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The Under 18s recorded their first win of the season at the weekend in a high-scoring encounter that could easily have yielded more goals. The young Blues side played well in their previous three games but without earning the rewards so there were smiles all round when the second match at Cobham earned the full three points, despite a far from ideal start and a nervous final few minutes.

Just six minutes into the game, Chelsea lost a goal and a player to injury. The ball was played to Ireland Under 17 midfielder Conor Clifford who controlled it, only for a opponent to tackle straight through the back of him.

Surprisingly, no foul was given and Reading crossed to the far post where an outnumbered Chelsea defence was penetrated for the opening goal.

Clifford could take no further part, resulting in a reshuffle, schoolboy Marco Mitrovic brought on up front and Fabio Borini (pictured) dropping back into the 'number 10' role. Those two players were at the heart of Chelsea's equaliser just before the half-hour mark.

In a lovely build-up, the ball was switched out to Jordan Tabor who crossed, the ball reaching Mitrovic at the far post. Knocked across to Borini, the Italian had peeled away from his markers and successfully turned it in.

Five minutes later, Jacopo Sala, who had dropped deeper in midfield following Clifford's injury, was fouled 30 yards out and Tabor whipped the free-kick into the top corner for a very good goal.

The 2-1 lead lasted only five minutes as Chelsea were punished following a short corner routine but by the break, they had stretched the advantage to two clear goals.

In another good build up, Nikki Ahamed drove forward from right-back and after an interchange with Josh McEachran, found the high-class run of Borini with a fantastic through ball for a one-touch finish.

Then just before the half-time whistle, neither Reading central defender covered himself with glory in dealing with a Ben Gordon supply to Mitrovic. The young Swede poked home to make it 4-2.

The chances came Chelsea's way in the second half but the goals didn't. Substitute Aliu 'Kaby' Djalo put a shot just over the bar and Frank Nouble went through one-on-one but delayed and didn't get his shot in. Then Borini missed a fantastic chance for his hat-trick in the last couple of minutes.

By then Reading had pulled the score back to 4-3 with a good breakaway goal but thankfully were unable to close the gap any further.

'The big target for us was not only to perform well but to win based on the previous games where we performed alright but the victory had alluded us,' reports youth team manager Paul Clement.

'We responded well after going behind and in the first-half, although we scored a lot of goals, we were a bit loose defensively and didn't control the game totally. Second-half, although we haven't scored, we created a lot and played some really good football.

'It was a bit hectic in the final minutes. I could see the boys getting a little edgy about seeing the win through and in the end were pleased to hear the final whistle.

'But we deserved to win, no question, and it could have been by a lot more. It was pleasing to get the first win and it's something we can build on.'

Chelsea (4-3-3): Niclas Heimann; Nikki Ahamed, Daniel Philliskirk ©, Jack Saville, Ben Gordon; Josh McEachran, Jacopo Sala, Conor Clifford (Marco Mitrovic); Frank Nouble, Fabio Borini, Jordan Tabor (Alio Djalo).

Source: Chelsea FC

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Mitrovic seems to be doing quite well. Think he was top scorer at the Cobham International Cup.

He certainly was, the lad is a natural goalscorer thats for sure. Looking forward to seeing what he can do, not sure how much time he will get in the U18's this season though. Good to see Borini getting a couple of goals too.

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