City under-18s got their 2012/13 campaign got off to a disappointing start on one of the hottest days of the year with a 6-1 defeat to Chelsea.
Adam Sadler had seen most of his second-year scholars called up to the EDS group that drew with Chelsea last night, so it was a young City selection with a few second years among the party, including George Swan, Sadiq El-Fitouri and Devante Cole.
It was a tough afternoon’s schooling for these scholars as Chelsea gave a finishing class of the highest order, clinically putting City to the sword with six well crafted goals.
Despite a lively opening from City and a decent penalty shout when Pozo was felled in the box, Reece Mitchell gave Chelsea the lead after 15 minutes with a cool finish that gave Ian Lawlor no chance.
Five minutes later, their advantage was doubled – this time it was Jordan Houghton who met a Chelsea free-kick with a downwards header that nestled into the bottom corner.
Chelsea’s midfield was an imposing proposition in the first 30 minutes, limiting City’s diminutive ball players to fractions of seconds on the ball, so a slight in-game reshuffle from Adam Sadler seemed to turn the tide, with Pozo reverting to a wide role where he enjoyed functioning as the out ball.
It was this element that produced City’s first goal after 33 minutes when Pozo forced his way to the byline and cut back for Cole to slot home with a simple finish to half the deficit.
Sadler’s men were almost level on the stroke of half-time after great work from George Glendon who exchanged passes to get one-on-one with the keeper but Mitchell Beeney produced a great save to keep Chelsea ahead.
Unfortunately, City weren’t able to maintain the momentum after the break and Chelsea's two goal advantage was restored three minutes into the second half when Ruben Loftus-Cheek finished expertly from the edge of the box after a great run.
It was four after the hour when Jermaine Boga fired in from range and City were in real danger of disappearing without a trace. The quality of finishing from the hosts was impeccable ad their fifth might have been the best of the lot, a curler around the keeper from substitute Colkett.
Their sixth was in the dying embers through Dabo – a rebound after Lawlor did so well to keep out the first.
The young City side battled on admirably for the remaining minutes and stuck to their footballing principles of playing out from the back which will surely bear fruit in the games to come.
They next face Middlesbrough on Saturday morning.
City 18s: Lawlor, El-Fitouri (Tattom), Swan, Leigh, Smith-Brown, Barker, Hardy (Almeida), Hutton, Glendon, Pozo, Cole (Horsfield).
Sub not used: O’Brien.
Chelsea: Beeney, Dabo, Muelba, Houghton, Wright, Loftus-Cheek, Kiwomya, Swift, Mitchell, Boga, Hunte.