Chelsea Under-18s cruised into the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup with a comfortable win over Huddersfield Town at Kingsmeadow last night.
An impressive display saw the Blues dominate Huddersfield in the Youth Cup on Wednesday evening as passage was secured into the fourth round of the competition.
Under-18s head coach Ed Brand was happy with his team and thought they could have scored even more on the night.
‘Both the result and performance were pleasing’, Brand told the official Chelsea website. ‘It would’ve been nice for the boys to have got the fifth, sixth and seventh that I thought our play deserved because we were dominant against a very well-organised Huddersfield team who obviously did their homework against us.
‘They made it difficult for us to stamp what we wanted to do on the game but as it wore on I thought our possession told, spaces started to open up and the impact of the substitutes was good. It was a very pleasing night, four goals, clean sheet, no injuries and into the next round.’
It was the perfect start for Chelsea last night and one little saw coming as Armando Broja found the net after 58 seconds and Brand believes an early lead was very beneficial.
‘You will never complain when you get an early lead, it settles nerves and can provide belief and momentum that you want from the start,’ he explained.
‘Sometimes it can be slightly strange though because if you score too early you can be guilty of taking your foot off the gas a little bit and start getting a bit complacent. I didn’t think that was the case tonight - it took a little bit longer for us to really assert our authority on to the game but overall I thought the boys did really well.’
Broja was the latest Chelsea player to bag a hat-trick against Huddersfield in the Youth Cup, following in the footsteps of Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke. Brand praised the Albania youth international’s performance but also handed credit to the second-half replacements.
‘I’m delighted for him [Broja], he’s just done what he’s been doing all season, which is finding the back of the net – especially at Under-18s level,’ he said of the forward's performance. ‘George Nunn came on, maybe not for long enough, but he almost got a goal himself and I thought his energy and work-rate was excellent.
‘There’s competition for places and it’s very difficult to pick a team but it’s a nice problem to have. Armando and the team as a whole did well. I think Dynel Simeu did very well in the second half, he showed some personality and really lifted the lads’ tempo.’
Last night was the Academy’s first game at Kingsmeadow this season and Brand wants to make it feel like an Academy home in years to come.
‘It was brilliant to play at Kingsmeadow. With the Women’s team playing here, it’s already a Chelsea home but we want to make it an Academy home as well. We spoke about making sure we christen this place with a good performance and I think the boys did that tonight.’
The Blues now know their fourth round opponents - Bradford City - and Brand is excited ahead of what he perceives to be a difficult challenge.
‘I expect another difficult game from Bradford,' added Brand. 'They are clearly a very good team and knocked out a strong Stoke side who have been playing well in the northern league. They are not to be underestimated or taken lightly – we won’t be doing that, we will be prepared and ready and we're very much looking forward to it.'