Chelsea’s Reserve team earned a deserved point in South Wales on Tuesday evening as they drew 2-2 agaisnt Swansea at the Parc y Scarlets.
Dermot Drummy’s young side twice fell behind in the second half but Patrick Bamford and Lucas Piazon hauled the Blues back on terms on each occasion, with the Brazilian striking in timely fashion with just moments remaining.
It was a just result and an impressive one for a Chelsea team which gave up much in the way of experience and age, and had lost influential captain Nathaniel Chalobah to first half injury.
After an impressive 4-2 win away to Newcastle last week, the core of the team was retained with two enforced changes. Sam Hutchinson was replaced by Rohan Ince in the centre of defence, whilst Jamal Blackman’s Champions League commitments meant that he was unable to take his place between the sticks.
James Russell filled in once more, making a third appearance of the season and playing just 24 hours after keeping goal for Canvey Island against Wealdstone in Ryman League action.
Swansea counted Leroy Lita, Fedo Bessone, Jose Moreira and Andrea Orlandi amongst their starters but struggled to assert themselves on their youthful opponents for much of what was a first half bereft of notable incident.
Chalobah took a knock to his left leg midway through the half and was unable to continue, meaning first-year scholar Alex Davey saw considerable playing time in the heart of defence.
Billy Clifford, taking the captaincy from his stricken team-mate, tested Moreira whilst Aziz Deen-Conteh saw a header come back off the woodwork.
However, the hosts would get on the board first shortly after the restart with a strike from Casey Thomas, who converted from close range following a corner routine.
Orlandi and Lita threatened to extend the Swans’ lead as they enjoyed their best spell of the game but Russell kept his team in the contest and Chelsea equalised thirteen minutes from time with Bamford’s second reserve team goal.
A confident, flowing move saw substitute Adam Phillip – who played half an hour in his second match back from injury – release the former Nottingham Forest frontman, and he did the rest with an excellent finish.
Parity was not for long though, as Gwion Williams claimed his second assist of the evening in setting up Rory Donnelly for his first goal in a Swansea shirt on 83 minutes.
It threatened to end the night on a sour note for the visitors but they rallied and after Davey saw his header turned away by Moreira, Billy Clifford and Romelu Lukaku combined to play Piazon in for the game’s fourth and final goal to share the spoils.
Chelsea: Russell, Kane, Ince, Saville, Deen-Conteh, C.Clifford (Phillip 62), Bamford, B.Clifford, Lukaku, Chalobah (c) (Davey 19), Lucas Piazon
Subs not used: Beeney, Ashton, Baker
Goals: Thomas ’47, Donnelly ’83 (SCFC); Bamford ’77, Lucas Piazon ’90 (CFC)