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Fa Youth Quarter Final

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From Port Vale NewsPort Vale coach Andy Porter says his young lions will show Chelsea's stars no respect when his side attempts to make club history tonight (7pm).

Vale are aiming to reach the semi-finals of FA Youth Cup for the first time by adding the Londoners to their Premier League scalps of Bolton and Tottenham Hotspur.

They are hoping for a crowd of more than 3,000 for the game, and Porter says supporters can expect the same approach which carried them to a 1-0 home win against Spurs in the last round.

He said: "We gave Bolton too much respect, but we got at Tottenham straight away, the crowd got behind us, and the lads took it all the way.

"After that 20 minutes when we closed down, we got the ball down and passed and played.

"We are not a kicking side, we like to get the ball down, it is what we do all the time. It is based on the way John Rudge used to like to play football here.

"We have to get at them and make it uneasy for them. I think they will come here and think they will stroll through. Hopefully it won't be like that."

Chelsea's squad includes France under-17 international midfielder Gael Kakuta, Danish under-18 striker Morten Nielsen and Italian under-16 striker Fabio Borini.

Their England youth internationals include midfielder Tom Taiwo, who cost £5m from Leeds with fellow midfielder Michael Woods.

Porter added: "Not many of the clubs from the Football League with centres of excellence go this far.

"It is mainly academies where clubs spend millions on them and get players in from here, there and everywhere. On a small budget, we have done very well."

The youth team's progress has brought optimism in a season in which the first team has struggled at the foot of the table.

Porter added: "It is a disappointing time, but this has given the crowd a lift. Hopefully we will have three or four thousand here."

VALE have been allocated 1,600 tickets for their derby match at Crewe Alexandra on March 11.

The tickets, which went on sale today, are priced £19 for adults, £15 for senior citizens, £8.50 for 12-16s and £4.50 for under-11s.

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Cup-tie focus switches to the youth team tonight (Tuesday) as the young Blues attempt to reach the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup. It's a game that can be viewed live on Chelsea TV. Our under 18 side are enjoying the club's best run in the competition for many years and victory away at Port Vale tonight will take them into the semi-finals for the first time in 35 years.

That 1973 vintage contained many of the names that won promotion to the top flight for the Chelsea first team four years later.

On the way to the FA Youth Cup quarter-final stage, this season's players have overcome Stevenage, Shrewsbury and Leicester, the last by a 3-1 scoreline at Stamford Bridge.

Port Vale knocked out Tottenham in the last round and no-one at Chelsea will be taking the team from the Potteries lightly, certainly not anyone who can remember back five years when we were knocked out of the Youth Cup at Vale Park.

The game was back in the day when current assistant first team coach Steve Clarke was in charge of our youth side. Port Vale, then a club in administration, had eliminated Everton, the 2002 runners-up (with Wayne Rooney in the side), the round before, generating huge local interest.

A crowd of 1,958 noisy supporters turned up for the visit of Chelsea, forcing a delay in kick-off.


'We didn't know what the crowd would be,' said Clarke as he reflected on the game. 'When the delay was announced to let them in, it affected one or two of our players. But if you want to come through and develop, that might be something that happens. You have to learn how to relax and build up again.'

The crowd roared on every Port Vale attack and they scored twice in the second half, each time from a lapse at the back. Chelsea pulled one back through substitute Dean Sylvester, a schoolboy making his youth team debut who was not taken on full time, but lost 2-1.

In the side were schoolboys Adrian Pettigrew, Jimmy Smith and Phil Younghusband, still part of the reserve team set-up today. Robert Huth missed being eligible by two weeks.

Another large crowd will support the home side tonight - 2,104 turned up for the defeat of Spurs. In opposition will be a Chelsea team that has been improving throughout the competition as players more usually in the reserves have become assimilated into the youth team's ways.

The Leicester win came courtesy of goals from Denmark Under 18 centre-forward Morten Nielsen, exciting France Under 17 midfielder Gäel Kakuta and Miroslav Stoch, a regular scorer for Slovakia Under 19s.

Like the Chelsea first team, there is a British core to the squad to complement the foreign developing talent, including Wales Under 21s' Rhys Taylor in goal plus England youth players Nana Ofori-Twumasi, Lee Sawyer, Michael Woods, Jacob Mellis and Adam Phillip.

Kick-off tonight is 7pm (admission £4, concessions £2) with Chelsea TV's coverage commencing at 6.30pm. Included are previews from coach Paul Clement and Michael Woods and former FA Cup winner and current Academy coach will be providing expert analysis in the studio. There will be a look back at the win over Leicester plus all the latest news from Cobham as the first team resume training.

The other two remaining quarter-finals are Plymouth v Man City and Charlton v Sunderland.

Aston Villa are already in the two-legged semi-finals and will play the winners of Chelsea's match with Port Vale.

To subscribe to Chelsea TV on Sky Digital channel 421, click here or call 08700 240 490. Existing Sky customers can subscribe through the Sky Products area on Sky Active via their Sky remote control.

Source: Chelsea FC

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I would imagine a squad almost similar or exactly similar to the one that progressed through the last round will be played tonight and should be more than enough to progress, a lot of the players have experience at reserve level so a physical game will not be too daunting to them..

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Kakuta the star once again then? Sounds a gem to me.

Whats the team line-up?

Keep us upto date Paul!

Yeah he's looking fantastic but I'm very impressed with Nouble as well.

Unsure on the exact team lineup except Taylor, Woods, Nouble, Stoch, Bruma, Ofori-Twumasi, Nielsen, Gordon, van Aarnholt, Mellis all started. I'll update this post with more. as I get them.

Nouble off Philip on.

Edited by PaulHopkins
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Some one said that their 2nd goal was a mistake from Rhys Taylor?

van Aarnholt flick on for Kakuta volley for the 1st after Stoch corner. 0-1

Fabulous strength by Nouble along with assist by Nielsen for easy Kakuta 2nd goal. 0-2

Nice dancing in the box by Kakuta as he glides past half the Port Vale defence before Nielsen fires home from the edge of the box. 0-3

Silly challenge by Brumer for the penalty as the Port Vale player was facing away from goal. 1-3

Kakuta drags in 2 or 3 Port Vale defenders in the box and he caresses the ball over the keeper with class composure. 1-4

Superb crossfield ball by Kakuta finds Stoch who cuts in and out to beat the full back and score at the far corner. 1-5

Wall was too far over to the right from the free kick. Poor wall line up by Taylor and a deflection from Nouble takes it in.

First semi-final for 35 years!

Nice interview with Nouble and Kakuta at the end.

Edited by PaulHopkins
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