Chelsea Under-18s’ previous 100 per cent record for the season came to an end this weekend with defeat on the road in a game where we had enough chances for a better result.
Ed Brand’s side had been in fine form in the early weeks with five wins out of five across league and cup, including hefty victories at home to West Brom and Birmingham, and away at Spurs, but a second-half goal conceded at Leicester’s training ground ended that run.
The first half against a Foxes side which had taken six points from the first four league fixtures was relatively uneventful, with the young Blues’ best chance of breaking the deadlock before the interval coming from a corner.
Luke Badley-Morgan, up from the back, used his height to keep the ball alive and send it into the mixer where shorter striker Ronnie Stutter headed over.
In the second half, it was Chelsea clearing the crossbar again, this time Leo Castledine (pictured top) sending the ball over from a lay-off by Malik Mothersille.
That attack had been generated by the pace of Silko Thomas down the right and the England youth international had a shot of his own saved later in the game.
The deciding goal was scored by Leicester’s Kian Pennant with 20 minutes to go. He took advantage of some hesitation to collect possession out on the left and he finished off a solo effort with a strong run and left-foot shot low past Prince Adegoke.
In retaliation, Stutter had a near-post shot saved and Mothersille put another Chelsea chance over but an equaliser proved elusive.
The defeat means Chelsea drop to second in the U18 Premier League South table, one point behind Crystal Palace. Next up it is back to Cobham next weekend for a match against eighth-place West Ham.
Chelsea Prince Adegoke; Richard Olise, Josh Tobin (c), Brodi Hughes, Luke Badley-Morgan (Derrick Abu 76), Billy Gee, Samuel Rak-Sakyi (Alfie Gilchrist 61), Silko Thomas (Edwin Andersson 76), Leo Castledine, Malik Mothersille, Ronnie Stutter.