NEWPORT County’s interest in the EFL Trophy was buried under an avalanche of Norwich goals as they plunged to a second home defeat in the competition.

Tyrese Omotoye helped himself to a hat-trick as he stunned the home side with goals inside two minutes of the start of the first half and three minutes in the second.

Michael Flynn used the game to include some of his bright young things and picked seven teenagers in his squad alongside the evergreen front runners Padraig Amond and Kevin Ellison.

Sixteen-year-olds Harrison Bright, Callum Ryan-Phillips led the cast of schoolboys, with Lewys Twamley, Callum Brain, Zac Maher and Joe Woodiwiss just a year older.

Ryan Hillier must have felt positively ancient at 18, but it was a great opportunity for them to play against the cream of the Norwich City academy, who had kicked-off their Group N EFL Trophy campaign with a 3-2 win against Plymouth Argyle. County started with a 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham.

The visitors arrived having made a convincing start to their Premier League 2 season with three wins from four and they got off to a flying start. They had the ball in the back of the Newport County net twice in the opening six minutes, although only one of them counted.

County’s horror start saw them concede with less than two minutes on the clock as Josh Martin latched onto a long clearance under pressure by his goalkeeper and slip the ball through to the 18-year-old Omotoye.

He was through one-on-one with Tom King and the home goalkeeper did brilliantly well to block his first shot. Then lady luck shone on the visiting striker and the rebound fell in his favour and he stroked the ball into an empty net.

Four minutes later Martin picked out another great pass to send Matthew Dennis through on goal and he hit the back of the net. This time the fortune favoured the home side as the linesman flagged for a marginal offside.


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Chances were few and far between for County, but they tightened up their defence and began to win the territorial battle as their passing improved. Woodiwisss picked up a yellow card for a strong challenge on Zac Dronfield in the centre circle which resulted in the Norwich midfielder leaving the action 18 minutes later.

Before then, Newport boss Michael Flynn hauled off Scott Bennett in a worrying switch. Bennett only recently returned to action after missing the opening four games of the season with a knee injury.

The second half started in much the same way as the first as Omotoye doubled the lead within four minutes of the re-start. Some sloppy marking allowed the talented teenager to run to the near post and reach a cross from the left by Rob Nizet ahead of his marker and steer the ball past King.

County’s best chance of the game came from a cross from Ashley Baker after 65 minutes. Ellison head down from the far post and Amond just nudged the ball onto the roof of the net. Saikou Janneh then lofted a shot over the keeper and the bar.

Omotoye underlined talent with his hat-trick goal with a sweet left footed strike from the edge of the area then hit the top right corner of King’s net. Three minutes later Dennis joined him on the scoresheet with another screamer.

The final nail in County’s coffin was applied by Martin, who beat King from the penalty sport in the 82nd minute.

Newport County (3-5-2): King, Webb, Bennett (Meyer 32), Ryan-Phillips, Twamley, Wilmott (Bright 78), Woodiwiss, Ellison, Baker, Amond (captain, Hillier 68), Janneh

Subs Unused: Dolan, Brain, Abrahams

Norwich U21 (4-4-2): Barden, Mumba, Omobamidele (captain), Tomkison, Nizet, Hondermarck (Rowe 83), Dronfield (Khumbeni 40), Mcalear, Martin, Omotoye, Dennis (Giurgi 78)

Subs Unused: Vaughan, McCracken, Springett, Warner

Referee: Will Finnie