Four home goals in this morning's London derby earned our youngsters all three points against West Ham in the Under-18 Premier League.
It was a game in which another good start set our Academy team up for a positive result that was well-deserved on the day. Bryan Fiabema struck first for the Blues, it was his first goal in Chelsea colours and it was well taken.
Just over 10 minutes later last weekend's goal scorer, Jude Soonsup-Bell, finished off a move which any of our Chelsea teams would have been proud of, and Harvey Vale found the top corner soon after which ensured we were in the driving seat at half-time.
West Ham gained confidence after the break and their persistent attacking paid off. A looping header by Freddie Potts was out of the reach of Kelechi Chibueze.
Chelsea successfully held our visitors to just the one goal and topped up their tally through Jimi Tauriainen who scored just four minutes after being introduced, wrapping up the goals for the day and three points for our youngsters.
The young Blues
Ed Brand named four changes from the side that drew at Brighton last weekend. Chibueze made his first start between the sticks while Charlie Webster, Silko Thomas and Fiabema also came into the side.
Conditions were perfect at Cobham and the start was even although Chelsea enjoyed the majority of possession and registered the first attempt on goal through Harvey Vale.
It wasn’t too long before our possession told and we opened the scoring. A perfect cross-field pass found the darting run of Luke Badley-Morgan who crossed for Fiabema to volley home from the centre of the box. A well-deserved lead for Chelsea and a first club goal for the Norwegian forward.
Fiabema looked hungry and tried to carve a shooting opportunity out of the slightest opening. His next effort, this time with his left foot, would drop just the wrong side of the post.
West Ham’s only chance came from a half-cleared corner which dropped at the feet of defender Iyiola Adebayo. He had time to control the ball but rushed the opportunity and fired high over the target.
Chelsea’s next goal was straight from the training ground and started from defence. After the back five exchanged passes Xavier Simons picked up the ball and found Josh Brooking’s defence-opening run. His cross was perfect and Soonsup-Bell prodded in our second of the morning and his second of the season. 2-0 Blues.
Healthy lead at the interval
It was pure dominance from Brand’s boys as Vale got in on the scoring act and notched our third of the morning. Badley-Morgan was involved again but this time his cross from the left was blocked and fell into the path of Vale who, with a quick drop of the shoulder, lost his marker and found the top corner with an impressive effort.
West Ham managed another half-chance before the break, Kamarai Simon-Swyer picked up a loose ball in the box and hit at goal but the vocal Chibueze was equal to the attempt, topping off a perfect game thus far.
Nerves after the restart
West Ham started the second half the quicker of the sides but it was Chelsea who should’ve scored first when Soonsup-Bell carried the ball into the box and fired at goal. The keeper made the save but could only parry it into the path of Thomas who looked sure to score until the stopper made another incredible block.
West Ham struck back as we reached the hour mark. A floated cross into the box was met by the head of Freddie Potts who sent a looping header over Chibueze. 3-1
Chibueze was called into action again soon after, a shot from distance required a palm around his far post. A similar save was asked of Krisztian Hegyi in the West Ham net, Fiabema searched for his second and almost found it with an unorthodox attempt - that was to be his final contribution.
Another inspired change
West Ham weren’t able to build on their goal and it proved just a consolation. Brand made two changes before the final quarter, one being Tauriainen in place of Fiabema and it was an inspired one as he scored only four minutes later. Simons’ shot was blocked and dropped to the Finn who hit the roof of the net from close range. 4-1 Chelsea.
We looked comfortable for the remainder of the match, Soonsup-Bell even had the ball in the net for a second time, but the linesman’s flag signalled the forward as offside and we saw the game out, registering our first three points of the season.
Southampton are next to visit Cobham, kick-off on Saturday is 11am and Chelsea will look to continue our positive league start.
Chelsea (4-1-2-2-1) Kelechi Chibueze; Josh Brooking (Alfie Gilchrist 83), Charlie Wiggett, Bashir Humphreys (c), Luke Badley-Morgan; Charlie Webster (Ben Elliott 73); Xavier Simons, Harvey Vale; Silko Thomas, Jude Soonsup-Bell; Bryan Fiabema (Jimi Tauriainen 73)Unused subs Josh Tobin, Joe HaighScorers Fiabema 13, Soonsup-Bell 26, Vale 32, Tauriainen 77Booked Simons 57
West Ham Krisztian Hegy, Benjamin Heale (Junior Robinson ht), Michael Forbes, Iyiola Adebayo, Michael Adu, Freddie Potts, Kamarai Simon-Swyer, Kai Corbett, Gael Kileba, Sonny Perkins (Archie Woods 79), Christian Veliky (Divin Mubama 75)Unused subs Josh Roache, Remy CoddingtonScorer Potts 61Booked Perkins 4, Robinson 48
Photography by Mark Sandom