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U18's vs. Chelsea (H) Sat 24th Nov - Match Report

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Chelsea were the visitors in the U18 league to a very cold and very foggy Rockliffe Park. Middlesbrough having non won this season were hoping to be the first side to defeat Chelsea.


Boro started quickly, Stephen O’Neill found the advancing Brad Fewster with a clever ball but Beeney was out well to save from the England U17 international Fewster. At the other end Boga nearly found himself on the end of a weighted through ball but Bland was out quickly to collect. John Swift, dictating play from the centre of the pitch played a great pass into the right channel for Kiwomya to race after, he out-paced Tinkler but took the ball wide and Bland was able to save his effort on goal.


The home side had chances to take the lead, Fewster running across the edge of the 18 yard box from right to left had a low strike saved, and Jimmy Warnett pulled a shot wide when he had made good space for himself after Gnahore pulled up injured when chasing the Boro wide man.


Chelsea Sub – Gnahore off, George Cole on.


A low corner from Tom Howard nearly caught Boro napping, Swift got on the end of it and his strike was cleared off the line by O’Neill.


Boga went down injured off the ball as did Kiwomya, Boga was unable to continue though.


Chelsea Sub- Boga off, Chike Kandi on.


Half Time Middlesbrough 0 Chelsea 0


Clearly there was something in the cold foggy air, as not long into the 2nd half Stephen O’Neill pulled up when stretching for the ball holding his groin. And as Boro were preparing to make a sub Kitching cleared the ball and stayed down in some pain.


Boro Sub – O’Neill off, Dylan McGlade on.


The Boro midfield of Cooke and Morris were doing well to close down Loftus-Cheek and Swift, but Chelsea were moving the ball superbly, making space for one another through quick passing and fluid movement.


During a Chelsea corner Weledji and Chelsea defender Dion Conroy clashed heads. Both players went down hard and physios were called on immediately. Weledji after composing himself managed to get up and continue but there was clearly concern for Conroy. He was treated on the field and left on the back of the medical trolly.*


Chelsea Sub – Conroy off, Sse***ambo on.


Shane Bland saved well from Tom Howard as Chelsea pushed to get the opening goal but Boro were not sitting back. A Bryn Morris cross clipped off the heels of sub Sse***ambo and Beeney had to tip the ball over as he back pedalled.


Boro Sub – Armstrong off, Scott McCarthy on.


Dylan McGlade found Morris in some space but the captain sliced his shot horribly wide. The game was opening up and both sides were going from one end to the other. A strong penalty appeal was waved away when Weledji clipped Howard in the box. It was Howard who set up the opening goal for the visitors, his in swinging corner was met on the full powerfully by John Swift and the ball flew into the top corner giving Boro keeper Bland no chance.


GOAL Chelsea – John Swift


Chelsea seemed to step up a gear, finding space and moving well as Boro pushed forward. George Cole had a powerful drive saved by Bland as Chelsea tried to extend their lead.


Boro nearly drew level in lucky circumstances, a cross/shot by Jimmy Warnett from wide left caught Beeney out and as the keeper struggled to tip the ball he saw it clip the ball and go wide.


Kiwomya went down late in the game and after receiving treatment he couldn’t continue. Chelsea went 4-4-1 and tightened up. Moving the ball about making the Boro players chase the game.


Full Time Middlesbrough 0 Chelsea 1


Boro – Bland, Griffiths, Kitching, Morris, Weledji, Tinkler, S. O’Neill (McGlade), Cooke, Armstrong (McCarthy), Fewster, Warnett.

Unused – Coddington (GK)


Chelsea – Beeney, Dabo, Houghton, Conley (Sse***ambo), Wright, Swift, Gnahore (Cole), Loftus-Cheek, Kiwomya, Boga (Kandi), Howard.

Unused – Killip (GK)



Initially I struggled seeing what players were on the field because of the thick fog and only after 45 minutes did I realise it was Cooke not Coleby as I tweeted. Viewing was difficult at best in the first half.


Regardless of there being 5 injured played the game was in no way a dirty one.


Chelsea moved the ball brilliantly, using the pace of Kiwomya to open spaces between the defence and midfield. Tinkler and Weledji did well to try and blunt the forwards runs containing him brilliantly in the second half. Bland equipped himself well in goal again, saving well time and time when called upon.


In midfield U16 Cooke looked composed on the ball and his partner, Captain Bryn Morris has what I think was his best game at this level. He coped well in the middle of the field and became stronger as the game went on, leading by example getting forward and being strong in the tackle gaining my Man of the Match award.


*Thankfully this evening I have been informed that Conroy has had a CT scan and is ok after his injury during the game. He apparently was knocked out and had issues with swallowing/biting his tongue. He had no recollection of the incident. This is great news and hopefully he makes a speedy recovery for the Blues.


As usual for comparison, here is the chelsea official match report http://www.chelseafc.com/news-article/article/2990209/title/youth-report-middlesbrough-0-chelsea-1

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Cheers Powlay. I'm encouraged that we are competative with Chelski


Did these guys beat Liverpool the previous week by a similar score ? I picked up a Liverpool report but have seen nothing from our lads at all

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I didnt attend the liverpool game but we beat them 3-1.


It was a very young side from both teams. Boro started 3 U16s and brought a further 2 on.

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This is off topic but was Mowbray in the stands for the match against Chelsea under 21's?.

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Ok because according to our website Lucas Piazon had a brilliant game and if Mowbray was there it should have firmed up his interest to target him in January should he become available for loan.

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