Norwich City 1-0 Chelsea
The FA Youth Cup
The Final first leg
7.45pm, Monday 29 April 2013
Carrow Road, Norwich City FC
Live on ITV4
by Louie Martin
Norwich City U18 coach Neil Adams was delighted his young charges rewarded a superb Carrow Road crowd with an FA Youth Cup Final first leg win - but he knows the Canaries still have a lot of work to finish the job against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
City will take a 1-0 lead to west London thanks to captain Cameron McGeehan’s added-time penalty after an entertaining first clash in front of a crowd of almost 22,000.
The former Norwich and Oldham midfielder said: “The fans turned out in absolutely phenomenal numbers.
“To nearly fill the ground for a youth team game, that’s the Norwich fans for you. They come out and support the teams whatever.
“So it was really good to get that late goal and obviously it gives us an opportunity. But it’s going to be a tough task for us. We know how good Chelsea are.
“They are an excellent side. Having watched Chelsea play, I’ve seen them score goals for fun. They look like they can score whenever they feel like it, they are that good.
“So we’ve got a big job to do in the second leg and if we apply ourselves with the desire and determination we showed in the first leg, we’ll give it a good go.”
The Chelsea players and staff made a quick getaway following Monday’s first leg defeat, no doubt immediately looking to the return fixture on Monday 13 May.
And McGeehan may well be doing likewise - for sentimental as well as competitive reasons. He joined Chelsea from Fulham when he was ten and he spent six years with the Blues before moving to East Anglia.
And McGeehan’s story will turn full circle with the second leg at Stamford Bridge against a host of players he grew up alongside, having booked City’s first leg lead.
He said: “Once the game starts you forget you are playing against your old mates.
“We’ll look to bottle this atmosphere and use it in the second leg. The crowd was amazing. It spurs you on that extra yard, when you haven’t had the ball for a while, when you’re cramping up. You hear them cheering you on and it gives you that little boost, which we all needed.
“And that paid dividends in the end with the goal we got.
“We did well in this game and hopefully we’ll do the same job at Stamford Bridge.”
Britt, Norman, McFadden, Toffolo, Wyatt; McGeehan (C), Jacob Murphy, Randall, King (Young 75), Joshua Murphy, Morris
Substitutes not used Reading (GK), Lokko, Hodd, Brown.
Beeney, Aina, Davey, Ake, Wright, Baker (C), Kiwomya, Loftus-Cheek, Colkett (Swift 60), Boga, Feruz (Musonda 73)
Substitutes not used Killip (GK), Conroy, Dabo, Musonda.
Referee Neil Swarbrick