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Wolves Reserves 0 Chelsea FC Reserves 1


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Chelseareserves are in league action tonight as they travel to Wolves lookingto build on the 5-2 victory over Portsmouth at the beginning of themonth.Manager Steve Holland, who is without severalregulars, will be able to call on the experience of Paulo Ferreira, whocontinues on the road to full fitness after a serious knee injury.

Serb international Nemanja Matic, still awaiting his first team debut, misses out.

Thisis the reserves' third league game of the season, following the win atPortsmouth and the 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa in late August, andelsewhere in the squad there will be an insight into the future with a heavy involvement of youth team players.

'We have three lads in Egypt with the Under 20World Cup (Michael Woods, Nana Ofori-Twumasi and Jan Sebek), we haveKakuta who is banned, and then we have three in the Champions Leaguegroup, certainly Borini, Hutchinson and Bruma will travel to Cyprus,' Holland explained.

'We have one or two injuries as well, with AdamPhillip and Carl Magnay out injured, so it will be a mixture of youthteam players with Ferreira, who isn't in the Champions League squad.'

He believes this evening's game, which will belive on Chelsea TV, is a chance for Academy players to show what theyare capable of.

'It is an opportunity for them to impress. ConorClifford and Jacopo Sala are still eligible for the youth team, buthave played for the reserves this season, alongside those who haven't,like Milan Lalkovic and Gokhan Tore, as well as Josh McEachran, so it'sa good opportunity for them to show what they can do.

'Conor came in for the Portsmouth game and playedvery well, and if he can carry on in the same vein against Wolves wewill be more than pleased with that.'

For Wolves, Chris Iwelumo and Richard Stearman figure as they return from knee and ankle injuries respectively.

Chelsea: Rhys Taylor, Ben Gordon, KennethStrickland, Danny Mills, Paulo Ferreira, Daniel Philliskirk, ConorClifford, Jacopo Sala, Joshua McEachran, Gokhan Tore, Milan Lalkovic.

Subs: Nikki Ahamed, Sam Walker, Billy Clifford, Aliu Djalo, Marko Mitrovic.

Wolves: Ikeme, Little, Malone, Stearman, Hill, Davis, Mendez-Laing, Rooney, Vokes, Iwelumo, Hemmings.

Subs: East, Metcalf, Griffiths, Ismail, Harris, Landell, Szabo.

At the Under 20 World Cup in Egypt, Ofori-Twumasi featured in thesecond half of England's 1-0 defeat to Uruguay, and now faces Ghana,the country of his birth in the second game. Woods was an unused sub,while Sebek was on the bench as Czech Republic beat Australia 2-0 intheir opening game.

Tune into Chelsea TV on Sky channel 421, from 7pm tonight.

Source: Chelsea FC

Edited by EskWeston
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Very very young team going out for this game, Mills is already playing up a level in the U18's so that is a big step up for him, but the lad is a big unit so he should cope physically. Big step up for McEacran also. Don't understand why they are not starting with Mitrovic and playing with Tore and Lalkovic upfront.

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A young Chelsea side, boosted by the presence of Paulo Ferreira as captain, earned a creditable away win at Wolves on Tuesday night.The goal came courtesy of Irish midfielder ConorClifford, who scored a superb long-range effort with just two minutesremaining, following up the 5-2 win against Portsmouth at the beginningof the month.

Ferreira, who completed a second 90 minutesinside a week as he steps up his fitness after cruciate ligamentinjury, was a commanding presence throughout the evening, helping hislesser experienced team-mates to a clean sheet.

Wolves, boasting two regular first team players,Chris Iwelumo and Richard Stearman, to Chelsea's one, had the firstopportunity at Telford United's ground six minutes in.

Scotland international Iwelumo, recovering from aknee injury, made use of his height advantage over young Chelsea centrehalves, schoolboy debutant Danny Mills and Kenny Strickland, to headtowards goal from eight yards out after a right-wing cross, but hiseffort dropped a foot wide of the goal.

Chelsea were having plenty of the ball though,and possession almost paid off before the quarter-hour mark when MilanLalkovic burst through the home defence before firing at the crossbarfrom a tight angle. A decent chance, it will have given the youngSlovak plenty of confidence that he can succeed at this level.

Both sides were full of enterprise and intent, without showing the kind of quality needed to make a breakthrough.

Wolves' Wales international, 19-year-old SamVokes showed perseverance on the edge of the Chelsea area but waseventually crowded out by the experienced Ferreira, whose keyinvolvement had been in his own half rather than the opposition's.

Eight minutes before half-time Turkish under-21international Gokhan Tore forced a Chelsea corner, but the delivery waspoor and the game looked destined to be goalless at half-time.

There was one more clearance from Strickland at his near post before the referee's whistle called an end to the first period.

The positives for manager Steve Holland wouldhave been his side's defensive performance, which had been strong andorganised after Iwelumo's early chance, but there was plenty to work ongoing forward.

At half-time Wolves took off both Iwelumo andStearman, and Chelsea took the initiative. Tore did well, runningdirectly at the Wolves defence before squaring for Danny Philliskirk,whose side-footed effort was just tipped around the post by goalkeeperIkeme.

Chelsea keeper RhysTaylor, for long periods a spectator, looked to have injured himself inthe knee, but was okay to continue, clutching a Vokes header to hischest just after the hour mark.

At the other end Philliskirk was in the thick ofthe action again, pushing the ball round a defender before gettinganother shot away, again well saved by Ikeme.

Taylor made the save ofthe game with 19 minutes remaining, diving low to his right to scoopthe ball away from goal after sub Metcalf had curled a cross into thebox, which took the Welshman by surprise having evaded forward Vokes,who looked favourite to make contact.

With 17 minutes remaining, debutant JoshMcEachran and Tore were replaced by two more making their reserve teambows, Aliu 'Kaby' Djalo and Billy Clifford.

By this point it was all Wolves. From a corner,Taylor only managed partial contact on a punch, and had to reactquickly to save Matt Hill's goalbound header from breaking the deadlock.

Then came the goal, a belter from Conor Clifford, who had been praised prior to the game by coach Holland.

The young midfielder took hold of a loose ballfrom Lalkovic 25 yards out with two minutes remaining, and hammered itbeyond Ikeme into the roof of the net.

It was the perfect ending to the night, which hadalready offered plenty of positives. That makes it consecutive wins forthe second string, who are next in Barclay's Premier Reserve LeagueSouth action away at Arsenal on Monday.

Chelsea (4-4-2 diamond): Rhys Taylor, Paulo Ferreira©, Kenny Strickland, Danny Mills, Ben Gordon; Daniel Philliskirk(Nikki Ahamed 82), Conor Clifford, Jacopo Sala, Josh McEachran (KabyDjalo 73); Gokhan Tore (Billy Clifford 73), Milan Lalkovic.

Unused Subs: Sam Walker, Marko Mitrovic.

Wolves: Ikeme, Little, Malone, Stearman (Metcalf h-t), Hill, Davis, Mendez-Laing, Rooney, Vokes, Iwelumo (Ismail h-t), Hemmings.

Source: Chelsea FC

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When you see the highlights from this game you will see that in terms of goal action there was very little from either side. However for me this was a very very interesting game. Right from the start with the team put out it would going to be interesting, lots of young players getting their chances, how will they do. This game (even though Wolves were poor) proves that the group coming through in our U18's are a very talented group of players.

A back 4 consisting of Ferreira, Strickland, Schoolboy Danny Mills and Ben Gordon copes perfectly with everything wolves could through at them. Mills in particular showed what a talent he is, the fantastic partnership Mills and Strickland have formed in the youth team carried through to this and they were immense.

The midfield with Sala at the base, Philliskirk at the top and Clifford and McEachran in the middle were not outplayed and showed some real class, McEachran is a truly elegant player with some great touches, Clifford has a fantastic engine and sala may have just found a regular spot playing at the base of the diamond.

Had we played with 2 proper strikers we would have thumped Wolves last night, it is not a dig at Lalkovic and Tore because they played very well indeed but they are not strikers and it showed. Lalkovic was a threat with his speed behind the defence and he hit the bar, and physically Tore was very good but with they struggled to hold the ball up which limited chances.

Player Reviews:

Rhys Taylor: Hardly had any saves to make but dealt with what he had to with great effect. Looked very comfortable and able make a couple of good saves near the end to keep us in it. Looked like he did a bit of damage to himself with one clearance but was able to carry on so it doesn't look like anything serious.

Paulo Ferreira: The old head in the team. Exactly what you would expect from a first teamer in the reserves, professionalism. He worked hard, got up and down the pitch well and was under very little pressure. Did the captain bit well, spoke to all the lads and was very good with them, i am sure they appreciated it.

Kenny Strickland: I know Strickland was only brought in as an emergency for cover because we were so short of centre backs but he has really really impressed. I would not be suprised to see him offered a longer deal because he is a very good defender. He has formed a top relationship with Mills and they are thriving at the moment. Needs to work on his distribution but i like him very much. We have wealth of talent at centre back at all levels in CFC at the moment.

Danny Mills: A lot of attention on Mills for this game as he is still a Schoolboy and is already playing up a level at the U18's level. This was a big game for him but boy did he cope. Man of the match for sure he dominated the box and showed the physical abilty and the technical ability of a much older player. Big things for this lad, he is a big unit but talent wise he is very close to Bruma for the ability to play so well at a young age.

Ben Gordon: Had a solid game and worked very hard. But for me there is something about Gordon that says he is not quite settled at reserves level yet. He needs to be more confident and keep his head a bit better. In this game he was under little pressure and he grew into the game, but he needs a little improvement for me.

Jacopo Sala: Close runner for man of the match. I was very impressed with Sala in this game. The holding role is not a natural one for him but he did very very well indeed. You would have thought he had always played there. His covering as brilliant, he was always in the right position, he battled hard and his distribution was top notch. I will be interested to see him continue there because he has potential.

Conor Clifford: Again another strong performance from Conor. Took a little while to get into the rythem of the game but when he did he was very good. He is a proper box to box player and likes to get stuck in. He took his goal very well and we have seen before he can hit some cracking shots when needed. Has done very well this season so far in the reserves and i am sure everyone is very pleased with him.

Josh McEachran: Another player who took a while to get into the game. I was very intrigued to see Josh play because he has been very much hyped up by the club and has trained many times with the first team. Particulary in the second half Josh showed what he can do. He is so elegant on the ball, he can trick his way around players without it looking flashy, he is just purely elegant on the ball. Still a little maturity needed in his game as he would do something brilliant and then give the ball away with a sloppy pass, but yes, this is a talented boy for sure.

Daniel Philliskirk: A solid game but i would like to see a little more from the player playing in the hole behind the strikers, especially if the strikers are wingers. I like Philliskirk but i feel he is more suited to a more central midfield role than supporting the strikers. But he put in a solid shift and his passing was very good and he is a strong lad too.

Gokhan Tore: Played out of position it was very hard for the forwards in this game. He tried his best and the boy has some great strength but he was just not suited to it. He is fast and strong and will do better in midfield, and i certainly think there is a lot to come from him still.

Milan Lalkovic: Had a very impressive start to the game where ball played behind the defence he could latch onto and he did that brilliantly at one point but hit the bar. After a spell though the balls behind didn't come and Milan found it difficult get in the game. He is a good little player though with speed and ability.

Brilliant game to watch to see these young lads and was well pleased we ended up with the win because they worked hard and deserved it. Good to see Holland getting his feet under the table now and working well with these lads, he could be just the right man to develop these boys

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Esk, do you think that Rhys can break into the first team one day? I think he should be the third choice kepper instead of Turnball.

If he is to break into the first team then he needs to improve big time, he is fairly soild but can he make the next level? i don't know yet for sure....

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