A fantastic second-half performance saw us beat an Everton side who came into this fixture unbeaten. Cesare Casadei scored on his PL2 debut while Mason Burstow netted his first goal for the youth team.
Our development squad took on Everton in a lunch time PL2 game, looking to grab a first win in three games.
It was an impressive performance, particularly in the second half as they beat the Toffees.
Burstow was in the right place at the right time as he found space in the box to turn in Zak Sturge’s cross.
Two minutes later, Casadei made a late run into the box and swept home in the area to score our second.
We went into cruise control following the second and had a multitude of chances to add gloss to the scoreline but the two early goals at the beginning of the second half were enough to give us the win.
There were first starts of the season for Leo Castledine and Casadei as our development squad set up in a 4-3-3 formation.
The Toffees started the sharper of the two teams and had the game’s first chance and shot on target as Isaac Price swung from close range following a free-kick that landed in the penalty area. Fortunately, his effort was rushed, and Sharman-Lowe claimed easily.
Despite gaining a brief foothold on proceedings with good possession, Tom Cannon almost pounced on a Sharman-Lowe error, but the keeper recovered well to make a good save after a loose pass.
Cannon who has scored in his last three games was getting his way and almost opened the scoring but his lobbed effort after being played through on goal was wayward.
We should have taken the lead a quarter of the way into the half as Lewis Hall jinked his way past some challenges and put in a delightful cross, Burstow’s improvised attempt with his knee beat the goalkeeper but went wide. Huge chance for the young forward to score his first goal for the youth team.
The Toffees then almost broke the deadlock as a well-worked corner found captain Mackenzie Hunt but his volley, although hit sweetly, flew wide.
It was proving to be a game of high-quality chances as immediately down the other end Hutchinson and Casadei combined well down the right and the Italian intelligently nutmegged his opponent in the box. He fired a shot which looked destined for the net but was saved by Luk-Leban.
A quickly taken free-kick broke into the path of Whitaker but the striker blazed over from an inviting position. Huge let-off for our development squad.
The game settled down as the half-time whistle approached but we went close again as Casadei was again involved in the play, forcing the defense backwards. He laid the ball off for Hall whose first-time effort was so close to finding the corner of the goal.
Turning on the style
Our development squad started quickly after the break and a nice move ended with Sturge crossing in for Burstow who turned the ball into the net. His first goal for Chelsea at this level.
We doubled our lead as our opponents were struggling to contain our intensity and a move started by Rankine ended with Castledine laying the ball off for Hutchinson and the young forward’s cross found the onrushing Casadei who stroked the ball in for a goal on his PL2 debut.
We were finding our groove and we almost put the game beyond doubt with a third as Castledine’s cross just went beyond the outstretched leg of Burstow who almost got the all-important touch to divert into the goal.
Glorious opportunities missed
We were in firm control of the contest now and Brooking almost scored from a floated Hutchinson corner but drew a good save from Luk-Leban.
Rankine and Hutchinson both had efforts which could have given us a third but were both unlucky.
Gilchrist was next to go close as he was found at the back post by Brooking but under pressure, he diverted his header wide.
Multiple chances to increase the scoreline were presented to us as the home side seemed to capitulate. Ben Elliott and Jude Soonsup-Bell both had opportunities to score and Hutchinson had a late volley that just went past the post.
Price had the final opportunity of the game for the Toffees but ballooned his effort over to sum up his side’s second-half performance.
A fantastic performance and result from our development squad to return to winning ways as Mark Robinson’s men ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.
Chelsea (4-3-3): Ted Sharma-Lowe; Josh Brooking, Alfie Gilchrist, Bashir Humphreys (c), Zak Sturge (Dylan Williams 79); Cesare Casadei (Jimi Tauriainen 79), Leo Castledine (Ben Elliott 69), Lewis Hall; Dion Rankine, Omari Hutchinson, Mason Burstow (Jude Soonsup-Bell 69).
Unused subs: Eddie Beach.
Scorers: Mason Burstow 46; Cesare Casadei 48
Booked: Josh Brooking 31; Leo Castledine 45+1; Ben Elliot 77
Everton (4-3-3): Zan-Luk Leban; Matthew Mallon (Elijah Campbell 57), Mackenzie Hunt (c), Reece Welch, Joe Anderson, Sean McAllister, Seb Quirk, Isaac Price, Tom Cannon, Charlie Whitaker (Halid Djankpata 78), Francis Okoronkwo (Katia Kouyate 69).
Unused subs: Jack Barrett.