Chelsea’s development squad earned three points against Leicester at Kingsmeadow on Friday night.
A dull first half to the game was livened up by Myles Peart-Harris’ strike four minutes from the break and with Lucas Bergstrom making saves in the Chelsea net, one goal was enough to have an advantage after 45 minutes.
Our lead would only last 12 minutes though as Leicester equalised shortly after the restart. Chelsea were held until the dying moments before Henry Lawrence fired in the winner from close range just two minutes from time.
The young Blues
Andy Myers handed first starts to Pierre Ekwah-Elimby and Sam McClelland, with it being the first involvement at development squad level for the latter. In attack Charlie Brown led the line, while an attacking bench of Thierno Ballo, Dion Rankine, George Nunn and Bryan Fiabema were waiting in the wings.
Winter had well and truly settled in Kingston as a chilly evening provided the conditions for our development squad tonight.
Possession exchanged hands multiple times in the opening quarter but Chelsea started the stronger of the two teams. Leicester had the first chance on goal though, Admiral Muskwe took aim from a free-kick and Lucas Bergstrom was required to make a save.
Our stopper was called to action once again moments later when Demari Gray tricked his way into the box and looked to pick out the far corner, but the save from Bergstrom was a good one to avert the danger.
With those earlier chances Leicester grew into the game but there remained little to report in the way of chances at the mid-point of the first half.
Our first meaningful attempt on goal came from Henry Lawrence who occupied the left and cut inside on to his favoured right foot and tried to bend the ball into the far corner. Jakub Stolarcztk in the Leicester net was stretching but the attempt was an inch wide of the target.
Timely Chelsea goal
The half looked as though it was going to end level after such a quiet opening, but Chelsea had other ideas and snatched a goal through Peart-Harris at an ideal time.
The rapid attacking move saw Tino Livramento put in a trademark low cross for Peart-Harris to calmly sweep home and the goal gave Chelsea the advantage at the half-way point.
The goal and a confident start to the second half was undone seven minutes after the restart. Admiral Muskwe managed to squeeze his header past Bergstrom to level the scores.
The goal boosted the confidence of the visitors who went close to doubling the lead just 10 minutes later. Jake Wakeling’s point-blank range shot was beaten away by Bergstrom, who expressed his frustration at his defence for allowing attempt on goal.
Bryan Fiabema was introduced in place of Charlie Brown as Myers’ men looked to regain their lead inside the final 20 minutes, but there was more defending for Chelsea to do in the meantime.
Dynel Simeu was the last line of defence for Chelsea when a Leicester cross looked to be creeping into the net, but a long stretched leg from our captain kept us in the game.
Lawrence to the rescue
Just as we looked to have earned a point from the evening, Lawrence was on hand to fire Chelsea back into the lead. The chance again came from Livramento’s cross which found its way to our opposite wing-back who took a touch to settle himself before powerfully striking home the winner.
The three points propels Myers’ men to second in the table, a point off leaders Manchester City.
We’re back at Kingsmeadow next weekend to take on Tottenham in PL2 action.
Chelsea Lucas Bergstrom; Dynel Simeu (c), Sam McClelland, Levi Colwill; Tino Livramento, Pierre Ekwah-Elimby (Thierno Ballo 74), Lewis Bate, Henry Lawrence; Tino Anjorin, Myles Peart-Harris; Charlie Brown (Bryan Fiabema 68)Unused subs Sami Tlemcani, Dion Rankine, George NunnScorers Peart-Harris 41, Lawrence 88
Leicester Jakub Stolarcztk, Adam Leathers, Darragh O’Connor (Ah Reghba 84), Ben Nelson, Callum Wright (Jake Wakeling ht), Callum Hume, Khanya Leshabela, Layton Ndukwu (Kasey McAteer 65), Shane Flynn, Admiral Muskwe, Demari GrayUnused subs Thanawat Suengchittawon, Chituru OdunzeBooked Hume 65Scorer Muskwe 53