Mark Robinson’s men were dealt a blow in the PL2 title race as we could not convert our chances to secure the win against the young Toffees on Friday evening.
Our development squad searched for the winner in a game in which we controlled most of the possession, but failed to find the all-important goal.
This draw extends our lead at the top by a point but it does mean that Manchester City can take top spot with two games in hand over us.
The team started quickly, as the first chance of the game fell to the in-form Mason Burstow, and he did well to lob the keeper to give us a 1-0 lead.
Despite Chelsea being on top for a majority of the half from a possession standpoint, the away side equalised just before the half-time whistle as Katia Kouyate did well to finish under pressure in the box.
The second half saw chances for both sides as Francis Okoronkwo tested the gloves of Lucas Bergstrom and Burstow went close to getting a brace.
The chance of the half however fell to Dion Rankine who found himself in a great position to tap into an empty net but he failed to control his effort from close range as it went well over.
Our development squad were looking to do the domestic double over tonight’s opponents after a 2-0 win away from home against Everton.
It only took six minutes to open the scoring as it was Burstow who pounced on a long ball, lobbing the goalkeeper from just outside the box. The young striker has now scored in three consecutive matches.
We were keeping our opponents penned into their half as our young Blues looked intent on scoring more goals.
Despite our good start, Lucas Bergstrom did have a save to make and it was a good one, as he pushed Sean McAllister’s left-footed shot round the post.
David Fofana looked to add to his goal against Liverpool last week as he had a shot from close range, but it was saved comfortably by the goalkeeper.
McAllister looked most likely to score for the away side and he had a strike unopposed from just outside the box which struck the post.
On the stroke of half-time, against the run of play, the young Toffees did equalise. A fast break allowed Kouyate to be played through and despite pressure from Rankine, the winger did well to compose himself and finish into the bottom corner of the net.
It was a slow start to the second half for our young Blues but we eventually had our first chance of the second period, 10 minutes in. Harvey Vale did well to find space on the edge of the area and he slotted a pass in for Hall, but the wing-back’s shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
Pushing for the winner
We should have taken the lead as good link-up play between Vale and Burstow allowed the latter to flick a shot towards goal, but it was saved well by goalkeeper Leban. The loose ball fell to Vale who tried to score in a vacated net, but a good block prevented us from scoring a second.
The away side were utilising the counter-attack well and they fashioned a chance for Francis Okoronkwo but his shot was saved well by Bergstrom.
Second-half substitute Leo Castledine went close as good play from Malik Mothersille allowed the young midfielder to have a shot which just went over the bar.
A very good move which involved Mothersille and Castledine allowed the latter to put in a great cross but from two yards out Rankine skied the ball over the bar.
The game would end as a draw as both teams shared the spoils, and it puts a major dent in our development squad’s hopes of winning the PL2 title.
This match was also one of our Games for Equality being held this week.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Lucas Bergstrom; Josh Brooking, Alfie Gilchrist (c), Zak Sturge (Dylan Williams 75); Dion Rankine, Charlie Webster (Brodi Hughes 75), Ben Elliott, Lewis Hall; Harvey Vale (Leo Castledine 76), Mason Burstow, David Fofana (Malik Mothersille 75).
Unused subs: Luke Campbell.
Booked: Charlie Webster 47.
Scorer: Mason Burstow 7.
Everton 4-2-3-1): Zan Luk-Leban, Kyle John, Ishe Samuels-Smith, Reece Welch, Elijah Campbell, Luke Butterfield (c) (Einar Iverson 67), Liam Higgins (Coby Ebere 67), Isaac Price, Francis Okoronkwo (Martin Sherif 85), Sean McAllister, Katia Kouyate (Isaac Heath 84).
Unused subs: Jack Barrett.
Booked: Isaac Price 55; Zan Luk-Leban 84.
Scorer: Katia Kouyate 45.