Two superb strikes in quick succession defined an evenly contested 1-1 draw on a clear but brisk Friday evening at Carrow Road this week.
Norwich came into the game sitting in second place and undefeated so far in their Premier League 2 campaign. Their counterparts from Birmingham also looked to be in fine fettle in the league. The Baggies had won their last 3 in Premier League 2 but lost 2-1 last time out against Middlesborough in the Premier League Cup.
This defeat had clearly been pushed to the back of West Brom minds however as they started strongly, winning the ball in the middle of the park, and looking to play forward. This consistent pressure paid dividends for West Brom in the 17th minute. In a show of individual brilliance, Rico Richards swept free of the backline and beat keeper, Daniel Barden, with a delightful chip to score his second of the season.
The jubilation was short lived however, as Norwich replied almost immediately from kick off. Tyrese Omotoye found his second of the season through a tidy finish from the edge of the box that nestled into the bottom right corner of the net. Omotoye showcased himself as one to watch, offering strength and quick feet accompanied by searching runs down the right-hand side.
West Brom’s scorer, Richards, also shows great promise and was certainly the Baggies’ best player tonight. The English midfielder spread the play excellently and had the composure on the ball to match it.
An exciting end to end first half was capped off by a squandered three on one chance by Norwich. Omotoye was unable to find Thomas Dickson-Peters in what should have been a certain goal after a quick counterattack.
The second half offered little excitement. Norwich certainly shared most of the ball but conceded possession too often in their own final third whilst West Brom lacked the quality to punish them. Despite this, the hosts must have walked away thinking 3 points should have been theirs. A well worked chance which was brilliantly cleared off the line by West Brom’s Zach Ashworth and an effort from Kenneth Aboh which struck the post in extra time, formed the clear cut chances that would have given the Canaries the win. This was not, however, solely a tale of missed opportunities for Norwich. West Brom proved a tough team to break down in defence and were, at times, threatening in attack through the brilliance of Richards.
Norwich travel to Nottingham on the 31st to face 7th place Forest whilst The Baggies face Stoke, who have failed to win in their last 5 games.
By Ned Henderson