Cambridge United’s Under 15s put on a spirited display in the latest Abbey Stadium academy fixture against Chelsea, which ended with the Blues taking the spoils 1-2.
The U’s clearly buoyed to once again be featuring on the first team surface in front of a strong home support, got off to a lightening start. Having made a key one on one save at one end of the field, United produced the perfect counter attack to tuck away the opening goal inside two minutes.
The home side continued to grow into the opening half of the match and cracked the Chelsea woodwork with a mid-range effort that bounced down onto the goal line and within fractions of doubling the U’s lead.
Moments before half time United did indeed find the back of the Chelsea net again when a deflected shot was snaffled over the line, only for the effort to be chalked off for offside.
The visitors equalised six minutes into the second half with a diving header at the back post, and completed the turnaround ten minutes later when a fine lobbed strike from 20 yards got the better of United to put the Blues 1-2 ahead.
The U’s persevered though and almost crafted a fantastic leveller during the final quarter of the match which saw them carve Chelsea open with a fine move that included a pair of midfield and defence splitting passes, but they weren’t able to add the finishing touch ten yards from goal.
Cambridge United Academy Coach Luke Chadwick commented post-match: “We're disappointed not to have got at least got a draw from the game, because I felt we created more than enough chances to do that.
“Chelsea have got a huge amount of quality and big numbers of players that they brought to the game. They were good but I really did feel we could have got a little more out of the game.
“Our tactics in the first half were to sit off them to bring them onto us, and it looked like a great game plan when we scored on the counter early on.
“We possibly may have scored a bit early because it was almost as if we found ourselves thinking, ‘we’re beating Chelsea 1-0 here and maybe we can’t go on and get another one’. We ended up trying to stop them scoring rather than go again ourselves when I felt there was space there for us to do that.
“But as I say there’s a tinge on disappointment not to have got a result, although overall it was another great night. 681 supporters here is again testament to the Club.”