Norwich City U23s 0 Brighton U23s 0 – Stevenage defender features as young Canaries warm up for semi-final

Ryan Johnson, right, in League Two action for Stevenage, played a trial match for Citys U23s at Car

Ryan Johnson, right, in League Two action for Stevenage, played a trial match for Citys U23s at Carrow Road. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

A hard fought stalemate brought Norwich City Under-23s' league season to a close.

City's youngsters were completing their Premier League Two campaign, already consigned to finishing bottom of Division Two, and warming up for Sunday's Premier League Cup semi-final against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.

The Canaries had a trialist in their line-up, 20-year-old Ryan Johnson starting alongside the experienced Michael Turner in the centre of defence.

The Birmingham-born former West Brom trainee is a Stevenage player and a Northern Ireland U21 international but recently had a trial at Tottenham Hotspur and has also been linked with Manchester United.

The strapping defender certainly made sure his presence was felt, barking orders at his temporary team-mates and winning some commanding headers, showing some of the attributes that saw him nominated for the League Two apprentice of the year at the 2015 EFL Awards.

Story of the match: Norwich City U23s 0 Brighton U23s 0

Diallang Jaiyesimi should have put City ahead in the fourth minute but thumped just wide from 15 yards from a low cross from the left from captain Jamal Lewis.

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Seagulls winger Joe Ward got on the end of a deep free-kick from keeper Robert Sanchez in the 19th minute and lobbed Paul Jones but saw his shot drop wide.

Jones saved the hosts five minutes later, coming out to smother striker Harry Cardwell's shot after a lovely defence-splitting pass from visiting skipper Dessie Hutchinson.

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Benny Ashley-Seal blazed over from close range for the Canaries in the 29th minute when he should have passed to an unmarked Ray Grant but the first half came to a slow finish, punctured by a nasty clash as Sanchez stopped Michee Efete reaching a Jaiyesimi cross, with both looking shaken and the City right-back having to go off.

The second half was one severely lacking in quality, with Turner being replaced on the hour mark. Glenn Middleton's low shot did force a good save in the 80th minute and the Seagulls nearly nicked it in injury-time only to see Max Sanders' shot hit the post and roll across the face of goal, as the scorers remained untroubled.

Norwich U23s: Jones; Efete (Aarons 45), Turner (Odusina 61), Johnson, Lewis (C); Crowe, Grant; Jaiyesimi (Hlynsson 82), Adams, Middleton; Ashley-Seal. Unused subs: Oxborough (GK), Higgs.

Brighton: Sanchez; Dallison, White, Hall (Davies 68), Cox; Forbes, Hutchinson (C), Molumby, Ward (Collar 76); Tilley; Cardwell (Sanders 76). Unused subs: Collings (GK), Barclay.

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 150 (estimated)

Watch reaction from interim U23s coach Matt Gill by pressing play on the video above.

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