First-half Chelsea flurry sees off young Canaries
Norwich City Under-18 0, Chelsea Under-18 3: Three first-half goals from Chelsea were enough to secure all three points in today's FA Premier Academy Under-18 League game at Colney.
Norwich City Under-18 0, Chelsea Under-18 3
Three first-half goals from Chelsea were enough to secure all three points in today's FA Premier Academy Under-18 League game at Colney.
The visitors took full advantage of a strong wind in the first 45 minutes and, while the Canaries more than matched them after the break, they rarely troubled Nick Hamann in the Blues goal.
With international call-ups over the past week, David Williams was forced to make a few changes, including giving starts for triallists Ben Strang and Sam Cutler.
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Chelsea were quickly into their stride with Steve Arnold called quickly into action to save from Ricardo Fernendes, but the City 'keeper was left rooted to the spot after 11 minutes when a 30-yard effort from Dean Furman moved dramatically in the wind to fly into the top corner of the net.
Chelsea continued to push forward and they extended their lead after 24 minutes when Furman weaved his way through the City defence to beat Arnold with a rising shot from the edge of the area.
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City then lost influential defender Adam Gusterson with a knee injury before the visitors all but wrapped the game up after 39 minutes when, from a corner, Liam Bridcutt was left completely unmarked at the far post to slide the ball home.
Just five minutes after the break, City had strong shouts for a penalty turned away by referee Shaw when substitute Andrew Fisk was wrestled to the ground.
Striker Asmat El Ouargui just failed to connect with a Robert Eagle corner, while at the other end a great tackle by Strang robbed Chelsea of what looked like a certain fourth goal.
Late in the game, Hamann pulled off his first meaningful save to deny Eagle, while City substitute Damon Lathrope saw a 25-yard effort deflected wide.
Norwich City Under-18: Arnold, Cutler (Lathrope, 70 min), Eagle, Gusterson (Fisk, 34 min), Strang, Howlett, Eames, Bexfield, El Ouargui, Muddel, Smart. Subs (not used) Rudd, Daley.
Chelsea Under-18: Hamann, Hutchinson, Workey, Corr, Bertrand, Bridcutt, Ferreira (Saarelma, 45 min), Furman, Cummings, Fernendes (Watkins, 70 min). Subs (not used) Russell.
City man match: Ben Strang