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MATCH REPORT: Chelsea Youth 2-2 Cardiff Youth


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The penultimate home youth game of the season saw Chelsea gain and then surrender the lead as three goals were scored in four minutes shortly before the break.

With the FA Youth Cup Final looming, it was a much-changed side from the one that beaten Ipswich 6-4 midweek with two full youth team debuts handed to schoolboys.

They went to goalkeeper Aldi Haxhia and defender Tom Hayden, both with one previous sub appearance to their name.

This weekend's game at Cobham started poorly for Chelsea with a goal conceded just five minutes in. A good delivery from a corner was met by a Cardiff player who escaped Hayden to score.

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A Chelsea equaliser came on 38 minutes when Nouble got down the left-side and put in a cross for midfielder Jacob Mellis (pictured) to finish at the back post. Three minutes later, centre-back Jack Saville played a long forward ball to pick out a well-timed run by Mellis, the England Under 17 running on to finish.

Cardiff kicked off and immediately caught Chelsea unsuccessfully pushing up to play the offside. The Welsh side's centre-forward was brought down by Haxhia for a penalty that was converted.

Coach Paul Clement reports: 'After Cardiff scored early on, we controlled possession well but failed to make any really good chances. There was a period when neither side did much in the attacking third before the three goals came.

'In the second half, we have tried to push on and win the game and played very well for 15 minutes, creating some chances that weren't converted. Cardiff got back in it a bit but we came strong at the end. By then they were defending in numbers for the draw and we couldn't break through.'

Chelsea Aldi Haxhia; Tom Hayden, Nana Ofori-Twumasi © (Nikki Ahamed 65), Jack Saville, Jordan Tabor (Ben Gordon 65); Tom Taiwo, Jacob Mellis (Jordan Hibbert 65), Daniel Philliskirk; Adam Phillip. Fabio Borini, Frank Nouble.

The second leg of the FA Youth Cup Final away to Man City is on Wednesday at 7.45pm and is live on Sky Sports. Chelsea TV will carry exclusive build-up from 7pm and post-match reaction from 9.45pm.

Source: Chelsea FC

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