Cambridge United’s U15/16s produced a stellar performance in a 3-2 win over Norwich City under the Abbey lights, in this season’s first Terry Baker Memorial Match.
United immediately began the game on the front foot, creating a pair of one on one chances inside the opening five minutes, only to be denied by brave goalkeeping from the Canaries shot stopper on both occasions.
At the other end, a classy individual carry of the ball through United’s midfield opened up an opportunity for Norwich City to take their first shot at goal, but again the U’s keeper was equal to it with an alert save at his near post midway through the half.
It was the U’s though who went on to dominate the remainder of the opening period, and were unfortunate not to score the opener when a mid-range shot on the half volley skidded off the top of the wet surface and was pushed wide by a full stretch save.
They did not disappoint the healthy home following for much longer though and scored the opening goal ten minutes before half time, when a weaving run down the left followed by a snap shot at the near post was saved, but the loose ball was tucked away on the rebound emphatically from eight yards out to lift the roof off the Main Stand.
The U’s continued to create chances on goal right up to half time, where their one goal lead would have been greater were it not for a solid performance from the Norwich City goalkeeper.
The Canaries levelled up the score from the penalty spot two minutes after half time, despite the United keeper getting gloves on the effort.
However, United wasted little time in responding and restored their lead in a matter of minutes with a powerful solo run and tidy finish one on one from the U’s lone striker.
Two, quickly became three and this time it was United’s turn to register from 12 yards with a composed, slotted side foot to send the keeper the wrong way, completing the hat-trick for United’s centre forward.
The U's dictated play for much of the second half, and despite a late consolation goal from the visitors from a free kick that bounced off the foot of the post and ricocheted in, the home side held out for the win.
Luke Chadwick commented: “I felt we started the game really positively and stepped out with the right amount of focus against a fantastic football club in Norwich City.
"A hat-trick on the night too, which is fantastic for the lad who has all the attributes to be a really good player. Sometimes his work rate needs to be improved but tonight, in front of all those people, he fully deserved it because he was threat all night.
"It's a good group of players and their attitude has been really good in the lead up to this game. They have been on it this season, and they were very much ready for tonight, you could see they were desperate to play. The result isn't the be all and end all, but it is to the lads themselves and it's great for them to win at the Abbey Stadium."