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Cambridge United dump nine-time winners Chelsea out of the FA Youth Cup





Cambridge United’s Under-18s recorded one of the biggest results in the academy’s history by beating Chelsea 1-0 in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup tonight.

Despite having a talented crop of youngsters, United were very much the underdogs going into the tie given that they were up against opposition that had won the competition on nine previous occasions – including five times in a row between 2014 and 2018.

However, a first-half header from defender Jaydyn Lott was enough for the U’s to get the better of their Premier League opposition on what turned out to be an evening to remember at the Abbey Stadium.

Cambridge United Under-18s celebrate their FA Youth Cup win over Chelsea on January 26, 2023. Picture: Ben Phillips
Cambridge United Under-18s celebrate their FA Youth Cup win over Chelsea on January 26, 2023. Picture: Ben Phillips

Kai Yearn, who is on loan at Chelmsford City in the Vanarama National League South, was the first United player to try his luck on the night in the 12th minute but he dragged his shot wide of Max Merrick’s post.

Up the other end home goalkeeper Tom Finch showed good reflexes on a couple of occasions before United made the breakthrough in the 24th minute through Lott, who rose highest to thump a header beyond the reach of Merrick.

And the hosts went agonisingly close to doubling their advantage just before the break when Ronan Ismaili’s effort cannoned against the upright.

Match action from Cambridge United Under-18s’ win over Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup on January 26, 2023. Picture: Ben Phillips
Match action from Cambridge United Under-18s’ win over Chelsea in the FA Youth Cup on January 26, 2023. Picture: Ben Phillips

Chelsea started the second half brightly and Finch had to be alert to keep out Tudor Mendel-Idowu and Donnell McNeilly, while United also fired a warning that they remained a threat when Glenn McConnell’s shot was deflected just over on the hour mark.

The Blues carved out their best chance to draw level with 65 minutes on the clock, but Leo Castledine and Mendel-Idowu appeared to get in the way of each other with the goal at their mercy.

From that moment on it was all about staying tight from a United perspective and they did just that, including during six minutes of stoppage time, to book their place in the fifth round for the second season in a row.

Cambridge United-18 match-winner Jaydyn Lott celebrates at the final whistle with his dad. Picture: Ben Phillips
Cambridge United-18 match-winner Jaydyn Lott celebrates at the final whistle with his dad. Picture: Ben Phillips

United will now play host to Sheffield Wednesday, when a victory would send them into the quarter-finals for the first time in the club’s history. FA rules state that the tie must be played before Saturday, February 11.



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