|28.01.12 Norwich City Under-18s 2 Chelsea Under-18s 1|
At the forth time of asking this month Norwich City finally got the better of Chelsea when Ricky Martin’s side picked up all three points with a 2-1 win at Colney.
Earlier this month Chelsea knocked Martin’s side out of the F.A. Youth Cup after a penalty shoot out. Then both the first team and the reserves were held to draws by the Blues, but on Saturday Chelsea had no answer to an impressive Norwich performance in front of an appreciative Colney crowd.
The Canaries almost opened the scoring inside the first couple of minutes when Josh Murphy raced clear of the defence but when he attempted to round Mitchell Beeney in the Chelsea goal he pushed the ball to wide allowing the defence to recover.
Captain Michael Clunan saw a free kick turned round for a corner from which Taylor McKenzie crashed a header into the side netting.
On their first real attack Chelsea came close to getting the opening goal when Amin Affane struck the bottom of the post with a free kick.
Harry Toffolo sent a free kick just over the crossbar while Tom Howard saw a shot saved by City keeper Conor Cable.
On 37 minutes Norwich opened the scoring when Murphy cut in from the right. Beeney was on hand to block the City winger’s first effort but Murphy picked up the loose ball and from a tight angle he drove the ball past two defenders into the net.
With 45 minutes on the clock Norwich extended their lead when Toffolo made a great interception before picking out Jamar Loza who drove a spectacular effort into the far corner.
Chelsea made two changes as the second half got underway but it was City who continued where they had left off when Toffolo sent in an inviting cross that Cameron McGeehan headed back into the danger area and with McKenzie’s header heading for the bottom corner it needed a great save from Beeney to stop Norwich going three up.
It was the signal for Chelsea to step their game up as Norwich came under increase pressure at the back, but they defended well and it was not until the 90th minute that Chelsea pulled a goal back through substitute Reece Mitchell. It made for a nervous final few minutes as City weathered the storm to claim all three points.
City Line-Up: Cable, Norman, Toffolo, Clunan, Barker, McKenzie, Hall-Johnson [Carroll 77], McGeehan, Loza, Dobbs [Florence 64], Josh Murphy [Jacob Murphy 51].
Subs Not Used: McFadden, Peacock.
Chelsea Line-Up: Beeney, Gordon [Nortey 45], Davey, Nkumu, Nditi, Ake, Howard [Seremba 45], Swift, Feruz, Baker, Affane [Mitchell 85].
Subs Not Used: Osmanovic, Killip.
Norwich City Man of the Match: Harry Toffolo.
Report and Photos courtesy John Landamore