Manchester United's Under-18s made it three wins in eight days, but they didn't have it all their own way against a good Norwich City side at the Aon Training Complex on Saturday.
Two strikes from James Wilson, sandwiching an effort from Joshua Harrop, eventually proved enough to win the game despite an edgy finish set up by the visitors' second goal.
The Canaries started as brightly as their yellow shirts, but United’s lack of early concentration contributed in no small way to the visitors’ early pressure. Thankfully, fortune favoured the Reds during those early exchanges and they survived one or two close calls.
In fact, United should have taken the lead in the 17th minute, against the run of play, when the Norwich defence allowed Ashley Fletcher acres of room, but the young striker’s shot flew wide of the target. It was the first of numerous chances for Fletcher who, with an ounce more luck, could have bagged a double hat-trick across the ninety minutes.
As the first half unfolded, the Reds began to give the visitors' defence some uneasy moments, with skipper Wilson twice going close to opening the scoring. Sean Goss was also inches away from finding the net when his long-range strike took a deflection and thudded against the angle of the Norwich frame.
This spell of pressure bore fruit in the 29th minute from the corner yielded by Goss’ near miss. Harrop sent over a peach of a corner, which the Canaries' defence failed to clear, and Wilson showed his predatory instincts to clip the ball over the line.
United deserved the 1-0 lead after taking the initiative away from their lively guests, but barely two minutes later Norwich were level. Cameron King delivered a teasing centre and Carlton Morris capitalised on a lapse in the Reds' defence to claim the equaliser and ultimately level the scoreline for half-time.