Match Reports

Albion up to fifth in PL2 as Norwich beaten

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Goals from Louis Flower and Odel Offiah ensured Albion came away with all three points.

By Charlie Hanson • 09 February 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Louis Flower had a couple of opportunities in the first half.

A strong second-half showing from Albion ensured they defeated Norwich City 2-0 in Premier League 2 on Friday.

Louis Flower and Odel Offiah were the goalscorers on a night where the good work of the groundstaff and fantastic facilities at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre were highlighted, as the pitch held up incredibly well despite the sheets of rain that fell throughout the contest.

While the first half passed by without a goal, the scoreline wasn’t a fair reflection of the entertainment both teams provided.

By Paul Hazlewood
Jamie Mullins sent a wonderful strike just wide of goal in the first half.

Flower fired a low effort straight at Norwich keeper Daniel Barden, before Canaries’ top scorer Kenneth Aboh’s finished off his scintillating run at the Albion backline by dragging an effort just wide of the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Aboh’s teammate Daniel Ogwuru must have taken some inspiration as he curled a terrific effort from range against the underside of the crossbar which fortunately for Albion bounced away from goal, with Flower then going down to the other end only to be denied again by Barden, this time from close range.

On another day the Albion striker may well have had a hat-trick, nodding over from Luca Barrington’s sumptuous left-wing cross before Noel Atom headed just wide of the top left corner and Jamie Mullins, swivelling on the edge of the box, guided a fine strike just wide of the top corner.

By Paul Hazlewood
The stormy conditions didn't detract from an entertaining evening at the Amex Elite Football Performance Centre.

Any suggestion that the second half would lack the energy of the first was quickly forgotten when Aboh should have opened the scoring two minutes after the restart. The frontman got on the end of Waylon Renecke’s cross for what looked like a tap in, but he scuffed his effort which allowed Killian Cahill to scamper across and keep it out.

Barden pulled off the save of the evening in the 53rd minute when Barrington teed up Mullins to curl an effort at goal from inside the box, but the Norwich stopper kept it out at full stretch. From the resulting corner Atom was guilty of missing a glorious opportunity when he poked over from close range.

Flower was played in by Mullins with 25 minutes to go but was crowded out and saw his effort deflected wide, but the striker would finally break the deadlock in the 69th minute.

By Paul Hazlewood
Odel Offiah nodded home Albion's second goal of the evening.

Samy Chouchane got down the right and picked out Mullins in the box, who rolled it into the path of Flower to poke home. 

That goal appeared to break the Canaries' resistance and Odel Offiah doubled Albion's lead in the 73rd minute. From a corner routine Offiah rose highest to power home a header.

Cahill had to be alert to tip over Adian Manning's free-kick from 25 yards, but Shannon Ruth's team kept their fourth clean sheet of the Premier League 2 season as they secured all three points. The result sees Albion move up to fifth in the table, just a point behind third and fourth-placed Arsenal and Fulham.

Albion team: Cahill, Offiah, Atom, Slater, Knight (Robertson 74), Chouchane, Barrington, Duffus (Smith 68), Mullins, Vickers (Nilsson 82), Flower.

On the bench: Fisher, Robertson, Smith, Jackson, Nilsson.