Chelsea’s youth team continued their flawless start to the campaign today with a hard-fought victory over Blackburn Rovers in the Under-18 Premier League Cup.
Like us Rovers had won four out of four in the league before the meeting at Cobham, and they gave as good as they got in an entertaining contest. The young Blues had to come from behind to lead before the visitors levelled with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining.
However, Malik Mothersille quickly netted his second of the game to get our Premier League Cup campaign off to the perfect start.
Chelsea 3-2 Blackburn Rovers (H) | U18 Premier League Cup Highlights
Highlights of our U18 Premier League Cup match at home to Blackburn Rovers.
But it was far from an ideal opening to this encounter for Ed Brand’s youngsters. Following a quiet opening Rovers established a foothold in proceedings and went ahead midway through the first half.
Jake Batty’s cross was a dangerous one and in trying to stop it reaching Harry Leonard, Somto Boniface turned the ball into his own net.
Blues hit back
Blackburn could have doubled their advantage with Prince Adegoke in fine form between our posts, superbly keeping out a Leonard header. On one occasion he was saved by the woodwork.
The Blues dug deep and found an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, though, with Mothersille converting a Louis Flower cross at the far post after Rovers lost possession on halfway.
There was still time before the break for Blackburn to nearly regain the lead, but there was Adegoke again to deny Leonard, this time springing to his right.
Chelsea seized the momentum when play restarted and took the lead six minutes in through Ronnie Stutter, who capitalised on some loose play in the Blackburn backline to break away and finish confidently for his sixth of the season.
Mothersille shot wide as the Blues sought a quick third, and with 20 minutes left he was denied by the visiting keeper Felix Goddard.
Parity but not for long
Blackburn remained a threat with Adegoke continuing to impress, but there was nothing he could do to stop sub Evan Cunningham forcing the ball home from close range after Leonard's shot looped into his path.
That was on 76 minutes and just 120 seconds later we were back ahead. Mothersille drifted off the left wing, carried the ball at speed before firing in his second of the game from just inside the box to make it 3-2 Chelsea in a topsy-turvy encounter.
Our task defending a lead for the second time was made easier when Blackburn right-back Leo Duru brought down Stutter as he raced clear and was dismissed. Chelsea saw the game out with the Academy’s attention now turning to the PL2 match against Arsenal at Kingsmeadow tomorrow. Tickets are available to buy on the door.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Prince Adegoke; Richard Olise, Kaiden Wilson, Billy Gee (c), Somto Boniface; Leo Castledine, Samuel Rak-Sakyi (Reiss Russell-Denny 60); Louis Flower, Ronnie Stutter, Zain Silcott-Duberry; Malik Mothersille
Unused Subs Harrison Murray-Campbell, Tyrique George, Edwin Andersson, Luke Campbell
Scorers Mothersille 45, 78, Stutter 51
Booked Wilson 14, Flower 74
Blackburn (3-4-3); Felix Goddard; Matthew Litherland, Charlie Olsen, Georgie Gent (c); Leo Duru, Charlie Weston, Adam Caddick (George Chmiel 79), Jake Batty; Kristi Montgomery (Evan Cunningham 54), Harry Leonard, Harrison Wood
Unused subs Ryan Wilson, Matteo Spinelli, Rhys Doherty
Scorers Boniface OG 24, Cunningham 76
Booked Weston 39, Batty 45
Sent off Duru 84
Referee Michael Smith