Match Reports

Norwich City U18s suffer defeat to Chelsea

Norwich City Under-18s took a 3-1 loss to Chelsea at the Lotus Training Centre on Saturday afternoon.

The young Canaries saw two changes from the side that took heavy defeat to Aston Villa last week, with Brad Hills and Kenny Coker returning to the starting XI.

City started the better of the two sides early on, Kenny Coker heading Oscar Thorn’s pinpoint cross over the bar in their first change in front of goal.

Just ten minutes later, Michael Reindorf almost gave City the lead on their fast-paced counter-attack, but a block from the last man saw his chance deflect away from danger.

Having not found the back of the net through their early chances, Chelsea would go on to take the lead with their first on-target effort, finding the back of the net past Jayden St Paul with a close-range header.

In a tightly-contested first half, City would have to be patient until the 38th minute for their next shot on goal, but it was well worth the wait.

Charging in from deep, midfielder Osman Foyo looked up and dared to try his luck against the retreating Chelsea defence, curling a shot into the top corner from outside the 18-yard box to level before half time.

Coming out for the second half, the Blues wasted no time in getting their momentum back, finding the lead once again in the 55th minute. Firing from the edge of the box and seeing their shot ricochet off the post, the ball kindly fell out to Ronnie Stutter, who made no mistake with his textbook finish to make it 2-1.

After another neck-and-neck half, Chelsea thought they’d killed the game off with their header at the back post nestling into the bottom corner, but the linesman’s flag was raised for offside, keeping City in the running.

Despite City’s late shift to find the leveller in the last 20 minutes, Chelsea wouldn’t make the same offside error again as they found their third and final goal. Crossing the ball into the Canaries’ box, St Paul came to retrieve but missed his catch, leaving the Stutter an open net to fire into for his second.

A second half of pressing high, defending compactly and pressuring the Blues, it was 45 minutes the young Canaries felt they deserved more from as they battled it out in the rainy conditions. Hunting the equaliser, just to concede an unfortunate goal in the last minute, Chelsea would go on to take all three points in their 3-1 win.

Norwich City U18s starting XI: St Paul, Alidor-Hamilton (Jambang, 52), Hills, Shipley, Okeowo, Thorn, Foyo, Brooke, Reindorf, Coker, Duffy (Aboh, 62) Subs not used: Trueman, Trialist Goals: Foyo (38) Bookings: Duffy (34), Brooke (81)

Chelsea U18s starting XI: Boniface, Castledine, Curd, Hall, Hughes, Mothersille, Olise, Rak-Sakyi, Silcott-Duberry, Stutter, Tobin Subs not used: Golding, Merrick Goals: Mothersille (19), Stutter (55), Stutter (90+2) Bookings: Flower (89)

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