Chelsea’s Under-18s made it six consecutive wins on Saturday morning courtesy of a 5-0 victory away to West Ham United at Little Heath.
It was scarcely ever a contest as the hosts, with six schoolboys in their starting eleven, were overwhelmed by their bigger, better and older opponents. Simple mistakes cost them four first-half goals as Faustino Anjorin, Henry Lawrence, Marcel Lewis and Thierno Ballo all found the back of the net, while Ballo added a second in a sleepy second period where, had they wanted to, Chelsea could have taken the score into double figures.
They had already tested the waters with early attempts through Anjorin and Lewis before the floodgates opened and, when they did, they produced four in the space of fourteen minutes.
Anjorin was the first to get his name on the scoresheet, continuing a productive start to his personal campaign, when he was on hand to bundle the ball over the line following a free kick routine that had seen Jack Wakely’s shot parried by Joseph Anang in the West Ham goal.
That lead was doubled just four minutes later by the in-form Lawrence. Collecting a pass from Jon Russell on the edge of the area, he spun into quite honestly too much space afforded to him, and slotted past Anang to score for the third match in succession.
Still they came forward as West Ham struggled to loft themselves to the required standard, and Lewis made it 3-0 after 20 minutes. Sam McClelland’s quick free kick released him into space down the right, and he was allowed to come inside without a proper challenge, before then shooting between Anang’s legs to score his first of the season.
It was four before half an hour had been played when Marcel Lavinier, dominant on the right from start to finish, returned an overhit cross back into the box, where Ballo was unmarked to head home from six yards out.
Had Russell been slightly more accurate with a refined curler from distance, or had McClelland directed a headed chance closer to the target, the half time score might have been even more emphatic than it was. For West Ham’s part, they could have given themselves something to build upon when Amadou Diallo came forward right on the whistle, but he struck the outside of the post with an attempt that Karlo Žiger might not have gotten to were it on target.
Anjorin and Lewis were wasteful when presented with good chances soon after the restart, and Anang was fortunate not to palm Russell’s next try into his own goal, but it was a question both of when not if, and how many Chelsea would score.
As it transpired, they would only get one more, as Ballo pounced to grab a brace after Lavinier had done all the hard work himself with a solo run and deflected shot that was on its way in regardless. The young wing-back was less than impressed with the outcome.
Ian Maatsen, quieter but no less impressive on the opposite side of the pitch, hit the post later in the game, and there was still no luck for Russell as he continued his personal duel with Anang. The Hammers failed to register a shot on target throughout and only occasionally challenged Žiger’s attention, as Diallo again gave then their brightest attacking impetus.
Andy Myers’ boys remain firmly in touch at the top of the South league table ahead of the visit of Norwich City next weekend. The Blues beat the Canaries 5-1 in Premier League Cup action at end of September and will be keen to register a similar result in a week’s time.
West Ham United: Anang, Greenidge, Wilson-Esbrand (Mingi 56), Appiah-Forson, Okotcha, Baptiste, Fevrier, Stroud, Parkes (Corbett 64), Chesters (Spyrides 56), Diallo
Subs not Used: Nsumbu, Sanneh
Chelsea: Žiger, McClelland, Wakely (c), Simeu (Ekwah Elimby 71), Maatsen, Lawrence (Mola 61), Lavinier, Russell, Ballo, Anjorin (Nunn 56), Lewis
Subs not Used: Wady, Clark
Goals: Anjorin 13, Lawrence 17, Lewis 20, Ballo 27, 52