Chelsea's Under-18s suffered a first defeat of the season as Fulham proved victorious this morning at Cobham.
On a sunny day at Cobham, our young Blues struggled to keep out a Fulham side who were more ruthless with their chances. Shumaira Mhueka's powerful shot late in second-half stoppage time was only a consolation as Fulham took the points.
We fashioned some opportunities, especially in the second period, but we failed to consistently trouble our opponents and defeat sees us lose our 100 per cent record in the Under-18 Premier League so far this term.
Hassan Sulaiman’s side featured first-year scholar Frankie Runham and Under-16 players Mhueka and Ollie Harrison, the latter making his first appearance at this level.
The visitors opened the scoring through Callum Osmand, as a flick at the near post beat everyone, including Luke Campbell in goal, and trickled into the net.
Fulham gained confidence from that early goal and they doubled their lead after sustained pressure. Chibby Nwoko unleashed a fierce left-footed strike which nestled into the top corner of the net.
The next goal was an important one and it was the away side again who capitalised, as a fast counter-attack ended with Aaron Loupalo-Bi converting with a sublime finish over the goalkeeper.
Runham had a great chance to score for us as he cut inside to beat a defender, but the outstretched leg of the Fulham goalkeeper denied the youngster. Reiss Denny was next to test Alfie McNally, but the keeper was in the right place to stop the shot.
It was Runham who was looking most likely to score and he had our best chance of the game after a fine pass from Denny. He wriggled away from his marker and sat the Fulham goalkeeper down, but could not steer into the net.
We were creating plenty of chances in the second period and Michael Golding had an attempt of his own on the edge of the box, but fired just wide.
Mhueka pulled a goal back for us, as he did well on the edge of the box to compose himself and then find the top corner with a good strike.
The striker had another opportunity to make things interesting late on, when he was set up by Shaun Wade, but he could not control his finish and he skied it over the bar.
The game would end 3-1 to Fulham, the Blues’ third league game of the season ending in defeat.
Next up for our Under-18s is a trip to Norwich City as they take on the Canaries in an 11am kick-off, away from home.
Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Luke Campbell; Josh Acheampong (Genesis Antwi 90+3), Harrison Murray-Campbell (c), Kaiden Wilson, Somto Boniface; Reiss Denny, Ollie Harrison; Frankie Runham (Shaun Wade 90+3), Michael Golding, Ato Ampah; Shumaira Mhueka
Unusedsubs: Kai Crampton, Saheed Olagunju, Marcell Washington
Scorer: Mhueka 90+6
Fulham (4-3-3): Alfie McNally, Bradley De-Jesus, Samuel Amissah, Samuel Tabares, Oliver Gofford (c), Chibby Nwoko, Tom Olyott, Joshua King (Eddie Nsasi, 77), Aaron Loupalo-Bi, Callum Osmand (Farhaan Ali-Wahid 69), Lemar Gordon
Unusedsubs: Ma’kel Bogle-Campbell, Dino Kaiser, Damon Park
Scorers: Osmand 7, Nwoko 18, Loupalo-Bi 52
Booked: Loupalo-Bi 75