YOUTH REPORT: CHELSEA 0 EVERTON 1
An early goal brought defeat for a young Chelsea side on a wet and windy Cobham morning.
Without a string of players who will be in NextGen action on Sunday, the Chelsea side was made up entirely of first-year scholars and schoolboys, and at times it showed against a more experienced Everton side.
The Toffees started the brighter and duly took the lead 10 minutes in when a cross was allowed into the box, and with captain Isak Ssewankembo unable to clear, striker George Warning swept home past goalkeeper Ben Killip.
Ambrose Gnahore worked himself into a shooting position as Chelsea sought to respond, but couldn't find the target from the left channel, where he would be a near-constant threat for the Blues.
George Cole brought a save from the visiting goalkeeper on the half-hour after beating his man and bending a shot at goal, while at the other end Killip was able to watch a low cross-shot to safety.
Gnahore shot wide again five minutes before the break, and so we went in a goal down, but competitive against a more physically imposing opposition.
Twice in the second half's early stages Everton should have doubled their lead after Chelsea errors, but twice they were off-target, first from close range after a scramble in the area, and then one-on-one with Killip the striker shot wide.
A swift counter-attack after a Chelsea corner saw the visitors go close again and then a Killip double-save was required to keep the Toffees at bay.
Among all these chances, Chelsea were enjoying plenty of possession but struggling to convert that into goalscoring opportunities. Jesse Starkey's low free-kick inside the final 10 minutes represented the first test for the Everton stopper in the second half, and Gnahore bent wide shortly afterwards.
Killip confidently watched a drive fly over off the top of the Chelsea crossbar and quickly restarted play, but there was no time remaining for the Blues to find a leveller, and so Adi Viveash's side fell to a second consecutive home league defeat.
The Under-19s missing from today's game can be seen in action at Griffin Park tomorrow, with entry free for supporters. The game is also live on Chelsea TV from 12.15pm.
Chelsea: Ben Killip; Ola Aina, Jonathan Muleba, Isak Ssewankambo (c), Nortei Nortey (sub Sam Bangura h-t); Jesse Starkey, George Cole ( sub Reuben Sammut 83), Connor Hunte; Ismail Seremba (sub Dominic Solanke 60), Chike Kandi, Ambrose Gnahore.
Unused sub: Mitchell Beeney