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Chelsea Youth 5 Walsall Youth 1 (FA Youth Cup)

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Chelsea Youth romped home to a 5-1 victory and progression into the next round of the FA Youth Cup after a fine display of football this evening. Goals from Rohan Ince, Gael Kakuta, Fabio Borini and Frank Nouble all added to a fine performance by the Blues at Brentford, one which Walsall battled throughout.

Coach Dermot Drummy made no changes to the team which beat Manchester United 3-2 in this competition back in November while Mick Halsall's Walsall lined up in a 4-4-2 formation with William Grigg and Josh Craddock heading the attack.

Chelsea's opening chance came only a couple of minutes into the game, when Borini won a freekick 20 yards directly in front of goal. Jeffrey Bruma's subsequent shot was deflected from danger by the Walsall wall.

With 10 minutes gone Kakuta was making his presence felt, with two cutting passes into the box, a lob to the far post and a 25-yard shot which skimmed the upright.

However, despite the Frenchman's display, the teams were even, with the majority of play taking place in the centre of the pitch.

Chelsea's closest chance of the opening 25 minutes came when Borini broke down the right before dribbling along the top of the box and bouncing a shot off the crossbar.

After a brief period of Walsall possession, which saw Niclas Heimann tested twice, once with a low shot to the bottom right and then a scuffle on the line which forced the Chelsea keeper to hug the ball, the young Blues began to attack.

Ince was the man to scare the Saddlers, with a screaming 30-yard shot deflected by Walsall keeper James Belshaw for a corner.

The defender followed up the initial shot with Chelsea's opener, as Kakuta sent the corner ball bouncing through the box to Ince, who tapped in at the far post with only five minutes of the first half left to go.

Before the half was over, Ben Gordon was forced off through injury and Billy-Joe King came on to replace him.

The second half began much like the first, with Walsall on the backfoot as Kakuta, Borini and Nouble all had chances inside the first five minutes.

It was Kakuta (pictured below, courtesy of Dan Davies) who made it two with 55 minutes gone, after latching onto a loose ball before cutting in on the edge of the box and launching a clinical shot into to the bottom right.


Walsall then pulled one back against the run of play, as confusion struck Ahamed and Ince as they backtracked towards Heimann, but instead of either defender or keeper collecting the loose ball, Sam Adkins snatched possession and tipped the ball over the line, 2-1 with 66 minutes gone.

Seconds later, Chelsea were lucky, when an onside Grigg was judged otherwise and his break was put to an early end, despite only having Heimann left to beat.

Then, with Chelsea settled once more, King was forced to retire from the match despite only 24 minutes of play due to injury. In his place came Conor Clifford.

Regardless of the change, Chelsea pressed on, and it wasn't long before Jacopo Sala was shown the yellow card for a rash challenge 25 yards out, but Heimann was on hand to collect the subsequent freekick with ease.

With 74 minutes gone the game was 3-1 to Chelsea, this time it was Nouble's turn to score. After an overpowering run into the box, the number 11 smashed the ball home from close range to give Chelsea a comfortable lead.

Four minutes later, once Kakuta had sent a shot ricocheting off the bar, the score was 4-1.

This time it was Borini (pictured below) who sent an inch-perfect shot into the top right from the edge of the box. The game was Chelsea's.


With only four minutes of the game remaining, Kakuta and Borini teamed up brilliantly to fool Belshaw. Kakuta sent the ball to the right-hand side of the goal while Belshaw went left, leaving an opening gape for Borini to steal his second.

The game finished with Chelsea on the attack once more as Nouble broke down the left before being clipped to the ground by Sean Gedddes, who received his second yellow and subsequently departed for the changing rooms.

It was a sad end to a worthy performance by Walsall, who were simply outplayed at Brentford this evening.

'This is the FA Youth Cup and there's a fair amount of expectancy from the boys,' said Drummy.

'They played great tonight, but we need to do a bit more work off the ball.

'But the boys have had three or four weeks without competitive action and to come out with a 5-1 win tonight is fantastic.

'Now we'll watch tomorrow night's game between Bristol Rovers and Liverpool so we can get an idea of what to expect in the next round,' he added.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Niclas Heimann; Nikki Ahamed, Rohan Ince, Jeffrey Bruma, Ben Gordon (Billy-Joe King 44, Conor Clifford 68); Daniel Philliskirk ©, Gael Kakuta, Jacob Mellis (Josh McEachran 82); Jacopo Sala, Fabio Borini, Frank Nouble.

Source: Chelsea FC

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Good result . Whos this Rohan Ince ? Not the fruit of Pauls loins one hopes.

Thankfully not! But a strange one still, has only featured in 5 of the 17 games this season, wasn't the sort of player who earned rave reviews at U16's level either. All of a sudden he popped up in the Man you cup game at Centre Back and did very well indeed and looks like he did well in this one too! From what i had read previously he wasn't one of our better prospects.

He looks (physically) a cross between Michael Mancienne and Mikel!!

Highlights for this game will be up on Friday.

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