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Newcastle Reserves 2 Chelsea FC Reserves 3


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A double from Milan Lalkovic and a last-gasp Adam Phillip penalty earned Chelsea reserves an excellent win against Newcastle at St. James' Park. The young Blues, missing several who had travelled to Zilina for the Champions League game on Wednesday, fell behind in the second minute but reacted well after a barrage of pressure to overturn the deficit, the nippy Lalkovic twice keeping his cool to slot home, only for a Newcastle equaliser to come in the second half.

It looked like it would finish level, and in truth it was probably Newcastle who had edged it, only for substitute Phillip, playing his first competitive reserve game in a year after injury, to race through and attract a foul by the sprawling Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul. The forward then despatched the penalty himself to secure three big points.

Newcastle went in front inside 90 seconds through Ryan Donaldson, whose won a challengewith Nathaniel Chalobah just outside the area and sent a dipping half-volley into Jan Sebek's bottom right-hand corner.

It was the worst imaginable start against a Newcastle side with former England defender Sol Campbell at the heart of its defence, the 36-year-old still working his way back to full fitness after a summer transfer from Arsenal.

Patrick McLaughlin tested Sebek with another low effort five minutes later but the goalkeeper saved well.

Chelsea were surrendering possession all too quickly in their own half, and when they did get the ball forward, Newcastle's high-lined defence caught the forward players offside. Part of the problem it seemed was Chelsea's own defence sitting too deep inside its own half, and coach Steve Holland could be heard encouraging his youngsters to step forward.

Nile Ranger had the ball in the net in the 15th minute but was flagged offside, and then the forward headed over from a corner as the home side continued to have the upper hand.

On 26 minutes Jacopo Sala had Chelsea's first effort on target, a curling free-kick that lacked any real venom and was easy for Magpies goalkeeper Krul to claim. It seemed to galvanise the Blues a little though, and a succession of corners followed.

The equaliser came from Milan Lalkovic, latching on to a through ball and calmly slotting low across Kul from the right-hand channel and into the bottom corner.

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The sides would only be level for a few minutes before the Slovakian Lalkovic put Chelsea in front with another tidy finish, this time converting Aziz Deen-Conteh's pull-back after the left-back had overlapped and seared into the Newcastle area. Campbell, it seemed, was still a yard off the pace. No surprise given the breakneck speed at which Chelsea had moved the ball from one end to the other.

The turnaround was a major surprise for anyone who had seen the first 25 minutes, and it almost got better just before half-time when a loose ball fell to Sala just before the break, though the Italian could only fire high at the far post.

Less than two minutes into the second half Sala did hit the net, but his goal was chalked off for offside after Tore had picked him out.

At the other end Deen-Conteh showed his defensive capabilities with a superbly-timed tackle inside the area, a challenge that will have impressed the 3,700 inside St James' Park.

Newcastle began to press again though and Chelsea were foced to defend stoically, Joan Edmundsson curling just over after Rohan Ince had half-cleared with a header.

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The home side wouldn't have to wait long for an equaliser though, after Ranger managed to keep possession under pressure from Billy Clifford and square for Haris Vuckic, his fellow striker, to slot home.

Sebek had to make another important save to maintain parity with 15 minutes remaining, when sub Phil Airey shot low and hard, and it looked as though this game may have a winner.

In a bid to make sure it was Chelsea, Holland introduced Kaby for Daniel Pappoe, Chalobah dropping into centre-half, and then Adam Phillip made a return from the bench with eight minutes remaining after a lengthy period out through injury - it was his first competitive reserve outing in a year.

Vuckic volleyed inches wide from distance and then Sebek had to make a fine double save, first from the Slovenian and then from Airey who had followed up his initial parry to keep his side in it.

Then, with seconds of injury time remaining, Phillip raced through and was brought down by Krul to ensure a penalty for Chelsea.

The sub took the ball himself and confidently strode up and stroked hit shot hard into the bottom left-hand corner to win what had been an entertaining encounter, making the long trip home all the more pleasant.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Jan Sebek; Billy Clifford, Daniel Pappoe © (sub Aliu 'Kaby' Djalo 76), Rohan Ince, Aziz Deen-Conteh; Conor Clifford, Nathaniel Chalobah, Jacob Mellis; Jacopo Sala, Milan Lalkovic (sub Adam Phillip 81), Gokhan Tore (sub Michael Woods 84).

Newcastle: Tim Krul, Conor Newton, Tamas Kadar, Matthew Grieve, Sol Campbell, Patrick McLaughlin (sub Greg McDermott 62), Ryan Donaldson, Haris Vuckic, Shane Ferguson (sub Phil Airey 74), Joan Edmundsson, Nile Ranger.

Source: Chelsea FC

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EskWeston's Match Review:

After the usual frustrating usual long break between reserve games (over 3 weeks in this case) reserve team football was back with a bang. The other curse of reserve team football was also on show for this game, players who would have played this game away with the first team on Champions League duty. Although in the case of Gael Kakuta, Josh McEachran and Patrick Van Aanholt it is not a problem as they got some valuable first team minutes. On the other hand Fabio Borini and Sam Walker will suffer to a certain extent from missing out on 90 minutes of football. Also missing for this game was Jeffrey Bruma still recovering from injury and Marko Mitrovic also with an injury. There was a start for Jan Sebek returning from injury and taking advantage of the absense of Sam Walker, a return to action for Danny Mills Pappoe and a second reserve start for 15 year old Nathaniel Chalobah. What we had was basically last seasons youth cup team with Sebek and Mellis added, which i am sure all will agree is a very good crop of players.

Newcastle fielded a team that was also young, but a little older than most of our boys and a number with experience in the Championship from last season. The game started off in not a good way for Chelsea. Newcastle were very dominant over Chelsea and we just could not keep the ball at all. Newcastle were finding the space easily and keeping possesion of the ball and finding themselves in good areas. On Chelsea's part we couldn't keep the ball in midfield and was struggling to find Lalkovic who was playing as the centre forward for this game. This early pressure also resulted in an early goal for Newcastle a long range shot was put well out of the reach of Sebek and Newcastle went a goal up. The pressure continued to come from Newcastle for about half of the first half before Chelsea started to get a foothold in the game and begin to keep some possesion of the ball.

It was a break away goal that put Chelsea back in the game, a ball between the Newcastle defence for Lalkovic to run onto, Lalkovic easily beat the cumbersome Sol Campbell to slot home under the keeper to bring things level. This lifted the Chelsea boys and things started to click for them, balls behind the defence was something that was to be tried again and again with good effect. It wasn't too long before Chelsea found themselves ahead, much to the shock of the Newcastle fans. A storming run down the left hand side by the impressive Aziz Deen Conteh found Lalkovic free in the box and he slotted the ball away confidently to give the blues the lead that no-one saw was coming.

For the rest of the first half and then into the second half Chelsea continued to be on top of things and Newcastle just couldn't get in the game, we could have scored another goal or 2 but that wasn't to be and then Newcastle found themselves another goal to make things really interesting. Strong work from the Newcastle centre forward held the ball up in the box to wait for the run of his teammate, he then picked him out free in the box and it was an easy finish to bring the game back on level terms. Then for the second time in the game it was time for Chelsea to struggle and try as hard as they can to hold off Newcastle. The young blues managed to do that and then start again to play. As the game came to a close it was truely end to end stuff, both teams fighting it out to win the game. Right at the death though it was Chelsea who would have the best oppertunity, another through ball saw substitute Adam Phillip race through to see who would win the ball first, him or the Newcastle keeper. It was Phillip who won the race who toed it past the keeper and was then brought down in the box, a penalty right in the final seconds of the game. Adam Phillip having won the penalty stepped up to take it and confidently slotted home to give Chelsea a big win in a game that was a real fight.

There was never really a point when the game was even, it was either Newcastle on top or Chelsea on top. To be fair to Newcastle they had more clear goalscoring oppertunities than us, however we found it harder to keep possesion upfront without a recognised centre forward. On the whole it was a very entertaining game that could have gone either way but it is a very nice 3 points for us following on the back of a good performance against Everton where we should have won.

Player Reviews:

Jan Sebek: A return from a lenghtly lay off for Sebek getting his chance in the absense of Sam Walker who was away on Champions League duty. Sebek has a lot of work to do, he has yet to reach any sort of top form and with Sam Walker having overtaken him in the pecking order things have been made very hard for him. For this game he was OK, no real glaring errors on his behalf and could not have done much with either of the Newcastle goals. But there is a little bit of nervousness from him which could be down to lack of match time or lack of confidence. Either way it puts a little pressure of the back 4. Not too sure what the long term future is for Sebek but Walker will be chosen over him for most games this season.

Billy Clifford: Billy Clifford is a player i have praised a lot of the the last season. He is making real progress at right back and looking a real prospect. However in this game he was not so good. He was beat too easily too many times down his right hand side and he hardly got forward at all to influence things further up the pitch which has been a highlight of his performances. It was a shame to see Billy have a poor game, but i am sure it is just a one-off and next time out we can hope to see him put in a much improved shift to this game. Billy has a lot of ability and we want to harness that for our benefit.

Aziz Deen-Conteh: Man of the Match performance from Aziz in this game. Aziz is another player who is continuing to impress. He is looking a real class left back and was causing problems for the Newcastle back 4 all night, very much in the same way that Ashley Cole does for the first team. At the moment he doesn't have the stamina that Ashley Cole does because at times after making a run forward he struggled to get back, but as he gets older that should improve if he works on it. A good defensive performance as well as a good attacking performance from Aziz, it was certainly his attacking runs that were the highlight in this game although he made one fabulous last ditch tackle in the box and game away with the ball that was very impressive.

Danny Mills Pappoe: First game back from injury and definately looked a little rusty. But he didn't really do too much wrong, it just wasn't the strong all action performance we may have seen from him in the past. Was made captain for the game which was a big deal for him still being so young, it is hard to remember that he was playing reserve team football all last season as a schoolboy. Danny will hope to get more games under his belt and return to his top level and kick on from there, i am sure it will come and we will see the best of him again, would like to see him really work on his partnership with Rohan Ince in particular for the FA Youth cup this season.

Rohan Ince: A decent solid game from Rohan again who is working himself into some good form again. It is a big season for Rohan to regain the form he had before his injury and so far he is on track. My only concern for Rohan is that he is still prone to silly mistakes. Mentally sometimes he will make the wrong choice and put himself and others under pressure, if he can work that out of his game then he will be a lot stronger for it. His passing could do with being a bit simpler, he tends to go for the long cross field ball which is a lot harder than finding an easier pass and building from there. All these things should come with more game time, but Rohan is having some good form at the moment.

Nathaniel Chalobah: Chalobah has virtually skipped youth level and is now a regular reserve team player, excellent for a player who is still only a 15 year old Schoolboy. He had a good game last time out and showed his qulaities. This time however in a much tougher game where things were not going our way for much of the game he looked quite shakey. It must be remembered that the holding role is not one he has played very regular, but still there was far too much losing of possession through holding on to the ball too long or poor passes. It would have been a very good learning curve for him and the lad clearly has a lot of ability, but this wasn't a great game for him. But like i said, if he can learn from this game and take this experience into the next then he will be so much better for that. It does look like he is earmarked for that holding role long term, so he has a lot to learn still and hopefully he will because if he does develop well there he could be very very good.

Connor Clifford: So far this season Connor has not hit the performance levels he reached last season. Again, could be a case of not enough games for him as last season he was mixing youth and reserve football. It wasn't the all action gut busting performance we are used to seeing, he was not timing his tackles well and his passing was a little bit off at times also. Never got involved high up the park either which is something that we would normally see from him. Having just signed a new contract and being told by Carlo that he is wanting around Cobham rather than have a loan he really needs to give everything in all games he plays in to be taken notice of so he can possibly get a chance or two at first team level. We need to see Connor dominating the midfield like Michael Essien does for the first team, that is what we want to see Connor moulding himself on.

Jacob Mellis: Somewhat of a suprise to see Jacob still around at Cobham and not out on loan somewhere, of course that could still happen for him and probably will as staying playing for the reserves will not help his development at this stage. In this game he was OK, not as heavily involved as he was against Everton and not as influential but still did a decent job. Jacob was playing behind Lalkovic and strying to be the link between midfield and attack, but as a lot of the game possession was hard to come by for Chelsea it meant that he was struggling to make an impact. Would very much like to see him get himself a good loan where he can play football and improve on what he does.

Jacopo Sala: As with a lot of the boys it wasn't a great game for Sala. Again struggling to find himself involved in the game and to make things happen. He trid coming inside ot affect the game but things were just not working for him. He is at the moment a little inconsistent with his play, there is no middle ground for him, he is either very good or just OK and we want to see some consistancy from him and with that will come progression.

Gokhan Tore: Gokhan is a player that promises so much but far too often fails to deliver. A frustrating player as with his build and skill he can truly devestate teams. We are seeing that far too rarely and the longer it goes on the less chance there is of him really making it. I don't know if mentally he is right, he clearly has a high opion of himself and according to various reports thinks that he should be playing with the first team. So it may be that he doesn't put the effort in as much as he should or if he just isn't clever enough to turn his ability to his advantage. All too often we him doing tricks when there is absolutely no need for it or overdoing things. It's a shame because he can offer a lot but he is not producing at all at the moment.

Milan Lalkovic: Milan was playing as centre forward, a role that is not unfamiliar to him but one that is clearly not suited for him. To be fair to him he worked hard, he got himself 2 goals through some good work. However again, another player who will so many times make the wrong choice or over do things. A clear point was in the first half, he was played behind the defence and run through at an able to goal which he should never have shot from, everyone could see he just wouldn't score from there, Sala was in the box a clear and a good pass would have given him a clear shot on goal but Milan chose to shot at an impossible angle. Again i am not sure if Milan is ever going to turn his ability to be the player we want him to be. But he got his goals and played well on the whole last night.

A very good workout from a strong Newcastle side and 3 points. I am sure Steve Holland will be very happy but will also have plenty to work on for the next game. Some decent performances from some and some others who need to pick things up a little bit. I certainly don't think you would call it a "good" performance from us, but we worked hard to stop Newcastle and took our chances when we had them.

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seems we had a very inexperienced team out for this level ..so perhaps you are being a little hard on them esk .Not questioning your judgement

or analysis of course. thought of gap between Chalobah and Sol Campbell. disappointed to hear your remarks about Tore had high hopes for him.

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seems we had a very inexperienced team out for this level ..so perhaps you are being a little hard on them esk .Not questioning your judgement

or analysis of course. thought of gap between Chalobah and Sol Campbell. disappointed to hear your remarks about Tore had high hopes for him.

The Newcastle team wasn't exactly full of experience, and these players have a lot of quality. Too many passes going astray and a lack of holding onto the ball. This team of players can play the best football, which we say last season in the youth cup, and it was frustrating to see them misplace so many passing and struggle to keep control of the ball. These boys can do better than what they did last night, but they worked hard and didn't give up which is the most important thing. Such a difference between the 2 games so far, first one we completely dominated and didn't win and this one we was overrun for much of the game and stole the 3 points.

Sol Campbell is a carthorse and although he did well positionally, he was a weak leak because we exposed his pace time and time again.

Tore is a massive frustration to be honest, i just hope he turns things around soon.....

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The Newcastle team wasn't exactly full of experience, and these players have a lot of quality. Too many passes going astray and a lack of holding onto the ball. This team of players can play the best football, which we say last season in the youth cup, and it was frustrating to see them misplace so many passing and struggle to keep control of the ball. These boys can do better than what they did last night, but they worked hard and didn't give up which is the most important thing. Such a difference between the 2 games so far, first one we completely dominated and didn't win and this one we was overrun for much of the game and stole the 3 points.

Sol Campbell is a carthorse and although he did well positionally, he was a weak leak because we exposed his pace time and time again.

Tore is a massive frustration to be honest, i just hope he turns things around soon.....

I think the quickies (Tore, Lalkovic) find out that you need more than that as you move up the levels and technique is found to be poor, which is not needed so much at youth level. Real problem as it's the big and fast ones who progress quicker but happen to be less able to cope technically so resort to lauching the ball and sprinting in straight lines to show they can. Too many Hollywood balls from kids who see the need to impress (Ince, B. Clifford) but end up doing the opposite. Even Aziz's runs look great but are very one-dimensional. Great block at the end though, thought it saved us a point but actually won 3 in the end. I always sound like I'm on a downer but I still have high hopes below this group who are better technically but still growing so will probably go further in the long run.

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