Analysis

Under-18s reaction: Ed Brand on character and a cracking goal at Cobham

Friday’s win over Norwich provided another seven-goal thriller for Chelsea’s Under-18s, who came out on top in a memorable encounter at Cobham.

There was plenty of action in our Under-18 Premier League game at the start of the weekend and, after the first 45 minutes, we had Harvey Vale to thank for keeping us in the game with his goal to make the scores read 2-1 in favour of the visitors.

Our fortunes had turned by full-time though, Vale notching again after Norwich stretched their lead to three, which sparked Chelsea to complete a deserved comeback. Jude Soonsup-Bell followed his team-mate in recording a brace, his first coming in spectacular acrobatic fashion. The second and match-winner was a well-met header which sends Chelsea up to second in the league standings.

There was a lot for head coach Ed Brand to digest post-match and here we get his thoughts.

Immediate first-half assessment...

‘It was a contrasting half in terms of the scoreline and the feeling you get when you’re up in games compared to being behind,’ Brand told the official Chelsea website. ‘But in terms of how the game went, I thought that we created enough offensive chances to be level, if not ahead. But defensively we weren’t good enough from a team perspective.’

Our goal just before half-time and the response to Norwich’s third...

‘It was a great time to get a goal and Harvey took it well, just before half-time. He deserved it and was a standout performer in the game - his goal gave us a boost as a goal at that stage always gives the group belief,' continued Brand.

‘However, it changes almost instantly when Norwich score within a few minutes of the restart, but I was pleased with the character and how we responded from that point onwards. We fought for every ball and deserved our goals.’

Jude Soonsup-Bell’s brace...

‘Jude was excellent against Reading last week and he’s continued that form this week,' said Brand. 'He was a focal point for the team and I think he should have been walking off with at least the match ball. The header was excellent but the overhead kick was something special, which is down to the talent and confidence of the player. It was a fantastic goal.’

Schoolboys and deserved points...

‘To end the game with four schoolboys on the pitch reinforced what a fantastic effort it was from the lads. It was a real collective effort and those results can sometimes mean more to the team than when you win by a margin because it requires a little bit more from the team, who then have to show a different side to themselves. Overall I think it was a deserved three points.'

What's next?

Our youth team have a week of cup action up next. The Under-17 Premier League Cup gets underway at noon on Tuesday afternoon with the visit of Reading before we turn our attention to the 2019/20 FA Youth Cup semi-final against Manchester United at St. George's Park on Friday evening. The latter will be screened live on BT Sport, kick-off 7.45pm.

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