Chelsea Under-18s recorded a huge win against Leicester City at Cobham on Saturday afternoon.
Goals were in constant supply at our training ground as our youngsters put eight beyond Leicester City. Jude Soonsup-Bell's four-goal showing was complimented by strikes from Silko Thomas, Joe Haigh, Ben Elliott and Harvey Vale.
Soonsup-Bell's hat-trick was secured after 50 minutes of play and between his first and second Thomas and Haigh joined in on the scoring act. Second-half penalties were dispatched well by Elliott and Vale before Soonsup-Bell notched his fourth, sinking Leicester to their seventh straight defeat and our fourth win of the campaign.
The young Blues
There were starts for newly-signed Sami Tlemcani between the sticks while Haigh made his first start since our draw against Southampton at the end of September and Dion Rankine made his first appearance for our Under-18s this morning having played the all of his football with the development squad so far.
Back to the league
We returned to Cobham after a week of cup football for the visit of Leicester City on Remembrance weekend. Respects were impeccably observed by both teams prior to kick-off and Chelsea were in search of back-to-back league wins while the visitors were after their first having endured a tough start to the year.
Early Blue double
We kicked-off in perfect conditions at the training ground and although Leicester made a positive start to the game, Chelsea were off the mark within minutes. Soonsup-Bell neatly tucked the ball into the top corner from a free-kick 20 yards from goal, his sixth of the season as Chelsea took control.
It was two for Chelsea just seven minutes later. Rankine embarked on a powerful run down the right and pulled the ball back for Soonsup-Bell who saw his shot saved by the keeper but only into the path of Thomas who had an easy task from close range.
Post prevents more goals
We looked hungry and certainly wanted more goals as our offensive play created chances at every opportunity. Thomas enjoyed space on the left and provided a steady flurry of crosses for our forward players.
Rankine and Haigh both saw attempts saved following crosses from the wing and the pair linked-up moments later as the latter struck the post. Elliott’s ball in behind the Leicester defence wasn’t a problem for Rankine whose pace allowed him to catch the pass and cut it back for Haigh to fire against the woodwork.
The post came to Leicester’s rescue again soon after. This time it was Vale who saw his effort from inside the area kiss the post on its way behind.
Haigh makes it three
Just over 10 minutes of the half remained and Haigh finally got his goal. Josh Brooking was the man to provide the assist after advancing to the byline on the right and drilling a cross to the number eight who made sure of his goal with a thumping finish.
Leicester’s first and only chance of the half came in the 40th minute. Forward Will Russ bullied his way into the box and took aim at Tlemcani’s net but it was an easy first Chelsea save for the Frenchman.
We weren’t so fortunate following their next chance though and were punished for some slow defending. Russ involved again as his square ball drew our stopper off his line for Brandon Cover to convert into an empty net.
Comfortable half-time lead
Chelsea were not about to let Leicester gain confidence from their goal though, and a moment of quality from Soonsup-Bell earned himself a first-half brace. The in-form forward had the ball 15 yards from goal and beat his defender with great skill before picking his spot from distance, 4-1 Chelsea at the interval.
Our attack had been relentless up until half time and it remained just that after we switched ends. Soonsup-Bell recorded a 50 minute hat-trick slotting home his third from the wide left. His eighth of the season.
Penalties stretch our lead
Elliott was enjoying playing through the middle and was played into the box but brought down before he could get a shot away and the referee awarded the Blues a penalty. The midfielder himself stepped-up to take the spot-kick and converted confidently for his first of the season.
Leicester were posing little threat to Chelsea who were in complete control at the 60-minute mark and our dominance was strengthened further by Vale on the hour, he coolly fired home from the spot after Haigh was impeded, 7-1 Blues.
That was to be Haigh’s final contribution on what was an impressive afternoon’s work following his return to the team from injury, Leo Castledine was on in a like-for-like change.
Signed out with a goal
Three goals were not enough for Soonsup-Bell who had time for a fourth seconds before being replaced. Charlie Webster’s through ball split the Leicester defence and the finishing touches were expertly applied by the young forward who enjoyed a stunning afternoon. Ronnie Stutter took the job of leading the line for the final nine minutes which were easily seen out by Brand’s boys who were more than value for their three points on the day.
After the international period we welcome Aston Villa to Cobham in league action.
Cheslea (3-4-2-1) Sami Tlemcani; Josh Brooking, Charlie Wiggett, Bashir Humphreys (c); Dion Rankine, Charlie Webster, Ben Elliott, Silko Thomas (Jimi Tauriainan 71); Joe Haigh (Leo Castledine 65), Harvey Vale; Jude Soonsup-Bell (Ronnie Stutter 81)Unused subs Brodi Hughes, Max MerrickBooked Elliott 58Scorer Soonsup-Bell 7,42, 50, 80; Thomas 15; Haigh 34; Elliott 52 (pen); Vale 60 (pen)
Leicester Arlo Doherty, Joe Wormleighton, Ibby Sulliman, Dan Obi, Olli Hmpstead, Sammy Braybrooke, Zach Booth (Jack Butterfill 74), Wanya Madivadua, Will Russ, Kian Pennant, Brandon CoverUnused subs Johnly Yfeko, Karl Daley, Twanda MavanhiseBooked Madivadua 54, Braybroke 79Scorer Cover 40
Photography by Mark Sandom