UNDER-21S AND YOUTH IN FRIENDLY WINS
Pre-season preparations continued for Chelsea Academy players on Saturday with matches in North Wales and at Cobham.
Dermot Drummy took a large Under-21 squad to face Conference North side Colwyn Bay, managed by former Chelsea favourite Frank Sinclair, and came away with a 5-1 win.
The first-half line-up included Nathan Ake and Andreas Christensen in defence, Lewis Baker, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jeremie Boga in midfield but it was the home side who took the lead in front of a crowd of 650.
That was after a Chelsea defensive lapse but recently signed Isaiah Brown, playing centre-forward, scored a good individual goal to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Brown was the only Chelsea player to begin both halves before he was replaced on 60 minutes by Alex Kiwomya, who had played the first half. Another new signing, Christian Cuevas was part of the second-half forward line.
The visitors took the lead and then went 3-1 up thanks to a brace by John Swift (pictured above), both goals the result of good combination play allied to the midfielder's strong running.
A great goal from Kiwomya following build-up play on the left and a cross from Adam Nditi extended the lead, before Brown joined Swift on two goals by shutting down an opponent and making the most of a half-chance.
Former Premier League striker Ade Akinbiyi, who joined Colwyn Bay this week as a player-coach, played 20 minutes before coming off with a hamstring strain but Pascal Chimbonda, who is a free agent and is training with them, was not involved.
'It was a good all-round performance against a tough, well-organised Colwyn Bay side,' reports Drummy.
'It was good to play against Frank Sinclair and he was very complementary afterwards.'
At Cobham, an Under-18s pre-season fixture against Stevenage ended in a 3-2 win for the Blues.
It was a young Chelsea side with plenty of schoolboys involved over the 90 minutes, but new first-year scholars Bradley Collins in goal, George Brady in defence and Charly Musonda were also involved.
As in the Under-21 game, the half-time score was 1-1, Chelsea on this occasion taking the lead when George Cole cut in from a wide position to find the net well midway through the half, but Stevenage equalised almost immediately. They were also thankful to their keeper for keeping the home team at bay on several occasions.
Early in the second-half, Anjur Osmanovic who spent last season on loan at his former club in Sweden, restored the lead with an opportunistic left-foot strike but again the visitors cancelled it out straight away.
The winner came from one of the schoolboys, Nias Butungu, who added to his goal against Brighton earlier in the month with a clean left-foot strike into the bottom corner.
The lead was preserved with aid of three good interventions by substitute goalkeeper Joe Tupper and a saving tackle from Brady. Jon Muleba came close to a fourth Chelsea goal but was denied by the keeper.