UNDER-18S REPORT: LIVERPOOL 1 CHELSEA 2
Alex Kiwomya was the hero as our Under-18s maintained their unbeaten start to the season with an impressive 2-1 win away at Liverpool.
Kiwomya, playing in a less familiar central striker's role, struck twice after the break to put Adi Viveash's side firmly in the ascendancy, and while the hosts pulled one back in the closing minutes, we held on for a memorable, well-deserved win.
With the start of our defence of the FA Youth Cup only a couple of weeks away, Viveash was eager to experiment, and started the game by pairing Kiwomya with Reece Mitchell in attack, with Charlie Colkett tucked in behind in a 4-3-1-2 formation, but a lack of width during the first half ensured it was a difficult opening 45 minutes for our full-backs, with Fankaty Dabo, in particular, finding himself tested severely.
As an attacking force, we struggled to impose ourselves on the game, with most of our better work being done off the ball as opposed to when we were in possession.
After reverting to a more familiar 4-3-3 after the break, however, it was a completely different story, and the Blues took the lead midway through the second half.
Dion Conroy showed great vision to pick out Kiwomya with a delightful pass, and the forward - by this time playing through the middle on his own, with Reece Mitchell wide on the left - finished in style.
Shortly after he doubled his tally for the day and extended our advantage after linking up well with substitite Tom Howard.
Howard found Kiwomya on the edge of the penalty area, and the youngster displayed great footwork to evade his marker with a lovely piece of skill before firing his strike beyond the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
His delight in scoring, though, was tempered by the fact he picked up an injury in the process, and it was to be his last involvement as he was replaced by Jonathan Muleba.
With two minutes remaining Liverpool hit back after we failed to clear our lines from a corner, but it was too little, too late, as we inflicted their first home defeat of the campaign.
Viveash paid tribute to his players after the final whistle, not only for the performance, but for a superb first half of the season.
'Charlie Colkett in central midfield was outstanding, as were Jordan Houghton and Isak Ssewankambo,' he said.
'To go 10 games unbeaten is a massive achievement and the boys should be very proud of themselves.
'It means after Christmas we'll go into a super programme and play against the best teams from other sections, and that's when the players will get really tested.'
Chelsea (4-3-1-2): Mitchell Beeney; Fankaty Dabo, Isak Ssewankambo, Dion Conroy, Kevin Wright; Ruben Loftus-Cheek (c), Jordan Houghton (George Cole 65), Connor Hunte; Charlie Colkett; Reece Mitchell (Tom Howard 70), Alex Kiwomya (Jonathan Muleba 80).