A dramatic six-goal thriller saw our development squad return to the top of the Premier League 2 table after sharing a point with Derby County in a top-of-the-table clash at Aldershot at the weekend.
It was a game that required the Blues to come from behind twice to claim a vital point but midfielder Jon Russell agreed with the statistics that suggested Chelsea were much the better team on the afternoon.
‘I think we were the better team’, he told the official Chelsea website. 'We had the better chances but the problem was their counter-attack from the goal-kick, which was difficult to deal with.
‘We focused on it a lot and we always do a lot of practise around it in training but I think we may have lost our way a bit. We weren’t expecting it at the level that it was because their counter-attack was very sharp and quick.’
The young Blues were trailing after Derby’s 19th-minute opener. After directing an identical chance on to the roof of the net moments earlier, Russell notched his third goal of the season and is delighted with his return since fighting back from injury.
‘I knew Marcel [Lavinier] was going to put the ball into the box as he was one-on-one with the defender,' he explained. 'I’ve got good height and a good header on me so I knew to make the box and just head the ball into the bottom corner.
‘I’m very happy with the goal, that’s three since returning from injury and it’s been going well. It’s something I’ve been working on to add to my game – before I wasn’t scoring as many, but now I’m making the box and scoring those goals.’
The tall midfielder was initially credited with a second goal on Saturday afternoon after he turned the ball in following Clinton Mola’s initial shot narrowly crossing the line. Russell jokingly admitted he was happy to share the goal with his team-mate.
‘Me and Clinton spoke after the game,' continued Russell, 'and we agreed it’s equal– we both got a goal there! But if they [the Premier League] decide it’s my goal then I’ll take it.’
Charlie Brown claimed his fifth PL2 goal this term when he headed us level with little over 10 minutes remaining and Russell agreed that it looked as though the Blues would go on and snatch all three points.
‘I think that goal definitely lifted our spirits', agreed Russell. 'We kept on attacking but Derby just managed to prevent the all-important goal. If we had more time I believe we would have scored again.
‘We know we’re capable of winning every game. When we all have confidence, we believe that if we just keep repeating our game plan that we will eventually score.’
Chelsea Under-18s begin their quest to reclaim the FA Youth Cup when they take on Huddersfield Town at Kingsmeadow next Wednesday 18 December. Tickets are available now (£3 for adults, £1 for concessions) and can be purchased online now.