Adams happy with determination of youngstersNEIL Adams said he was pleased with his side’s resilience after City’s Under-18s drew 1-1 with Chelsea in a competitive league encounter at Colney on Tuesday afternoon.
Harvey Hodd got the young Canaries’ only goal, finishing calmly ten minutes before half-time after George Cole had fired the visitors into the lead with a direct-free kick early on.
Chelsea looked the more likely to score after the break but Adams’ team held on for a point in the re-run of last year’s FA Youth Cup Final.
“I’m happy with the result. I think Chelsea will be a little disappointed though as I thought they were better than us today, generally,” he said when speaking exclusively to canaries.co.uk after the game.
“We did a lot of good things as a team though – particularly defending, we kept our shape well and we put bodies in front of the ball. That’s a good quality to have in football.
“We had to take two off at half-time, so credit to the players – I’ve said that to them. They stuck to their task when lesser teams would have crumbled and got beaten, so that’s what I was pleased with more than anything.”
City started the game on the front foot and should have scored after just three minutes – Hodd’s header was met by skipper Cameron Norman in the six-yard box, but he somehow managed to nod over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The visitors made them pay on 14 minutes with the game’s opening goal. Kasey Palmer was brought down by Ben Wyatt 25 yards from goal, and Cole’s dipping free-kick evaded Liam Priestley and gave Chelsea the lead.
Chike Kandi fluffed his lines when trying to add a second before City levelled proceedings on 35 minutes in superb fashion.
Henry Randall picked up possession deep in his own half and picked out Hodd with a delightful pass, and City’s left-sided midfielder did the rest; knocking the ball past his marker with his first touch and then beating Bradley Collins at his near-post.
HALF-TIME: Norwich City 1-1 Chelsea
City were forced into the two changes at the break with Cameron King, who was suffering from blurred vision, and Christian Scales, who was struck down by a calf strain, replaced by Ray Grant and Harrison Heath.
Chelsea were the side on the offensive in the early stages of the half and had a trio of close efforts through Jay da Silva, who hit the post, Cole and then Kandi.
Heath stung Collins’ glove with a powerful shot for City, but Priestley was the more active goalkeeper, keeping out Cole’s dipping shot well with quarter of an hour left on the clock.
City were largely difficult to break down at the back, though, and stood firm to claim an important point and to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
On Hodd’s goal, Adams added: “It was a good ball – not a long ball, a long pass – and Harvey’s first touch was excellent and it was a good finish.”
The Under-18s are next in action this Saturday, when they travel to Manchester United (11am kick-off).
FULL-TIME: Norwich City 1-1 Chelsea
GOALS: Norwich City: Harvey Hodd (35) – Chelsea: George Cole (14)
NORWICH CITY: Priestley; Efete, Burgess, Wyatt, Scales (Grant 45); Norman (c), King (Heath 45), Randall, Hodd; Eaton-Collins (O Cole 87); Simpson. Subs not used: Oxborough (GK), Fox.
CHELSEA: Collins; Dabo (Butungu 87), Aina (Tomori 65), Muleba, Da Silva, Ali, Abraham, Musonda, Kandi (Scott 65), Palmer, G Cole. Subs not used: Tupper (GK), Clarke-Salter.