A disappointing afternoon saw Chelsea’s Under-18s fall to defeat against Tottenham at Cobham on Saturday morning.
Ultimately the damage was done in the first half as the Blues were down by three at the half-time stage. Tottenham started the game brightly and were clinical in attack, punishing us by scoring with all of the three shots on target they registered.
It didn’t get much better for Chelsea after the interval. Within minutes of the restart Spurs struck twice, once from the spot and then again from close range soon after. The Blues did manage a goal back though, Dion Rankine put the ball in the box for Joe Haigh to connect with, but it was only a consolation as the sixth and final away goal came 20 minutes later, condemning our youngsters to a big defeat.
With games coming thick and fast there were plenty of changes for Saturday morning’s fixture against Tottenham. Youngster Ted Curd started between the sticks, Alfie Gilchrist took the armband while Brodi Hughes was the only defender to remain from Wednesday’s defeat against Brighton. Bryan Fiabema joined the team and led the line. In total there were eight changes from the last game.
Spurs strike twice
After a bright opening from Chelsea, the visitors quickly began to put their stamp on the game with play and possession falling largely in their favour without threatening the home defence too much. That changed inside the sixth minute though, when a deep dross from the left dropped to Dermi Lusala who had time and space to volley low through a sea of bodies and out of Curd’s reach for the opening goal.
The situation soon worsened for Chelsea, and it was naive defending which led to Tottenham doubling their lead just six minutes after their first. Michael Craig stole possession from Brodi Hughes in a costly position which left Curd to guard the net alone against two visiting attackers. Craig squared to Dane Scarlett who had the easy job of passing the ball into an empty net.
Blues search for response but visitors punish
Chelsea immediately tried to put things right up the other end but the combination play between Haigh and Silko Thomas was eventually crowded out by white shirts, and before we got another chance to claw a goal back it was three for Spurs.
Roshaun Mathurin stepped up to take a free-kick 20 yards from goal for the visitors and placed the ball into the top corner. A very good start for Tottenham had them leading by three after 21 minutes of play.
All of Chelsea’s forward play was coming through Charlie Webster. This time his ball in behind the Spurs defence found Dion Rankine’s run. The wing-back cut on to his favoured right foot and attempted to pick out the bottom corner, but a strong hand from Thimothee Lo-Tutala kept his team's three-goal advantage intact.
Brand was forced into an early change, Prince Adegoke took Curd’s place as the young goalkeeper was unable to continue. The reminder of the half was stop-start as the injury pauses continued. Chelsea went in behind at the break.
Another two for Tottenham
Both teams returned unchanged and Spurs picked up from where they left off. Their fourth goal came through Scarlett who converted confidently from the penalty spot, before Mathruin lashed home a rebound from close range for their fifth just three minutes later.
Haigh hits home
Two minutes before an hour’s play, Chelsea hit back with a goal of our own. Rankine got going down the right flank and put in a low cross as he made the byline. Haigh’s late run was timed perfectly to meet the ball and get one back for the Blues.
The goal sparked some life into the Chelsea boys who almost found a second moments later. Leo Castledine battled for possession on the right a swung in an excellent searching cross. Again Haigh attempted to meet the ball but needed to be an inch taller to connect with it cleanly. The better of our chances in the second half were coming from the right side of the pitch.
Although the damage was already done, Spurs remained clinical. Mathurin created time and space for himself inside the box and found the bottom corner. It was another deeply disappointing goal to concede from a Chelsea perspective.
That final goal came 14 minutes from time and left little room for any kind of response form Chelsea and the defeat leaves us in sixth place on 23 points in the league standings.
Next up for Brand’s boys is the return fixture against West Brom at Cobham. Kick-off next Saturday is noon.
Chelsea 3-4-3 Ted Curd (Prince Adegoke 39); Alfie Gilchrist (c), Brodi Hughes, Luke Badley-Morgan; Josh Brooking, Josh Tobin, Charlie Webster, Dion Rankine; Silko Thomas (Leo Castledine 53), Joe Haigh, Bryan Fiabema (Ronnie stutter 53)
Unused subs Derrick Abu, Edwin Andersson
Booked Brooking 4; Webster 44
Scorer Haigh 58
Tottenham Thimothee Lo-Tutala (c), Dermi Lusala, Jeremy Kyezu, Matthew Craig, Marqes Muir, Maksim Paskotsi, Roshaun Mathurin, Michael Craig, Dane Scarlett (Jezreel Davies 73), Alfie Devine (Tarelle Whittaker 62), Romaine Mundel
Unused subs Kullum Cesay, Adam Hayton
Booked Kyezu 61
Scorers Lusala 6; Scarlett 14, 47; Mathurin 21, 50, 76