy snow and a late red card were not enough to deny Norwich City Under-23s victory over Bury in the Premier League Cup at a bitterly cold Colney this afternoon.
Centre-back Owen Wallis salvaged the win for the Canaries development squad in the 85th minute, just five minutes after first-team defender Sean Raggett had been shown his second yellow card.
January signing Simon Power, a winger usually but playing at right-back, fired just wide early on for the hosts but the first half was largely uneventful.
City keeper Aston Oxborough held a couple of long-range shots before Louis McIntosh tested visiting keeper Scott Moloney with a stinging shot in the 29th minute, after striker Pierre Fonkeu had limped off.
Trialist Aaron Smith came on at left-back and Devonte Aransibia pushed into midfield, with McIntosh joining Tristan Abrahams in attack.
Aransibia was brought down on the left in the 31st minute, leading to the best chance of the half for Matt Gill’s team. Adam Phillips – involved due to game-time with loan club Cambridge United tailing off recently – curled a cross in which Raggett couldn’t make clean contact with and Wallis saw his follow-up shot deflected over.
Power also forced a decent save from Moloney and Greek midfielder Savvas Mourgos bent a shot just wide in injury-time, as the sun threatened to break through.
Snow started to fall heavily at half-time though and visibility became difficult as City lost their rhythm in the second half.
Oxborough was out sharply to stop Bury striker Rob Harker reaching a through-ball from Tsun Dai in the 47th minute but Abrahams also tested Moloney at the other end soon after.
Canaries skipper Oxborough made a fine save to deny Dai in the 62nd minute, sprawling to his left from a free-kick, as the visitors started to build momentum.
Phillips and Raggett had both been fortunate not to be booked for heavy tackles before the break but former Lincoln man Raggett went in the book for a strong tackle on Harker in the 63rd minute, with Chris Sang clipping the post four minutes later for Bury.
Local lad Spencer Keller, part of the U16s squad, had replaced Anis Mehmeti in the 58th minute and was looking lively on the left wing.
Keller had the ball in the net with 15 minutes remaining only to be adjudged offside when receiving a fine Phillips pass and McIntosh clattered the bar seconds late after a goal-mouth scramble.
Just as the hosts were building a head of steam, Raggett slid into the back of Sang on halfway and City were reduced to 10 men as the centre-back was shown his second yellow – which will not bring a ban which affects first-team duties.
However, Power did excellently to win a corner on the right five minutes later, which Philips sent in from the right and Abrahams held up at the near post before back-heeling to Wallis, who slotted home from close range.
The Canaries had found their get-out-of-jail free card and could have made it more comfortable in the 88th minute but Moloney denied first Mourgos and then Keller.
It moves City back into second place of Group C of the Premier League Cup but they must wait to see how Bournemouth get on against group winners Wolves at home tonight, who will reclaim second place and qualify for the knockout stages with victory due to a better goal difference.
Norwich U23s: Oxborough (C); Power, Wallis, Raggett, Aransibia; Mourgos, Phillips, McIntosh, Mehmeti (Keller 58); Fonkeu (Smith 29), Abrahams. Unused subs: Dickerson (GK), Dronfield, Da Costa