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Portsmouth U18's 1 Chelsea U18's 2

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Islam Feruz scored on his debut as the youth team returned to winning ways. Amin Affane (pictured) was also on the scoresheet.

The defeat of Portsmouth was the first victory in six games for Adi Viveash's side who needed to show character after the home side scored first.

There were three schoolboys in the starting 11 with Feruz, a 16-year-old Scotland youth international who has joined from Celtic, eligible to play for the first time this season with his international clearance having been granted.

Both teams lined up 4-3-3 with Portsmouth starting the game in a high gear, pressing Chelsea high up the pitch and generally getting after their opponents in the first 20 minutes.

But Chelsea coped well by keeping the ball and were able to make early chances. However it was when one of the Blues' attacks broke down that Portsmouth took the lead, moving the ball quickly forward for their left winger to score.

That was a disappointing set back given Chelsea's start to the game but the equaliser came from a free-kick on the left, just on the edge of the box. John Swift swung it in with his right foot and Feruz got across the front of a defender and flicked it in for his debut goal.

Chelsea took the lead with an unusual goal, the Pompey goalkeeper trying to clear a ball played back to him but smashing into Amin Affane who had kept running. It cannoned into the top corner for his first youth goal of the season and a Chelsea 2-1 lead at the interval.

The visitors were clearly the better side in the second half and Lewis Baker was twice denied by good saves and had another chance to extend the lead that wasn't taken. What could have been a comfortable win ended with some scares towards the end but Chelsea survived for a well-deserved and morale-boosting win.

Captain Danny Pappoe played his first 90 minutes since injury and brought experience to a side containing only one other second year.

Youth team manager Adi Viveash said: 'There was good endeavour by Amin for the winning goal but also good fortune that we probably haven't had a lot of this season.

'At 2-1 up, the second half was just about controlling the tempo of the game a little more. We could play through Portsmouth if we kept the ball and the second half we played some outstanding football and could have won five or six-nil.

'Portsmouth had a couple of little scrambles right at the end and it looked like it was going to be nervy because the boys are a little bit tense at the minute, they had not won for a few games, but they saw it out and I was pleased for them because they worked very hard and also played some very good football.

'It was a good step for Danny Pappoe and Ruben Loftus-Cheek played well when he was on. Islam Feruz played only 60 minutes but was promising and he is going to get better.'

Chelsea: Mitchell Beeney; Alistair Gordon, Danny Pappoe ©, Nathan Ake, Adam Nditi; Lewis Baker, Ruben Lotus-Cheek (Jordan Houghton 65), John Swift; Ismail Seremba, Islam Feruz (Alex Kiwomya 60), Amin Affane.

Source: ChelseaFC


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