Chelsea’s Under-21 side continued their preparation for the new season with their first win of the summer over Northampton Town.
A largely impressive performance against some very capable football league players was capped by a second half brace from 16 year-old forward Alex Kiwomya.
Having returned from their annual training camp in Austria, the squad welcomed Todd Kane, George Saville and Patrick Bamford back into the fold following a brief excursion Stateside with the first team and they were all included in the starting eleven by Dermot Drummy.
Lewis Baker also started, having come off the bench at Northwood, whilst Sam Walker returned to familiar surroundings in goal having spent the first half of last season on loan at Sixfields Stadium.
The hosts included a smattering of new signings, of which Joe Widdowson and Chris Hackett were the most impressive, but the first half was largely bereft of attacking incident.
Goalmouth action was rare and erratic, and the game took on a slightly attritional feel as the slighter and younger Chelsea players sought to impose themselves on proceedings. Saville and Deen-Conteh were booked for crossing the line of acceptable aggression.
Six second half changes introduced fresher faces and a youthful enthusiasm which paid immediate dividends. Chelsea broke through a long Walker clearance, and after Adam Coombes and Amin Affane had done the grunt work, Billy Clifford was able to get a shot off.
Trialist goalkeeper Connor Roberts could only parry the effort back into play and Kiwomya was on hand to turn home with his first touch.
He added a second in the closing stages, albeit rather fortuitously. Blue shirts flooded forward and a chance fell to Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He was unable to beat Roberts but the attempted clearance slammed into Kiwomya and into the back of the net.
Town pushed for a consolation on the late stages with Ben Tozer’s long throws the preferred method of attack, but Walker was inspired on his return and made three good saves to preserve his clean sheet.
The Under-21s head for St Albans next weekend and Kingstonian the following Saturday to round out their summer programme.
Chelsea: Walker, Kane (c), Davey (Nkumu 60), Aké, Deen-Conteh (Nditi 60), C.Clifford (Loftus-Cheek 60), Saville (Affane 60), B.Clifford, Baker (Swift 60), Coombes (Osmanovic 75), Bamford (Kiwomya 60)
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