Chelsea’s Under-18s recorded their biggest win of the season so far as they defeated Swansea City 6-0 at Cobham on Saturday.
In their first competitive action for 42 days, the Blues looked keen to make up for lost time, and were in a comfortable position at half time courtesy of goals from George Nunn and Thierno Ballo. Pierre Ekwah Elimby added a third before then being sent off, but the dismissal did little to change the course of the match, as Clinton Mola and Armando Broja added to the scoreline either side of Nunn’s second. Mola himself saw red late on after a spat with Jake Edwards, who was also dismissed, but the damage had already been done.
With Andy Myers still absent from the dugout through injury, Jon Harley took charge again, and included schoolboys Lewis Bate abs Myles Peart-Harris in his starting eleven. Henry Lawrence was deployed in an unfamiliar left wing-back role, with Ballo and Nunn reprising their partnership up front.
The course of the match might have been altogether very different had Josh Thomas done better with a very early chance, but instead Chelsea settled into a very comfortable spell, and found a way through after twenty minutes. The lively Marcel Lavinier, who had already provided two dangerous crosses from the right, this time found his man in front of goal, giving Nunn a simple tap-in to make it 1-0.
Ballo sent a fine side-footed effort skidding over the bar soon after, but he too wasn’t to be denied his moment, doubling the lead shortly after the half hour mark after collecting Mola’s accurate through ball and steering beyond Nathan Shepperd into the far corner of the goal.
Jayden Reid and Cameron Evans spurned good openings for Swansea to reduce the deficit before the interval, and they were made to pay for that within two minutes of the restart, as Chelsea made it 3-0. Peart-Harris swung over a devilish corner that made its way through to the far post, where Ekwah Elimby almost apologetically applied the finishing touch from a yard out.
Quickly going from hero to zero, the Frenchman was given his marching orders six minutes later when he was guilty of denyibg a clear goalscoring opportunity with Reid through on goal. Far from allowing Swansea back into things, though, it simply spurred Chelsea on to a more emphatic win.
Mola made it four just shy of the hour when a heavy deflection took his cross-shot into the back of the net, and Nunn doubled his tally midway through the second half with a composed finish following another assist from the impressive Under-16 Peart-Harris.
Still cursing their luck, the Swans couldn’t even get a consolation, as Reid saw his shot cannon back off the post, and Owen Evans lashed wide later in the same passage of play. Nunn wasn’t afforded the chance to complete a hat-trick, as he made way for Broja, who himself scored the sixth after persistent work down the right by Jon Russell, Lavinier and Mola, who laid the chance on a plate for him.
An unsavoury end to proceedings saw Mola and Jake Thomas sent off for their parts in a disagreement that also involved Peart-Harris, and Chelsea will miss both of their players through forthcoming suspensions, but this was a fine way to get back into the swing of things as they continue to hunt down Tottenham and Arsenal at the top of the Under-18 Premier League South table.
Chelsea: Žiger, Simeu, McClelland, Ekwah Elimby, Lawrence, Bate (Russell 67), Lavinier, Mola (c), Nunn (Broja 73), Ballo (Lewis 83), Peart-Harris
Subs not Used: Tié, Aina
Goals: Nunn 20, 65, Ballo 32, Ekwah Elimby 47, Mola 58, Broja 79
Sent Off: Ekwah Elimby, Mola
Swansea City: Shepperd, Jones, O.Evans, Williams, C.Evans, Jake Thomas, Clarke (Gibbings 71), Rickard, Josh Thomas, Clancy (Al-Hamadi 59), Reid
Subs not Used: McKendry, Hutchings, Edwards
Sent Off: Jake Thomas