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West Brom Reserves 4 Chelsea FC Reserves 0


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Summary

Chelsea's second string succumbed to an experienced West Bromwich reserves side for whom Marc-Antoine Fortune netted a brace.

The former Celtic player's double followed a Craig Dawson opener after 12 minutes. The home side's fourth came from substitute Lateef Elford-Alliyu in the 70th minute. It was a tough fixture for the young Chelsea side.

Team news

Nathaniel Chalobah captained the Blues, taking the place in central defence vacated by Carl Magnay who was injured in the game at Liverpool last week. Subsequently Billy Clifford (pictured) dropped back from the front line to midfield with Conor Clifford taking up the holding role that Chalobah had begun the previous game occupying. Marko Mitrovic, a substitute against Liverpool, started.

First half

The home side started brightly and had their first chance on goal after seven minutes when Craig Dawson headed a Sam Mantom ball goalward, only for Chelsea right-back Todd Kane to clear off the line.

West Brom went ahead five minutes later from a similar set piece, which saw Roman Bednar leap for the ball, miss, and Dawson head home.

The Blues rallied with Billy Clifford excelling in midfield. In the search for an equaliser he crossed for Mitrovic whose header was saved.

Milan Lalkovic was also proving troublesome down the right flank and soon created another chance on goal for Chelsea, as he shot from the edge of the box, forcing an acrobatic save from Marton Fulop between the West Brom posts.

But it was the hosts who scored next after 27 minutes of football. After collecting the ball from Bednar, Romaine Sawyers played a clever through ball for Fortune to gather in front of goal. He then held off Chalobah before firing into the bottom left.

Lalkovic forced another save, Ben Gordon hit a close-range effort into the keeper's grasp and Mitrovic saw another header saved before the Blues went into the break 2-0 down.

Second half

Again the home side started the half well and increased their lead within five minutes.

After a mix-up at the back between Chalobah and Gordon gifted Fortune possession, the West Brom man made no mistake in firing home his second while Taylor could only watch.

It was a disheartening start to the half for Chelsea but despite the deficit, the Blues continued to push forward and played some good football at times. Conor Clifford soon tested Fulop with a long-range effort and with Billy Clifford's impressive display in midfield continuing, the visitors were soon creating further chances on goal.

Mitrovic was the first to see a close-range shot saved following an Aziz Deen-Conteh cross before substitute Adam Nditi found himself one-on-one with Fulop, only to scuff his shot. Then, at the other end, Chalobah blocked a Shorey chance to keep the deficit to three.

But with 20 minutes left on the clock, that deficit rose when Elford-Alliyu drilled home a Hurst cross to finish the scoring.

The manager

'It was a really good game,' said reserve team manager Dermot Drummy. 'West Brom had a few first teamers out and it was a really strong side. We had to chase the ball a lot to get it back.

'But in the second-half we played some really good football. Billy Clifford was outstanding in midfield and created several chances. It was good football and the attitude was fantastic, the boys gave everything. I couldn't fault that.

'It was another level that we were playing against. It might be a year or two years before we play at that level but in terms of commitment and attitude, I can't fault them.

'Now hopefully we will have Sam Hutchinson and Jacob Mellis back for the Norwich game. We will lose Chalobah and Kane to international duty but hopefully we can bounce back in that game.'

Chelsea (4-3-3): Rhys Taylor; Todd Kane, Nathaniel Chalobah ©, Ben Gordon, Aziz Deen-Conteh; Billy Clifford, Conor Clifford, George Saville (Adam Nditi 60); Milan Lalkovic, Marko Mitrovic (Philipp Prosenik 70), Kaby Djalo.

Unused subs Beeney, Ince, Feruz.

West Brom (4-4-2): Fulop; Hurst, Tama, Dawson (Downing 75), Shorey; Sawyers, Thorne, Mantom, Roofe (Elford-Alliyu 65); Fortune (O'Neil 70), Bednar.

Unused subs Lewis, D Daniels.

Source: Chelsea FC

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