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Match Reports

U23 REPORT: ALBION 1 NORWICH CITY 1

18 December 2017

Paul Hazlewood
Will Collar tussles for the ball against Norwich City.
  • Albion claim a point at home to Norwich City
  • Owen Wallis heads the Canaries in front
  • Steven Alzate replies for the Seagulls
  • Simon Rusk’s team are seven league games unbeaten

Brighton & Hove & Hove Albion’s under-23s extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League 2 Division 2 to seven games, as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with Norwich City at the Checkatrade.com Stadium this evening.

Owen Wallis headed the visitors in front after the break, and after creating numerous chances in front of goal, the Seagulls hit back through Steven Alzate to claim a share of the spoils in Sussex.

It was a fairly uneventful start to the game, as both teams searched for more quality inside the final third of the pitch, with the majority of play switching between halves without causing any danger.

The visitors had a claim for a penalty after 15 minutes when Adam Phillips attempted a square pass across Albion’s 18-yard box, and despite Norwich’s calls for a penalty after the ball struck Will Collar, the referee waved on play.

Soufyan Ahannach ran onto the ball and drilled a low shot towards goal for Albion, but the Dutchman’s tame, goal-bound effort was blocked on the edge of Norwich’s penalty area.

Ben Hall then made an important block from Todd Cantwell’s close-range strike, before Robert Sanchez made a comfortable save to deny Adam Idah after the striker found himself one-on-one with Albion’s Spanish shot-stopper.

Alzate and Henrik Bjordal both had efforts shortly before the break, with the former drilling a shot straight at Canaries goalkeeper Aston Oxborough, before Albion’s Norwegian winger fired over the crossbar from a tight angle.

Just five minutes after the teams came back out for the second half, the Seagulls found themselves behind when Wallis powerfully headed home from Cantwell’s corner.

Soon after the hour mark, Aaron Connolly had two great chances to level the game, but Oxborough made a smart save low down before the Irishman’s second attempt crashed back off the post from close range.

But the Seagulls found their equalising goal inside the next minute, as Ahannach rolled the ball back for Alzate in the penalty, and the forward showed composure to pick out the bottom corner and make it 1-1.

George Cox almost put his team in front as he surged down the wing and unleashed a left-footed shot, but the full-back’s powerful effort came back off the crossbar from an acute angle.

Max Sanders then saw a long-range effort drop just wide of the post, before Ahannach curled a free-kick inches wide of the target, as Albion pushed for a late winner.

But Simon Rusk’s side ran out of time and had to settle for a point, as they continued to show how tough they are to beat in the Premier League 2 Division 2, going into the Christmas break.

ALBION: Sanchez; Mateju, Collar, Hall, Cox; Sanders, Hutchinson; Bjordal (A.Davies 74), Alzate, Ahannach; Connolly.

Subs not used: Vose (GK), Kerr, Moore, Ajiboye.


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