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Youths and Reserves in Action


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It was not only at first team level that Chelsea have been making comebacks over the weekend. At youth team level, there was a recovery for the youth side against Rushden and Diamonds in the latest of the Academy's pre-season clashes on Friday evening.

Dermot Drummy used every player at his disposal, practically changing the whole team during the break to counter the host's opening goal, which arrived one minute before half time.

New arrival Philipp Prosenik proved troublesome from the start, breaking through the centre and forcing Rushden to implement the offside trap on several occasions before smashing a shot towards the top right, only to miss his target by a matter of inches.

The goal came against the run of play with Rushden counter-attacking down the left flank, McDonald then leapt high to connect head-first with the well-placed cross before the break.

The feeling on the Chelsea bench was that an equaliser was imminent, and it came just past the hour mark, courtesy of a clinical finish from Bobby Devyne after he latched onto a long ball from George Saville.

Milan Lalkovic and Marko Mitrovic would have two more shots denied before Lalkovic helped put us in front, sending a curling corner into the box on to Billy Clifford's head, who neatly nodded over the line for a 2-1 Chelsea win.

Chelsea (first half): Walker, Ahamed ©, Deen-Conteh, Trialist, Strickland, Aston, Kaby, Rodgers, McEachran, Prosenik, Mitrovic.

Chelsea (second half): Haxhia, Ahamed ©, Sampayo, Trialist, Hayden, Saville, B Clifford, McEachran (Kaby 75), Lalkovic, Devyne, Mitrovic (Prosenik 70).

At reserve team level we were less fortunate, match fitness counting against the young Blues despite a good technical display away at Aldershot.

The side fell one down after 25 minutes, Scott Donnelly firing home before we equalised thanks to a Fabio Borini finish 10 minutes later following a quick break down the right and a smart cross from Jacopo Sala.

Before half-time though there was another Aldershot strike after mistakes in the Chelsea defence allowed Kirk Hudson in to regain the lead for the home side.

At half-time Neil Bath spoke of a greater need for urgency and a higher tempo in the team's play, and he was pleased with their performance in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

Michael Woods, Patrick van Aanholt and Jeffrey Bruma forced saves from Aldershot goalkeeper Clark Masters before the deficit was extended.

This was partly due to fitness, it being the first game where players had been asked to complete 90 minutes, compared to opponents who begin their Football League campaign next weekend.

With five minutes remaining when a quickly taken free-kick found John Halls who found the net from 15 yards, and then in injury time the home side added a fourth when Danny Hylton made room for himself in the box to turn and shoot powerfully across the keeper to find the corner of the net.

Chelsea: Jan Sebek (Heimann 60), Cummings, Bruma, Magnay (Ahamed 60), Van Aanholt, Bridcutt ©, Mellis, Woods, Sala, Borini, Phillip (Philliskirk 60).

Source: Chelsea FC

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