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A late goal by the home side left Chelsea's Under 18s regretful for missed chances but not without credit for their display. The FA Premier Academy League hands sides from the southern area one game a season against a team from the north and Chelsea had the longest journey of all this weekend as Newcastle played host.

It was the away team who controlled the game in terms of possession in the first half. Although chances were not plentiful, there were a couple of opportunities after the ball was worked into wide areas and Frank Nouble and Nikki Ahamed got some crosses in from the right.

Down the left side, Ben Gordon and Jordan Tabor (pictured) were connecting quite nicely and putting together some good attacking play.

Newcastle had lined up as 4-4-2 but within 15 minutes they changed shape to match Chelsea's 4-3-3, a reflection of the balance of play.

The game was a good physical test for a Chelsea side with no over-age players while Newcastle fielded the maximum permitted three Under 19 outfielders and one Under 19 goalkeeper.

After a bit of a sticky spell for Chelsea early in the second half, the young Blues worked themselves back on top again and had a fantastic chance on 80 minutes, the only real chance of the second half.

Ireland Under 17 midfielder Conor Clifford blasted a shot from seven yards which hit the keeper who somehow managed to collect it in when all were expecting it to hit the back of the net.

With a couple of minutes to go, Newcastle won a corner, it was cleared away but returned from the edge of the box and deflecting in off the centre-forward's hip.'

'Although we lost the game, it was actually a very good performance first half,' reports youth team manager Paul Clement.

'Against their older players, we competed really well and battled all over the field. The only threat they posed in the first half was from set-piece situations - a corner and a couple of wide free-kicks.

'We were really disappointed not to take something out of the game, considering how well we played. We got hit with a sucker punch but that is football - we had all the play but if you can't get the ball in the net, you can lose.

'I was happy with the performance but really disappointed with the result.'

Chelsea Niclas Heimann; Nikki Ahamed, Daniel Philliskirk ©, Billy-Joe King (Jack Saville, Ben Gordon; Josh MacEachran, Conor Clifford, Jacopo Sala; Frank Nouble, Fabio Borini, Jordan Tabor (Tom Hayden)

Third year scholar Tom Taiwo, who started the opening fixture against Crewe and made 19+6 appearances for the youth team last season, has joined Port Vale on loan until 29 September.

He played the final half-hour of the League Two side's 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the weekend.

Source: Chelsea FC

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