Our young Blues came out on top in a hard-fought battle against Aston Villa as goals from Michael Golding, Tyrique George and Louis Flower helped us back to winning ways.

It was a cold day in the West Midlands as Ed Brand’s men went in search of victory following back-to-back losses in the league.

Our first chance of the game came late in the first half as Donnell McNeilly did well to shrug off his opponent and deliver a good cross which found George but the winger failed to make the required contact to divert the ball in.

We went close again as a flowing move which started with Frankie Runham ended with the right-back on the day ending up in the box and almost scoring but the Villa shot-stopper was placed well to smother.

It was Villa who took the lead though as Ewan Simpson was in the right place to divert a cross into the net despite Ted Curd’s best efforts to keep the ball out.

A Michael Golding deflected effort brought us back into the game with a strike which came off a Villa defender.

We were almost behind again as a fast break from the hosts led to Kobei Moore turning in the box, but his shot cannoned off the crossbar.

With the teams deadlocked, it took fine combinations in the middle of the park to free McNeilly. who laid the ball off for George and the young winger tucked away nicely to give us the lead.

As the home side piled forward in search of an equaliser, Flower finished off a fast counter as he composed himself well to slot nicely into the same corner George did earlier on.

The win takes us fourth in the Under-18 Premier League South.

Our fixture against Brighton Hove & Albion on Saturday 17 December has been postponed as the FA Youth Cup third round match against Bradford City will take place at Kingsmeadow on that day instead.

More details regarding the match against the Seagulls will follow soon.

Academy news

In other Academy news, Luke Campbell has signed his first professional contract with Chelsea, committing the 17-year-old goalkeeper to the club until at least 2025.

Chelsea(4-2-3-1): Ted Curd (c); Frankie Runham (Somto Boniface 81), Kaiden Wilson, Harrison Murray-Campbell, Travis Akomeah; Sam Rak-Sakyi (Kiano Dyer 61), Harrison McMahon, Michael Golding; Tyrique George, Chinonso Chibueze (Louis Flower 68), Donnell McNeilly
Unused subs: Luke Campbell, Noah Ha
Scorers: Golding 53; George 85; Flower 90+1
Booked: Runham 79; George 87; McNeilly 89

Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): James Wright (c); Triston Rowe, Thierry Katsukunya, Kerr Smith, Finley Munroe, Ewan Simpson, Todd Alcock, Omari Kellyman (Abube Onuchukwu 46), Kyrie Pierre, Kobei Moore, Luka Lynch (Charlie Pavey 79)
Unused subs: John McDowell, Alex Hammond, Dylan Mitchell
Scorers: Thompson 4
Booked: Onuchukwu 49