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The reserve team's unbeaten start to the season came to an end in the Midlands on Monday evening, the game's deciding goal coming in the first half.

Calum Robinson netted the winner after a mistake by Chelsea's goalkeeper Rhys Taylor who was fortunate not to concede a penalty later on. Each side hit the post once and the game was balanced throughout but following two wins and two draws, Dermot Drummy's side which tonight fielded an unfamiliar attack couldn't make the breakthrough.

Team News

Chelsea gave a first start to schoolboy striker Alex Kiwomya who has four goals for the youth team this season, all after coming off the bench. Kiwomya had previous made one sub appearance at this level. Billy Clifford and Kaby Djalo were the wide attacking players and swapped wings during the game.

Ben Gordon played his first match since returning from loan at Peterborough. More usually a left-back, he was asked to play in central defence as international call ups reduced the options.

Jamal Blackman, Nathaniel Chalobah and, for the first time, Todd Kane have been called up by England Under 19s and Josh McEachran is away England Under 21s.

Villa had first team players Ciaran Clark, Carlos Cuellar and Marc Albrighton in their side, Cuellar playing his first match since April after an operation.

First half

The first incident of the game at Hinckley United's ground had the referee reaching for his yellow card as Villa midfielder Chris Herd slid through the back of Conor Clifford. Sam Hutchinson (pictured below) followed into the book on eight minutes for a late challenge on Clark. Both fouls were deep in the Chelsea half and the Blues found it tough to enter Villa territory in the early stages.


Jacob Mellis broke the shackles and won a 12th minute corner that was sliced towards his own net by Clark but was headed off the line by Albrighton.

Chelsea were gaining a foothold in a game in which both sides were showing commitment in the tackle, and it took a succession of blocks from the Villa rearguard to keep out shots from Billy Clifford and Kiwomya.

Villa pressed back around the midway part of the first half but without troubling Rhys Taylor which made it such a shame when the Wales Under 21 keeper's mistake presented the opening goal.

He had only just got away with kicking the ball poorly when another clearance was cut out by Calum Robinson. Once the Villa centre-forward had the ball under control he had a simple job to score. There were 26 minutes played.

Albrighton almost added a second with a scuffed shot when cutting in off the left flank. It rolled against the post with Taylor fully extended.

Four minutes before the break Hutchinson found space on the right pushing forward and having been fed by Mellis, carefully picked out a return pass but Mellis's shot was blocked by a Villa defender at source.

Second half

Chelsea had territorial advantage in the uneventful opening minutes ahead of Drummy's first substitution. Kiwomya's full reserve debut came to an end on 53 minutes, the youngster having been given only half-chances to score at best. Adam Nditi came on and played wide with Kaby moving into the middle. It was certainly not the tallest of Chelsea second string attacks.

However it did have pace and Nditi raced onto a Mellis pass just before the hour and skipped inside Joshua Webb in search of an opening to shoot, but the Villa defender recovered well with a sliding tackle inside the area with no margin for error.

The second half's big talking point came inside the other area when Taylor was wayward passing out again. This time he gave the ball to Villa's lively 16-year-old Jack Grealish and then looked to take the player down. To the home side's fury the ref gave no penalty. It looked a major escape for Chelsea and for Taylor who would surely have been shown a red card had the decision gone against him.

An unsettled Chelsea keeper then missed claiming the corner which was headed just wide.

Nditi had given Chelsea more penetration and he came closest to setting up a leveller with a lively run and cross that a stretching Kaby, running in beyond the far post, shot over.

Nditi on 73 minutes was unlucky with a lob from 30 yards that settled onto the roof of the net after the Villa keeper had left his box to head clear a Mellis ball forward.

Both sides made too many mistakes with their passing at times but the Blues had only been under the cosh in the opening stages of the game. However they were asked to defend a free-kick and a corner in quick succession and there was a boost to Taylor's confidence when he claimed the latter.

It was Nditi once more with a great cross with 12 minutes to go that allowed George Saville (pictured top) to seriously test Villa keeper Calum Barrett. Unfortunately he was up to it with two very good saves from the tall midfielder, the second a tip onto the crossbar.

There was a well-judged tackle by Aziz Deen-Conteh to halt Daniel Johnson as he attempted to run through a tiring Chelsea defence in the closing minutes but the home side had done enough.

Chelsea Rhys Taylor; Sam Hutchinson ©, Carl Magnay, Ben Gordon, Aziz Deen-Conteh (Rohan Ince 88); George Saville Conor Clifford, Jacob Mellis; Billy Clifford, Alex Kiwomya (Adam Nditi 53), Kaby Djalo.

Unused subs James Russell, Archange Nkumu, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Villa Calum Barrett; Joshua Webb, Carlos Cuellar (Lewis Kinsella h-t), Ciaran Clark, Shane Lowry; Chris Herd, Daniel Johnson, Courtney Cameron; Marc Albrighton, Calum Robinson Joshua Barton 84), Jack Grealish (Michael Drennan 68).

Unused subs Janoi Donacien, Matthew Coton.

Source: Chelsea FC

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