After a pulsating 120 minutes in the FA Youth Cup, Chelsea are through to the fifth round of the competition, an achievement discussed here by Under-18s manager Ed Brand and attacker Harvey Vale.
Our young Blues battled hard to a 3-2 win after extra-time with Watford proving to be a tougher test than many expected. The goalscorers yesterday were Malik Mothersille and Vale who scored twice, and we caught up with the latter for his thoughts on the game as well as his own performance.
‘I felt like as a team, it was not our best performance, but we stuck together really well,’ he said. ‘Overall, I do believe we deserved to win but Watford were tough opponents and we wish them luck in their season.
‘I think you saw our fitness was better than theirs, with their players going down with cramp and ours looking strong, we used that as extra motivation to get the job done.’
‘The coaches sat me down and showed me a lot of film of the positions I should be in if I want to improve my goal tally. With the training sessions working on finishing, I think I am becoming more comfortable in front of goal.’
Brand also reflected on the game and provided his assessment of the performance and the result.
‘I am delighted with the win and delighted to be in the next round of the competition. I would like to send a huge amount of credit to the Watford team and their coaching staff as they gave us a real game.
‘It had a real cup-tie feel at times and there were moments where it could have gone either way, however I believe we had more than enough chances over the course of the game to have been out of sight.’
‘Prince [Adegoke] had a great game but unfortunately the timing of his error I believe galvanised the home team and gave them confidence, however you look at how this was a real learning curve for a lot of players.
‘We dug in really well and showed great mentality and strength to get the job done. We understand that there are things we can improve on, but the boys deserve credit as with preparation being so short, I can only commend their efforts.’