Ed Brand’s boys have made it through to the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup with a hard-fought 3-2 victory over a spirited Blackpool side. Harvey Vale scored the pick of the bunch with a delightful left-footed shot which found the top corner of the net.

Our young Blues were properly tested in this one as they went a goal down to Jake Daniels in the opening moments of the game. We responded well as Vale’s long-range effort gave the keeper no chance as it found the top corner of the net.

Malik Mothersille added another goal to his tally in this competition on the stroke of half-time to give us the lead. We were pegged back momentarily after a Luke Badley-Morgan own goal.

However, we were only behind for a short while though as after Derrick Abu won us a penalty, Charlie Webster sent the keeper the wrong way to secure the win for us.

There was a late change to the line-up as Silko Thomas was drafted in to play after Jude Soonsup-Bell pulled up in the warm-up and after his impact off the bench against Liverpool in the last round, it was no surprise to see his inclusion

Frantic start

We almost took the lead with our first attack inside the first minute as a Derrick Abu cross into the box agonisingly missed the toe of Silko Thomas who was at the back post stretching for it.

Despite this fast start, in yet another fixture our young Blues went behind first as a fast counter-attack, led by Arnold Matshazi, was finished finely over Prince Adegoke by Jake Daniels giving the Tangerines the lead.

The intentions of the away side were clear, as we were controlling the possession, Blackpool were content with counter-attacking. They had another sight of goal which, but for a last-ditch challenge by Brodie Hughes, could have resulted in a second.

Strong response

As we settled into the game, cue Vale who cut in nicely to beat his man and arrow a lovely left-footed shot into the top corner of the net. A brilliant equaliser for our boys and Vale’s third goal in the competition this season.

We were firmly in control of this tie and Vale linked up with Abu again as the right-back was developing a threatening relationship on the right with the goal-scorer. His wicked delivery almost led to a second for Chelsea with an attempted clearance ricocheting off a Blackpool defender over their keeper’s goal.

Another opportunity presented itself from the right side again as Vale, who was in the thick off the action, rolled a pass over to Thomas who on the stretch diverted his effort wide. If Thomas was not off balance, then it surely would have resulted in a second goal for us.

We were getting closer, and Webster was next to test the gloves of keeper Alan Machlachlan as his low effort in the box was tipped away.

Against the run of play though, the Lancashire-based side did show the threat that they can pose as a Joe Strawn shot almost caught Adegoke off guard, but he did well to palm and then recover.

Commanding position

That scare led us to our deserved second of the game and it came from our right side again. Abu did excellently well to beat his man and deliver a wonderful cross to Mothersille whose header was saved brilliantly by Machlachlan. He saved the follow up effort and he thought he saved the third till the assistant flagged to signal that Mothersille had indeed scored.

There was enough time for another chance before half-time as Mothersille played in Ronnie Stutter after a surging run and his effort was saved well.

Pegged back

Though the second half started quietly, Matshazi was played through on goal, but his shot was blocked well by the recovering Hughes.We did not learn from that warning in the opening moments of the half and Luke Mariette surged into the area and his cross was turned into the net by Badley-Morgan for an own goal.

Lead restored

Again, we increased the pressure on the visitors after being pegged back and that combination Vale and Abu were the answer to the third goal as after a lovely one-two Abu was in on goal but was fouled recklessly by Will Squires. Webster stepped up to convert the penalty and give us the lead again.

We were reminded once again of the threat of Blackpool and Strawn found himself in on goal in the area, but Adegoke spread himself big to make the save.

Adegoke was called into action again as he made a fantastic save after a Daniels effort was destined for the goal.

Our boys saw out the game excellently with good possession. There was indeed time for Jack Moore to be sent-off after a second yellow after he fouled Webster  while we were on the counter.

An all-round good display after a tough test from a side who caused an upset in the last round against the academy from Premier League Newcastle, as Webster's penalty turned out to be the winner in this one.

A semi-final clash against either Blackburn Rovers or Nottingham Forest away awaits Ed's team.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Prince Adegoke; Derrick Abu, Luke Badley-Morgan, Brodie Hughes, Dylan Williams; Lewis Hall, Charlie Webster; Silko Thomas (Leo Castledine 90+5), Ronnie Stutter (Jimi Tauriainen 73), Harvey Vale; Malik Mothersille (Tudor Mendel-Idowu 90).

Unused Subs: Ted Curd, Josh Tobin, Zain Silcott-Duberry.Scorers: Harvey Vale 14; Malik Mothersille 42; Charlie Webster 72.

Blackpool (4-4-2): Alan Machlachlan; Jack Moore, Tyler Hill (James Harrison 88), Tayt Trusty,Will Squires, Michael Fitzgerald (c) (Johnson Opawole 72), Darren Francis (Prince Yelegan 80), Luke Mariette, Jake Daniels, Arnold Matshazi, Joe Strawn.

Unused Subs: Archie Cunningham, Johnny Johnston, Kwaku Donkor, Luke Byron.Scorers: Jake Daniels 6; Luke Badley Morgan 59 (OG).Booked: Jack Moore 62; Tyler Hill 88.Red Card: Jack Moore 90+4.