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A Fulham side overcame a more youthful Chelsea line-up at Cobham today as the Blues conceded twice in the second half. It was a tough fixture against a strong visiting team but a good performance from Chelsea was marred by the result.

Dermot Drummy selected three schoolboys in his starting line up, with Alex Davey, Lewis Baker and Adam Nditi making the grade.

Aziz Deen-Conteh (pictured clearing off the line below) earned some playing time at left-back while Anton Rodgers returned in midfield. Ben Sampayo captained from right-back, with Davey and Archange Nkumu as his two centres.


An attacking trio consisted of Baker, Bobby Devyne and Nditi, although Nditi would move to left-back later in the game when Reece Loudon replaced Deen-Conteh.

Fulham boasted the better of the opening exchanges, with Blackman making several saves in the opening period of play. One of these prevented a Richard Peniket header at the far post before Alex Brister's effort was denied following the Fulham man's break into the box.

Rodgers released a brilliant through ball for Nditi just past the 20-minute mark but as the youngster closed down he clashed with Fulham keeper Jesse Joresen, who subsequently received treatment.

That chance led to a corner but Fulham broke on the counter and Kerim Frei forced another good save from Blackman after shooting from 20 yards.

A close-range effort from Todd Kane, feeding off a ball from George Saville (pictured below), was denied by Joresen as the hosts began to pressure Fulham.


The visitors immediately retaliated when Keamu Marsh-Brown chipped a Peniket ball over Blackman and off the bar; it was the closest either side came to a goal in the first half.

Chelsea's next chance came when a sliding Kane sent a searching Niditi cross careering past the post and the score remained goalless at the break.

Drummy made no changes before the second half got under way and within five minutes Kane had a chance on goal, but, despite Devyne not interfering with play, the referee deemed him offside and the whistle was blown.

It was 10 minutes into the half when Baker made way for Ismail Seremba, who took up a role in central attack while Devyne moved out onto the right.

A few minutes later, Fulham took the lead. Despite a good first-half performance, the goal came after a Blackman mistake saw the keeper fail to hold onto a Frei freekick, which allowed Peniket to tap the loose ball in from close range.

That was 58 minutes into the game but Chelsea were unable to come back. The only real chance on goal came when Kane broke onto a well-placed Loudon ball only for his shot to be parried away by the keeper.

Kane did collect the rebound but was unable to hit anything but the side netting from an acute angle on the left side of the box.

Then, with only seconds left on the clock, Corry Crameiro netted Fulham's second after smashing a cross from the right into the net from 15 yards out. An outstretched Blackman managed to get a touch but couldn't stop the strike and Fulham went away with a 2-0 triumph.

'Youth football is about developing players and that's important,' said Drummy after the game.

'We're playing well at the moment, we know we're not winning games but we also know why and we can work on that.

'We haven't got a goal threat at the moment. Philipp Prosenik is still out and Bobby Devyne is on his own out there while Ismail Seremba still develops.

'But we just have to play quick football and today we didn't do that,' added the youth team manager.

Chelsea (4-3-3): Jamal Blackman; Ben Sampayo ©, Alex Davey, Archange Nkumu, Aziz Deen-Conteh (Reece Loudon 57); Todd Kane, Anton Rodgers (John Swift 82), George Saville; Lewis Baker (Ismail Seremba 55), Bobby Devyne, Adam Nditi.

Source: Chelsea FC

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