Owen Wallis's first goal of the season wasn't enough to help Norwich City's Under-23s to victory as they finished the calendar with a 1-1 draw at Brighton and Hove Albion.
Wallis rose highest on 50 minutes to head home a Todd Cantwell corner but Steven Alzate equalised midway through the second half which meant City would take a deserved point back to Norfolk.
Matt Gill welcomed FA Youth Cup stars Max Aarons, Bilal Kamal and Louis Lomas back to his starting eleven as well as the star man from that game, Adam Idah, who made his first start for the U23s. Wallis was also drafted back in with Timi Odusina suspended.
The opening 45 minutes was very quiet with both sides looking solid defensively and being patient, waiting for an opportunity to present itself.
City could have been awarded a penalty on 15 minutes when Adam Phillips’ cross hit the arm of Ben Hall. Referee Adam Penwell wasn't interested in the strong appeals though.
Then on 35 minutes, the visitors had a decent chance to take the lead. A long punt forward by Aston Oxborough was misjudged by Hall and Will Collar and it fell kindly for Idah racing through but he shot tamely into the arms of Robert Sanchez.
Brighton didn’t muster an effort on goal until the dying embers of the first-half but Alzate’s fierce strike from inside the penalty area was straight at Oxborough.
City’s opener which came shortly after the interval was via an unfamiliar source. Todd Cantwell’s corner’s was fiercely whipped into the six-yard box and Wallis nodded the ball into the far corner.
Brighton responded well to going behind and just minutes after Aaron Connolly hit the post from inside the box, they were level. Soufyan Ahannach’s cross found Alzate in acres of space in the area and he sidefooted into the bottom corner.
The hosts went closest to taking all three points in the final 20 minutes but their best chance came with George Cox hit the crossbar after cutting in from the left.
All in all, it was a professional display by Gill’s men as they rounded off 2017 with a point.