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Chelsea U18's 0 Crystal Palace U18's 4


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Selection options for the Under 18s at the weekend were limited by extensive international call-ups and injuries and a very young Chelsea side failed to recover from a bad start to the game.

With a combined six players away with England Under 17s or Under 16s, youth team manager Adi Viveash gave full debuts at this level to two schoolboys who joined four other U16s in being involved in the game. Rohan Ince (pictured) and Philipp Prosenik were permitted over-age players, neither with extensive match action this season.

The reshaped side suffered the blow of conceding the first goal as early as 70 seconds into the game. A straight ball through from the back was controlled by one of the Palace players who turned and scored from 35 yards in a manner that had Viveash questioning Mitchell Beeney's attempt to save it and the lack of closing down by the outfield players.

It was exactly the start a very young team didn't need and after 10 poor minutes, a tactical change was made with Ince dropping back into defence and Alistair Gordon moving into midfield. It had an effect and for the next half hour Chelsea played some good football, created chances and forced the Palace keeper into a couple of good saves.

But then two goals were conceded before the break, the first after Prosenik lost possession on halfway too easily and a diagonal ball was played over Adam Nditi to the Palace right winger who took a touch inside and finished well.

Then, in trying to play out from the back, Chelsea got caught on the ball by the same Palace winger who got into the box and pulled the ball back for a colleague to score.

The young Blues were better in the second half and again had a couple of opportunities but inside the final 10 minutes the visitors scored their fourth with a deflected shot from the edge of the box.

'At half time there were a few choice words said because I didn't think that we competed as well as we should have,' says Viveash.

'When you are 3-0 down at half time you can go one of two ways. You either restore some pride or you are on the end of a real hammering and the lads played much better in the second half, but we shouldn't need that half-time talk to get livened up.

'Jon Muleba on his youth team debut as a schoolboy at right-back was outstanding so that was a real big positive but the young lads were let down by the more experienced players in the team not giving them enough, and we have had that a couple of times this year when older players have stepped down.

'They haven't been able to raise their level and apply themselves to the required standard and that is a big disappointment for me. If we are playing that amount of young players we need a bit of help. We have an outstanding group of Under 16s pushing very hard and it is getting to the stage where they will start getting games because they deserve to.

'Crystal Palace are very hard working and have a couple of very good individual players. They let you know you are in a game and we could not handle it.'

Daniel Pappoe who would have played was ruled by an injury suffered for the reserve team during the week. Archange Nkumu didn't recover in time from an injury suffered in a friendly game the previous weekend. It is hoped Alex Davey, Tom Howard and Nortei Nortey will soon be back in action.

Chelsea: Mitchell Beeney; Jonathon Muleba , Alistair Gordon ©, Adam Nditi, Dion Conroy; Amin Affane, Islam Feruz, Rohan Ince; Ismael Seremba, Philipp Prosenik (Anjur Osmanovic 60), Reece Mitchell (Ambrose Gnahore 60)

Source: Chelsea FC

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