Under-18s report: Norwich City 1 Chelsea 3
The Chelsea Under-18s continued our winning start to the season at that level by securing a third consecutive victory away at Norwich City.
The Blues had to battle the elements as well as our opponents in a wet and windy Norfolk, with the match beginning under a torrential downpour, but came out on top thanks to another impressive display in the final third, bringing our total for 2021/22 so far to 15 goals from three games.
It took us less than 20 minutes to open the scoring, as Zain Silcott-Duberry had too much pace for Ola Okeowo down the right as Teddy Curd’s long kick upfield evaded the Norwich defender, resulting in the Chelsea winger being fouled in a promising position.
Castledine and Foyo fight for possession in the rain
The free-kick was curled towards the back post left-footed by Lewis Hall, where Malik Mothersille did well to track the ball through the wind and rain. He rose highest to meet the cross and head down into the near corner, putting his name on the scoresheet for the second game in a row.
However, the Canaries were level before half-time, and it was a goal the Blues will feel could have been avoided. Brodi Hughes strode out of defence, but a breakdown in communication with Samuel Rak-Sakyi allowed Norwich’s Osman Foyo to pick up a loose pass in a central position just inside his own half. With Chelsea caught short on numbers at the back, he was allowed to carry the ball to the edge of our box unchallenged before curling a shot around Curd and inside the far post.
It didn’t take us long to regain the lead after the break, though, with 10 minutes of the second half having been played when Ronnie Stutter made it 2-1. Leo Castledine deserves plenty of credit as he evaded two Norwich players with a powerful run under heavy pressure before his low drive from distance struck the base of the right-hand post, but Stutter still had plenty to do with the rebound, as he found the net with a first-time finish from a difficult angle.
We had to wait until injury time to extend our lead, but when the third goal arrived it was once again created by good work from Hall and Castledine. A quick one-two in the left channel between those two took the Norwich midfielders out of play, before Hall curled a pass into the box towards Stutter’s run at the far post.
For a second it looked like goalkeeper Jayden St Paul was going to be able to gather and snuff out the chance, but he was hesitant coming off his line, allowing Stutter to beat him to the ball. The Blues winger nicked it away from the keeper and headed in from close range to make sure, giving our lead the safety margin it needed late on.