YOUTH REPORT: MIDDLESBROUGH 0 CHELSEA 1
Chelsea's youth team continued their unbeaten run with a narrow win at Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon, but it came at a cost.
Adi Viveash's side claimed the victory thanks to John Swift's second-half header but lost four players to injury on a foggy day in the north-east, causing concern ahead of next week's FA Youth Cup game at Colchester.
Ambrose Gnahore and Jeremie Boga went off in the first half with hamstring injuries, Dion Conroy was knocked unconscious after competing for a header at a corner, and was taken to hospital, and finally Alex Kiwomya suffered a recurrence of the ankle knock he sustained at Liverpool last week, meaning the Blues ended the game with 10 men.
Early on Mitchell Beeney had to save from a Middlesbrough forward after a one-two had opened up Chelsea's defence, while at the other end Kiwomya had a chance following a good pass from Ruben Loftus-Cheek but couldn't find the net, and Boga was denied first by a good goalkeeping save and then shot just wide.
Loftus-Cheek shot just over after a corner in the second half and sub George Cole brought a smart save from the home keeper before Tom Howard's corner was headed home by Swift from 10 yards into the top corner, after losing his marker.
Further chances followed but no goals would come, leaving Viveash pleased with a clean sheet and another victory, but disappointed and worried for his injured players.
'It was a tough game but the longer the game went on it looked like the team who scored first would get the win, and in the end it was us with a great header by Swifty from a corner, but with the injuries the game was secondary for me,' he said afterwards.
Chelsea: Mitchell Beeney; Fankaty Dabo, Jordan Houghton, Dion Conroy (Isak Ssewankambo 60), Kevin Wright; John Swift (c), Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jeremie Boga (Chike Kandi 40); Ambrose Gnahore (George Cole 20), Alex Kiwomya, Tom Howard.