Chelsea’s Under-18s suffered their first defeat of the 2018-19 season on Saturday morning as they went down 2-0 away to Tottenham Hotspur.
A week after being held to a frustrating draw at home to Leicester City, Andy Myers’ new group of scholars discovered more of the lessons dished out by full-time academy football as they fell to goals in either half courtesy of Paris Maghoma and Armando Shashoua.
Dan Davies was pitchside and captured the best moments in his match gallery.
It wasn’t a terrible performance by any measure, and they had enough chances to take something from the match, but they lacked something in every area of the pitch, and were made to pay for being that little bit short of the required standard on the day.
They started well enough, George Nunn heading over from a James Clark cross at the end of a good piece of team play, but rather than build on it, they were behind with fewer than ten minutes on the clock. Phoenix Patterson had earlier been wasteful with a good sight of goal, but team-mate Maghoma wasn’t in such charitable mood, bursting through from midfield to round Žiger and make it 1-0 with a confident piece of play.
Žiger was the busier goalkeeper throughout the first half, as Spurs made light of Chelsea enjoying more of the ball by producing some good counter-attacking football, and easily winning the midfield battle. To their credit, the Blues addressed that at half time, and grew more assertive from back to front as the game went on.
Suddenly, it was Joshua Oluwayemi being tested instead of Žiger, as both Nunn and Clinton Mola tested his reflexes with powerful efforts in search of an equaliser,,whilst a wonderful goal-line clearance from Malachi Walcott kept Marcel Lewis out. They took some risks, including allowing Shashoua to find the net from what was deemed to be an offside position, but they looked by far the more likely to score the game’s second goal.
Lewis carried the biggest threat, and thought he’d finally made the breakthrough with a scorching try from the edge of the area, but Oluwayemi chucked his considerable frame as far to his right as possible, and got enough on the ball to turn it behind for a corner.
How important that would prove to be. Tottenham saw off the corner, went down the other end, and made it 2-0. Žiger was able to make the initial close-range save to deny Maghoma a second, but Shashoua picked up the pieces to put the result beyond all doubt.
Schoolboys Dion Rankine and Lewis Bate made their Under-18s debuts in the closing stages, and each added something to the team, Rankine going close with a drive from the right. They couldn’t snatch a consolation, however, and will now prepare for the visit of Arsenal next weekend at Cobham.
Tottenham Hotspur: Oluwayemi, Tainio (Lyons-Foster 75),White, Bowden, Walcott, Binks, Markanday, Shashoua (c), Lloyd-Bennett, Maghoma, Patterson (Asante 86)
Subs not Used: Kurylowicz, Okedina, Mukendi
Goals: Maghoma 9, Shashoua 72
Chelsea: Žiger, Clark, Wakely, Ekwah Elimby, Mola (c), Russell (Bate 74), Lawrence, Lewis, Nunn, Ballo, Broja (Rankine 71)
Subs not Used: Simeu, Askew, Aina