Norwich City Under-23s 1 Blackburn Rovers Under-23s 1: Russell Martin features for Canaries youngsters
PUBLISHED: 17:03 17 September 2017 | UPDATED: 17:03 17 September 2017
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Norwich City defender Russell Martin was given some match action during the Canaries’ under-23s’ 1-1 draw against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday.
The club captain has been overlooked by head coach Daniel Farke since the Canaries’ 4-0 defeat at Millwall but the 31-year-old started at Carrow Road alongside goalkeeper Paul Jones. Martin helped Norwich fight back from a goal down against Rovers, who struck first through Joseph Nuttall. However, an excellent volley from Tristan Abrahams, back from suspension after his red card against Newcastle, earned a share of the spoils and maintain the Under-23s’ unbeaten record this season in Premier League 2.
The game was very even in the opening 15 minutes with both sides enjoying spells in possession. However, it was Blackburn who drew first blood when Joseph Nuttall rose highest to nod the ball past Jones.
City responded in emphatic fashion though just four minutes later. A long ball was flicked on by Pierre Fonkeu into the path of Abrahams who lashed an unstoppable half-volley into the top corner.
The hosts went close to taking the lead 10 minutes later. Fonkeu cut inside from the left and squeezed the ball through to Savvas Mourgos who was unlucky with his strike from a tight angle whistling wide of the post. However, Nuttall went close to adding to his tally on 36 minutes when he headed over from a corner.
Gill introduced Scotland U19 international Glenn Middleton on the hour mark and he was in the thick of the action instantly, forcing Andrew Fisher into action at his near post after a powerful, long-range strike.
Moments later, Max Aarons burst down the left-hand side and showed great awareness to lay the ball back to Mourgos who stung the palms of Fisher from the edge of the box.
Nuttall was the main threat for Blackburn and he could have scored again on 67 minutes but he sliced his effort well over the bar.
Nuttall twice wasted headers from good positions in the final ten minutes but the match ended on a sour note when Rovers captain Lewis Hardcastle was shown a red card.