After back to back academy wins and clean sheets, Chelsea’s Under-18s came back to Earth this weekend with a 2-1 defeat away to impressive Coventry City. For the second week in a row, the Blues were reduced to ten men, with Kaby becoming this week’s dismissal.
Coventry had the best of the opening stages and pressed high up the pitch, looking to force the issue on the visitors. Callum Wilson forced an early error from Kenny Strickland and got on the end of a cross from Rob Ogleby but couldn’t find the target. However, it wasn’t to be long before they did find the net, as the Blues back line was beaten by a ball over the top and Robert Ogleby slotted away. Fortunately for Dermot Drummy’s boys though, an offside flag meant that the scores remained level.
Shortly after the half hour mark however, Coventry had the lead their efforts had deserved. Connor Gudger’s cross went through a cluster of players, and Joel Grandison was able to drive the ball home on the half volley at the far post, leaving Sam Walker helpless. Grandison’s pace and power had caused problems all game and he deservedly added to his goal tally for the season.
The lead wasn’t to last long though, and the equaliser came a mere six minutes later. A long ball this time caused problems for the home defence and Marko Mitrovic used his size to get to the ball and then smashed a stunning long range volley which Michael Quirke had no chance of keeping out. The Swede has been in fantastic form lately and nearly had a second before the break when a chipped effort hit the post, with Quirke helpless having smothered a chance from Billy Knott.
In the dying embers of the first half, Chelsea were reduced to ten men. After Milan Lalkovic’s red card at Bristol City last week, it was the turn of Kaby this week to leave the match early. Having already been booked, Chelsea’s captain made what was deemed a potentially dangerous challenge on Conor Thomas and was duly given his marching orders. It meant Drummy adjusted to one up front, and handed Coventry the advantage.
They had all of the play in the second half, with Grandison going agonisingly close, and Wilson guilty of missing a sitter, but it was another direct play which brought about the winner. Goalkeeper Quirke launched a long ball, which Ogleby took under control impressively before unleashing a nice volley into the bottom corner for the goal which ultimately took the points.
Once more it took a goal to press Chelsea into action and Conor Clifford went closest to getting the team back on terms again, first pulling a shot wide from a good position, then audaciously almost scoring from inside his own half. A goalline clearance from Connor Grogan was countered at the other end by Ogleby striking the woodwork, but an all action game was to end in defeat for Chelsea, who must pick themselves up ahead of next weekend’s return to Cobham for the visit of Watford.
You can read Coventry’s report here, with Chelsea’s due to follow soon.
Team: Walker, Sampayo (Deen-Conteh), Strickland, Mills, Hayden, Clifford, Rodgers, McEachran, Kaby (c), Knott (Devyne), Mitrovic (Prosenik)
Red Card: Kaby