Bryan (11 mins and 60 mins), Ambrose (23 mins), Maffeo (34 mins)
- Match reports
- 26 April 2014 16:50
- Posted by @roline_mcfc
City under-18s clinched the Northern Division title with a 4-0 win over Chelsea at the Cobham Training Centre on Saturday.
A brace from Kean Bryan plus goals from Thierry Ambrose and Pablo Maffeo - accompanied by Everton's failure to win at Tottenham - ensured the Blues completed the league campaign in top spot, whilst also securing a home draw for the resulting play-off semi-final.
With just two games of the season remaining, Jason Wilcox's side went into this clash unaware of the Toffees' result but in the knowledge a win would all-but guarantee a first-placed finish, thanks to the Blues' significantly superior goal difference over the Merseysiders.
In a fortunate turn of events for City, Chelsea's preparations for the game were largely hindered. With more than one eye on Monday night's FA Youth Cup final first leg, the West London outfit opted to field no fewer than ten schoolboys in their starting line-up, including five under-15s.
City boss Wilcox however was unwilling to take any chances, making just one change to the side that comfortably despatched West Ham 3-0 last time out. Bryan replaced Tom Holland in midfield, having found the net from the bench against the Hammers.
On the back of three successive wins, it didn't take long for the young Blues to find their foothold in this encounter.
After just two minutes, the visitors were awarded a penalty after George Brady upended Denzeil Boadu in the box. It wouldn't prove to be the perfect start though as Brandon Barker stepped up to take the spot-kick only to see it saved by Chelsea debutant Jared Thompson.
That setback could have set the nerves jangling but just six minutes later, City were presented with another chance to break the deadlock with another penalty. This time, it was Ambrose who was felled in the area and after the referee pointed to the spot, Bryan duly converted.
Even with such a slender lead, against a young and inexperienced Chelsea side, there looked to be no doubt as to who would emerge victorious from this game and on 23 minutes, City doubled their advantage.
Barker embarked on a trademark attacking run down the left before feeding Ambrose, who swivelled and fired in his 23rd goal of an incredible season.
The Blues were three clear before half time, when right-back Maffeo marauded forward, having won possession in midfield. After playing a neat one-two with Ambrose, the Spaniard rolled the ball into the bottom corner to further tighten City's grasp on the championship.
Ambrose then saw an effort sail over the bar before Jack Byrne tried his luck from long-range, only for his shot to zip wide.
After the break, the visitors continued where they left off and added a fourth on the hour mark. When the champions elect were awarded a free-kick 20 yards out, Bryan lashed a low shot past Thompson to complete the scoring with his second of the afternoon.
Jorge Intima did almost add a fifth but his strike was well-blocked by Brady.
So, the Blues ran out 4-0 winners but in all honesty, the age difference between the two sides was clear to see throughout the game. Still, regardless of the quality of the opposition, City had a job to do and they executed it to perfection.
Now, Wilcox's side march on to the play-offs where they will hope to end the season as National Champions.