A very well attended FA Youth Cup semifinal at the City Ground saw home side Nottingham Forest stage a late show to overturn a 1-0 deficit and win 3-1 to advance to the final, ending Chelsea’s most dramatic run in this year’s competition at the penultimate hurdle.
It was certainly a hard-fought match for much of the 90 minutes, with Forest showing plenty of the qualities that recently saw them beat league-leaders Manchester City in the U18 Premier League (North) as well. They wasted a couple great openings in the first-half, then proceeded to hit the crossbar early in the second-half as well.
Forest may have been the better team through 60, but Chelsea, who were without (an injured?) Harvey Vale, made them play for their wastefulness as Charlie Webster got a bit of luck and saw a deflected shot loop and into the far corner of the net. Chelsea then could’ve easily doubled our lead, but Malik Mothersille wasted a couple excellent chances of his own.
Chelsea: Adegoke, Thomas, Hughes, Gilchrist, Williams, Tauriainen, Stutter, Webster, Soonsup-Bell, Mothersille, Hall.— Chelsea Youth (@chelseayouth) April 4, 2022
Subs: Abu, Curd, Castledine, Badley-Morgan, Gee, Silcott-Duberry, Mendel-Idowu. pic.twitter.com/AqmQGTgn4v
Still, it looked like the Baby Blues would see the game through and set up another trip to the FA Youth Cup final. Alas, Forest had different ideas, and staged a furious late-show, scoring not once, not twice, but three times in the final five minutes plus added-on time to cue wild scenes of celebrations with the home fans. Detlef Esapa Osong — remember the name! — got two of the three and the assist on the other.
Forest will take on Manchester United in the final at the end of this month. For Chelsea, who are well out of the title race in the Southern Section of the U18 PL, it’s time to finish out the season and then start thinking about next year.