Wednesday 17 January 2018

FA Cup still holds magic for Norwich's Murphy twins

Norwich City 1 Fulham 1

Josh Murphy
Josh Murphy

Gerry Cox

Anyone wondering whether the FA Cup still holds its magic should look no further than Norwich, where, for one family at least, this was a special day.

Josh Murphy, 18, gave a man-of-the-match performance on his first start for the Canaries before being replaced by his twin brother Jacob, who was also making his debut.

The local youngsters were part of the Norwich side that beat Chelsea to win the FA Youth Cup last season, and Josh in particular was a constant threat on the left. Having gone close on a number of occasions, he crossed for Robert Snodgrass to head Norwich's equaliser shortly after Darren Bent had given Fulham the lead.

And with a replay set for Craven Cottage on January 14, the youngsters will surely get another chance to shine. "Josh did very well, and we know he is a real prospect," Norwich manager Chris Hughton said. "But he's still only 18 and you want to protect young players from any hype."

Like Hughton, Rene Meulensteen gave four youngsters their debuts as both managers made wholesale changes.

Josh Murphy helped Norwich make the early running, having two shots saved by David Stockdale, before Fulham took the lead against the run of play. Bent, replacing Dimitar Berbatov, atoned for an earlier miss when, in the 39th minute, he rose above Mark Bunn to head home.

Norwich hit back quickly via Snodgrass's diving header.

In the second half Stockdale made a terrific low save to keep out Ricky van Wolfswinkel, a save Meulensteen compared to Gordon Banks's famous stop against Pele in 1970.

Irish Independent

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