January 17 2013
Take a bow U18s. 3-2 winners away to Colchester United in the previous round, the U18s and FA Youth Cup holders lined-up at The Valley last night to take on the talented U18s of Charlton Athletic and after being two goals down at half-time fought back to win 3-2 after extra-time.
Make a note ‘The Portly One’ and the first team. You can learn a lot from these kids, Adi Viveash and his staff.
You can learn about heart, determination, courage, spirit, never give up, never say die attitude and the will to win from these kids, who despite being behind, kept to their footballing principles despite the freezing conditions.
Tom Derry gave Charlton the lead on twelve minutes with a header from a Gerard cross after Chelsea easily lost possession and then after a smart interchange of passes on the edge of Chelsea’s area, Oliver Muldoon put the hosts 2-0 up.
It was almost game, set and match as Derry smashed a shot towards goal ,but he looked on with disbelief as Beeney pulled off a superb reflex save.
For me Beeney’s save was the turning point of the match.
Charlton didn’t have it all their own way, Chelsea had their chances, but it was Charlton that took theirs.
Prior to Chelsea’s first goal, Baker had a header cleared off the line as the pressure was increased then Christensen took the ball from inside Charlton’s half, ran to the area, laid the ball off the Feruz who shot, the ‘keeper fumbled, leaving Christensen who continued his run to poke the ball over the line.
Half-time substitute Kiwomya (so many times a super sub) was put clear through and pulled Chelsea level with a low shot from just inside the area.
The winner came three minutes into the second period of extra-time. Schoolboy Connor Hunte was put through down Chelsea’s left, after cutting in, he hit a low shot beneath the diving Phillips to put Chelsea 3-2.
There were a few nervous moments before the final whistle blew, but Chelsea held on and put on a performance and recovery that would put most of the first team to shame.
It is a shame the club’s policy is NOT to progress these kids further, instead of loaning them out or letting them go.
The system and situation never fails to amaze me why Chelsea bother having a youth set-up at all!?!
Chelsea: Mitchell Beeney, Fankaty Dabo (sub Alex Kiwomya h/t), Alex Davey, Andreas Christensen, Adam Nditi (Charlie Colkett 81), John Swift (Connor Hunte 68), Nathan Ake, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jeremie Boga, Islam Feruz, Lewis Baker (c).