Norwich City 1 (Murphy 50)
A goal shortly after the break from Norwich City’s Joshua Murphy condemned the Wolves under 21s to a narrow defeat in the final game of the campaign.
There was never too much between the teams and Steve Weaver’s youngsters could count themselves a little unlucky not to have picked up a point.
Eusebio Bancessi won a first minute corner for Wolves but Anthony Forde’s kick was headed clear by Reiss Awuah. The ball was booted upfield and when it broke nicely for Carlton Morris the City striker looked odds to score until Kortney Hause got back to block and clear.
The home defence was caught flat footed in the third minute and keeper Jon Flatt was left stranded near the edge of his area as Murphy raced through. But the keeper forced the City man wide making him slice off target.
When Ashley Carter slipped in trying to control the ball he handled as he lay on the floor and was fortunate not to be shown at least a yellow card as Murphy, who was challenging, would otherwise have been clear.
Morris thundered a close range header inches over the bar following a Ray Grant corner and at the other end Bancessi skipped between two defenders as he ran into the box but his cross was caught under the bar by Norwich keeper Remi Matthews.
Kristian Kostrna was just too high with a shot from the edge of the box before, in the 24th minute, Matthews made a superb save as he tipped Hause’s header over the bar after Forde had lifted a corner into the goalmouth.
Another Forde cross was headed wide by Sam Whittall at the near post and when O’Hanlon pulled back Morris as he was running into the home area, this time the referee wasn’t quite so lenient this time and out came the yellow card. Murphy’s free-kick bounced away off the defensive wall.
In the 42nd minute Bancessi’s pace took him clear of his marker as he ran in along the by-line. His pull back fell to Ben O’Hanlon who chose to check and cross rather than shooting and Ibrahim Keita was wide with his header.
Half-Time: Wolves 0 Norwich 0
Two early Forde corners had the Canaries defence at full stretch until the danger was finally cleared and it was Norwich’s Murphy that broke the deadlock in the 50th minute as he drove the ball past Flatt from the edge of the area.
Wolves went in search of a quick response and Bancessi worked his way into a shooting position but his effort was blocked.
Jim Kellerman was booked for a late challenge on Reece Hall-Johnson and, with play swinging from end to end, it was City that were close to adding to their lead as Carter cleared Michael Efete’s header off the line after a cross from former Molineux Academy graduate Elliott Bennett.
Wolves made two changes as the game entered its last quarter with Robbie Parry and Carlo Erdei replacing Albert Torras and Whittall respectively,
Bancessi’s late challenge on Bennett sparked a brief melee with most players getting involved. Order was soon restored and after Bancessi and Bennett had both been cautioned, the pair shook hands.
But tempers were still running high and Morris was also booked shortly afterwards after he needlessly clattered into Bancessi.
Although it was mainly Wolves attack in the closing stages, the Norwich defence held firm.
Wolves: Flatt, Kellerman, O’Hanlon (Rainey 83), Kostrna, Hause, Carter, Bancessi, Torras (Parry 67), Keita, Whittall (Erdie 70), Forde.
Unused subs: Burgoyne.
Norwich: Matthews, McNeil, Awuah (Efete 24), Grant, McFadden (Byrne-Hewitt 45), Gafaiti, Bennett, Norman, Morris, Hall-Johnson, Murphy.
Unused subs: Killip, Cole, Fox.
Referee: I. Dudley.