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The Chelsea youth team's final match of 2007 ended in defeat after a strong second-half display could not overcome two goals conceded in the first period.

With the FA Youth Cup win over Stevenage having taken place only two days ago, the line-up included the players who had not been involved in that match and Chelsea started this weekend's league game well.

After three minutes, Adam Phillip, scorer of the winner on Thursday, hit the post but from that point on for the rest of the half, the young Blues didn't play well.

The lead was gifted to Southampton on 11 minutes when a Nana Ofori-Twumasi throw-in was intercepted, leading to a simple goal.

The home side went 2-0 up on 30 minutes when Jake Thompson, an England youth international, got down the right, crossed and the chance was taken at the near post.

After the break, a very strong claim for a penalty was turned down on the hour; then on 70 minutes, a good breakaway move set up a chance for Jacob Mellis before two minutes later, Fabio Borini hit the bar with a header.

The Chelsea goal came on 73 minutes following the award of a dubious penalty. Jacob Mellis's shot was saved but he netted the rebound.

On 81 minutes there was a fantastic save from Gaël Kakuta after a great breakaway move before unfortunately the game ended on a sour note.

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A strong tackle on Chelsea's Frank Nouble (pictured) only received a yellow card but a couple of minutes later, Tom Taiwo lunged into a tackle and received straight red.

At 2-1 and with 10 men, Chelsea continued to push forward in an effort to save the game but were undone on by a counter-attack when Thompson cut inside and fired into the top corner. Just before that goal, Southampton had been reduced to 10 men as well after a second yellow for a bad tackle on Mellis.

'It was a classic game of two halves,' reports youth team coach Paul Clement, 'but we didn't take our chances in the second-half and played poorly in the first and got punished for it.

'Southampton pressed us early on, were much more aggressive than us and though our back players got on the ball and had to do a lot of defending, our midfielders and front three couldn't get hold of the ball and created very little.

'We made two changes at half-time in an attempt to push the team forward more and from then on we dominated. There was no consistency over the decisions on the fouls at the end.

'Southampton were fielding three under 19s to our none and that does make a difference. It would be the same as us playing Sam Hutchinson, Ryan Bertrand and Jack Cork which we would never do. When you are good enough to play in the Football League Championship, there is no point in playing in the youth team.'

Chelsea

Niclas Heimann, Nana Ofori-Twumasi ©, Jack Saville (Jacob Mellis), Jeffrey Bruma, Billy-Joe King; Tom Taiwo, Jordan Tabor, Daniel Philliskirk; Nikki Ahamed (Gaël Kakuta), Fabio Borini, Adam Phillip (Frank Nouble).

Source: Chelsea FC

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Saints have a history of producing good Youth players -which are then subsequently snapped up., and with England Youth players, 3 under 19s , all in all not a surprisng result.

Yup, the point Clement made about them fielding 3 U19's is like us fielding Hutchinson, Bertrand and Cork is spot on and the exact reason that Academy football is all about the development of the players rather than results.

Although we had plenty of England youth internationals in our team too, but i am sure at a younger level.

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being down to 10 men didnt help either.. we are signing quality youngsters from around the world.. don't think them having under 19's is a much of a handicap, is it? may be its just that it wasnt our strongest squad..

Of course it's a handicap, at that age the physical development is huge. Like Clement said, you imagine us putting Hutchinson, Bertrand and Cork in that team now, over other teams it would be a massive advantage.....

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