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Chelsea Youth 3 Charlton Athletic Youth 1


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Chelsea youth completed an emphatic victory under the spring sunshine against a travelling Charlton Athletic on Saturday lunchtime.

Despite the final score, it was a fairly uneventful game at Cobham until the Blues secured victory with two goals in the final 10 minutes.

Those came from substitute Adam Phillip, who was rested from the starting line up ahead of a possible reserve appearance this week, and Jacopo Sala, who started the game at right-back for the first time.

Daniel Philliskirk found himself in the centre of an attacking three, flanked by Milan Lalkovic and Gokhan Tore, the Turkey Under 17 international playing his second youth match, while Sam Walker began between the Chelsea posts.

The game started slowly under the April sun, with Jacob Mellis and Tom Taiwo offering the odd threat down the centre.

Chelsea's closest chance of the first half-hour came when Rohan Ince leapt high to connect with a Jacob Mellis freekick to the far post, only to watch as the ball skimmed past the upright.

Next it was Charlton's turn to threaten as Stephen Camacho danced past Ben Gordon and into the Chelsea box only to smash his shot high and wide.

With a stalemate ensuing, luck came Chelsea's way when goalkeeper Connor Gough sent a failed clearance into the path of Josh McEachran (pictured below, courtesy of Mark Sandom). With his first touch, the midfielder chipped the ball into the open goal to give Chelsea the lead.

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The Blues continued to dominate the remainder of the half, but without producing any real chances on goal until Camacho gave Charlton hope for an equaliser.

Collecting a Mellis pass, left-back Nikki Ahamed chested down the ball, but before he could control with his feet, Camacho had stolen possession and was racing into the box. Fortunately Walker rushed out and smothered the ball, sending the Charlton number 7 crashing over his shoulder.

Chelsea were unchanged in the second half, and it wasn't long before the Blues were threatening once more.

With 10 minutes played since the restart, Lalkovic, McEachran and Taiwo had all forced the Charlton defence into action.

Next it was Tore's turn, and he relished the opportunity, launching a half-volley from the edge of the box inches past the post, Chelsea were controlling the game.

It was Tore's last kick of the fixture as he made way for Phillip (below), who immediately made his presence felt by smashing a shot off Sean MgGinty's body before narrowly missing a Lalkovic cross with his head.

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It was Charlton who would find the net next though, with a solo counter-attack from Lewis Perkins, who broke down the right flank before cutting into the box and chipping over Walker from close range with 75 minutes played.

Chelsea soon retaliated and within 10 minutes we were back in the lead. Again luck played a role when Phillip hit a crisp 20-yard shot into Gough's palms, but as the Charlton keeper failed to hold on to the ball it bounced out of his grasp, over his head and behind the line for Chelsea's second.

Within a minute we had three. Another failed clearance and this time Sala was ready, pouncing on the loose ball at the edge of the box and calmly slotting past Gough (pictured top), 3-1, a good ending to finish off Chelsea's dominant performance.

'Today I thought we needed to move the ball quicker, but you could sense the boys getting more confident once we went 1-0 up,' explained youth team manager Dermot Drummy.

'We gave a sloppy goal away, with a counter-attack from our corner, but then we scored two goals, Adam Phillip was an immense presence once he came on.

'Jacopo [sala] was in right-back today, he can play in most positions, and [Daniel] Phillskirk was up front, he used to play up front in his earlier years, and they did well,' added Drummy.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Sam Walker; Jacopo Sala, Rohan Ince, Ben Gordon, Nikki Ahamed; Jacob Mellis, Tom Taiwo (Jordan Tabor 75), Joshua McEachran (Aliu Djalo 72); Milan Lalkovic, Daniel Philliskirk, Gokhan Tore (Adam Phillip 62).

Source: Chelsea FC

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