Photo: Thomas Lang

A brace from Kieron Bowie helped Fulham’s under 18s move back to the top of the Premier League south table as Steve Wigley’s side thrashed Norwich City 5-0 at the LSE this morning.

The young Whites recorded their third consecutive league win and Scottish forward Bowie, a summer arrival from Raith Rovers, was in fine form from the outset. Fulham could have gone in front from one of their very first attacks but Ollie O’Neil’s drive was well blocked by a Canaries defender.

Bowie grabbed his first goal on eight minutes when a swift break saw Mika Biereth drive down the right flank and his low cross was clinically converted by Bowie. Lewis Shipley made a terrific save to deny Fulham a second – keeping out a goalbound low drive from the increasingly influential O’Neil.

Norwich were operating mainly on the counter-attack but created a couple of opportunities to trouble the Fulham backline. Abu Kamara tested Alex Borto’s reflexes with a free-kick from a fair way out before a brilliant through ball from Saxon Earley sent Ken Aboh clear in the box. The forward got around Borto but was denied by a brilliant saving tackle from Ibane Bowat. Borto had to be alert to deny Kamara, who had tricked his way past a couple of Fulham defenders, as the visitors enjoyed their best spell of the contest.

Jay Stansfield was disappointed not to increase Fulham’s lead just before half-time, the teenager striker shooting narrowly over the crossbar after being teed up on the half-volley by some excellent approach play from O’Neil. Norwich came out reinvigorated after the break and Borto was forced into a smart save at his near post by Aboh.

That miss was to prove costly as Fulham went down the other end and doubled their lead. Bowie bagged his second of the match with a cool finish from just inside the penalty area and, just two minutes later, the hosts had another. Stansfield continued his fine form since returning from ankle surgery by emphatically heading home Bowat’s cross to effectively settled the contest.

To their great credit, Norwich weren’t about to lie down. They had a succession of shots blocked inside the Fulham box before Brad Hills drove wide. Fulham might have had a fourth following a serious goalmouth scramble with Idris Odutayo and Bowie both seeing their efforts cleared off the line. Bowie spurned a glorious opportunity to grab his hat-trick when he sent a free header over the bar with ten minutes to play.

Fulham were continuing to look dangerous with every attack and eventually the frenetic pace of the contest seemed to catch up with Norwich. Bowat added a fourth with a looping header that beat Reece Trueman from O’Neill’s excellent corner. The scoring wasn’t done there though – as substitute Olly Sanderson notching a fifth from close range in the third minute of stoppage time.

FULHAM U18s: Borto; D’Auria-Henry, Parkes, Bowat, Odutayo; Dibley-Dias (Lanquedoc 60), Harris (Araujo 80), O’Neill; Biereth (Sanderson 73), Stansfield, Bowie. Subs (not used): Antonsson Caton.

BOOKED: Parkes.

GOALS: Bowie (8, 56), Stansfield (58), Bowat (86), Sanderson (90+2).

NORWICH CITY U18s: Trueman, Jackson, Hills, Shipley, Okeowo, Duffy (Welch, 67), Brooke (Reindorf, 76), Matos, Kamara (Alidor-Hamilton, 61), Aboh.

BOOKED: Earley.