Norwich City U18s 3, Chelsea U18s 2
John Landamore With their FA Youth Cup clash against Everton next Thursday, City's Academy side had the perfect warm-up with an enthralling 3-2 victory over Chelsea at Colney.
With their FA Youth Cup clash against Everton next Thursday, City's Academy side had the perfect warm-up with an enthralling 3-2 victory over Chelsea at Colney. Ricky Martin was joined on the bench by Pink'un scribe Neil Adams, as a larger than average crowd braved the cold conditions as the game got under way.
City keeper Declan Rudd was quickly called into action, turning an in-swinging corner over the bar. Moments later, he produced a fine save to deny Daniel Philliskirk, while moments after that he needed two attempts to save a free-kick from Jacopo Saza that took a wicked deflection.
City's first attempt at goal almost paid dividends as Danny Kelly saw his shot go just inches over the crossbar. Martin was forced into an early substitution when Richard Brindley came off with a thigh injury, making way for Damon Lathrope. Tom Adeyemi sent in a curling effort that Jan Sebek in the Chelsea goal gathered at the second attempt.
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The hard-working Nick Davey was giving the Chelsea defence plenty to think about, and it was he who provided the cross that saw a shot from Luke Daley blocked in the six-yard box.
Deep in first-half stoppage time, Chelsea opened the scoring when, from a left-wing cross, Marko MITROVIC glanced a header beyond the reach of Rudd.
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City needed just two minutes of the second half to draw level, when LATHROPE curled a free-kick beyond Sebek with Chelsea still organising their wall.
Just five minutes later, and to the delight of the Colney regulars, the Canaries took the lead when DAVEY robbed the full-back to fire the ball in off the underside of the crossbar. City were well on top at this stage, with Kelly forcing Sebek into a good save before he then turned provider as Sebek needed two attempts to deny the City captain Korey Smith.
With 76 minutes on the clock Chelsea pulled themselves level when the City defence were caught napping, allowing MITROVIC the simplest of tap-ins.
Both sides went all out for the winner, and that came on 83 minutes, when Kelly sent ADEYEMI clear, and he fired the ball into the far corner beyond the outstretched Sebek.
t Norwich City: Rudd, Francomb, Brindley (Lathrope 23), Omoregie, Dumic, Stephens, Davey, Adeyemi, Kelly, Smith, Daley (Dawkin 65). Subs not used: Clarke, Steer, Reeves.
t Chelsea: Sebek, Ahmed (B Clifford 86), Hayden, Ince, Tabor, Saza, Phillip (Conteh 60), C Clifford, Mitrovic, Philliskirk, Lalkovic. Subs not used: Walker.
t Norwich City Man of the Match: Danny Kelly.
t It was honours even for Dean Rastrick's under 16s, who drew 1-1 with Chelsea with Patrick Drmolo scoring for the Canaries, with Sam Grieverson saving a first-half penalty for City.