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Charlton U18's 0 Chelsea U18's 1

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A terrific second-half goal by Islam Feruz (pictured) gave the youth team a fourth victory in the last five games.

The diminutive striker netted his second goal in his fifth appearance of the season to earn the three-points in a closely-fought encounter. Captain Jamal Blackman saved a penalty later in the game as Charlton pressed hard for an equaliser but manager Adi Viveash was pleased with a disciplined display from his side.

There was only one change to the starting line-up from the team that beat Fulham at home last weekend. Tom Howard returned after a couple of months out with a back injury to replace Lucas Piazon on the right-side of the three-man attack. Piazon is likely to feature in the reserves' game on Monday.

The first half against Charlton was a cagey affair. The home side fielded three very strong front players and in contrast to Chelsea's style, moved the ball forward very quickly. They created a couple of decent chances that Blackman dealt with well.


Chelsea went closest with an Amin Affane free-kick that was well saved by the Charlton keeper. The wide-left player had another left-footed shot that the keeper made a good save from and Islam Feruz nearly got through on goal on one occasion. Centre-back Nathan Ake also had a header from a corner cleared off the line.

The second half produced more opportunities at either end and the deciding moment came 10 minutes into it.

The young Blues were under pressure when John Swift won the ball and they played quickly through midfield before Lewis Baker released a great pass through for Feruz to run down the side of the left centre-back before cutting back inside him and then beating the right-sided centre-back for pace. He finished with his left foot. It was a very well-worked goal.

Charlton's penalty came with 20 minutes to go. Chelsea had a couple of chances to go two up and another polished move saw substitute Alex Kiwomya cross for Baker for a diving header which unfortunately went straight at the keeper.

Then Charlton started to push forward again. A foul inside the area was given against Swift but from the spot-kick, Blackman spread himself really well and made a fine save in the bottom corner.

'It was a tight game and there was only going to be a goal either way in it, but we are very pleased with the boys' desire and application to fight out a win,' said Viveash. 'It was very important for their learning.

'Lewis Baker was outstanding, Tom Howard did well for his first game back but the whole team played very, very well and worked hard together.

'The penalty was a soft decision. John Swift made a tackle from the side but I thought he got the ball first and it was a big moment in the game. That is when you need your big players and Jamal was a big player at that moment.

'The one real bit of quality we needed, Islam Feruz produced as he took his goal very well and was lively in the game.

'We battled and we scrapped and got people around the ball and were very together and when we had the ball we played some good football at times. On the amount of chances we created we deserved to win.

'Now we have a couple of league games before our first FA Youth Cup game which against Doncaster at Staines Town's ground.

'A couple of our players, Tom Howard and Jordan Houghton, live in Staines and any fans who can come down there to cheer the boys on will be appreciated.

'They will see a group of players who play football the right way. Doncaster will be difficult and we will give them respect. They have had a fine start to their own league campaign but I have confidence in my players and if they bring their best form we will be competitive in any game in the Youth Cup.'

Chelsea (4-3-3): Jamal Blackman ©; Alistair Gordon, Alex Davey, Nathan Ake, Adam Nditi; Lewis Baker, Ruben Loftus Cheek, John Swift; Tom Howard (Alex Kiwomya 70), Islam Feruz, Amin Affane.

Source: Chelsea FC

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