England coach Gareth Southgate kept faith with the side which beat USA Under-23s on Thursday as the revamped team looked to move on from finishing bottom of their group at this summer's European Championship.
The visitors dominated the early possession but were nearly caught out when Jordan Pickford, making his first competitive start in goal for the Under-21s, did well to rush off his line and deny Veton Berisha inside three minutes.
Cauley Woodrow saw his powerful drive from the edge of the area blocked as England registered their first attempt on goal, but Norway came within inches of opening the scoring when Tottenham's Dele Alli nearly put the ball into his own net from a Thomas Grogaard cross.
The hosts came even closer just three minutes later when Ghayas Zahid curled an effort towards goal from the edge of the box, but was unlucky to see it rebound off the crossbar with Pickford beaten.
The pace of Jordon Ibe and Nathan Redmond caused problems for the Norwegian full-backs but could not yield a genuine goalscoring opportunity until England were handed a golden chance for a breakthrough just before the half-time whistle.
Redmond burst into the penalty area and was felled by Norway captain Jonas Gronner, and new England skipper Ward-Prowse converted confidently to hand the visitors the lead somewhat against the run of play.