Jim Stevenson was on the score sheet for Aldershot Town but they suffered a 5-1 defeat to Chelsea U21s at the EBB Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Blues recovered from 1-0 down and netted four second-half goals to punish Barry Smith’s side, with first-team fringe player Oriol Romeu scoring for the visitors. Dan Thomas was the stand-out performer for the hosts, making a string of fine saves to keep the score somewhat respectable.
Chelsea started the game brightly and Thomas produced a fingertip save to divert Kasey Palmer’s shot onto the far post as the Shots survived an early scare. Despite this, it was the home side that took the lead. In the 15th minute, Sam Hatton’s corner was directed towards the far post where Stevenson turned his marker before heading beyond Mitchell Beeney in the Chelsea goal.
The Blues recovered well, and almost equalised two minutes later. John Swift twisted and turned his way into the penalty area before his deflected effort wrong-footed Thomas and crawled towards the line. However, the Aldershot goalkeeper recovered and managed to clear the ball off the line. The pressure eventually told as former Valencia midfielder Romeu fired a long distance strike into the roof of the net with Thomas beaten.
With all the Chelsea pressure, Aldershot did have some chances few and far between. Hatton, who created the first goal, could’ve had a goal of his own, but his long-range free-kick clipped the top of the crossbar as an entertaining first-half came to a close.
The visitors showed their class in the second half. Tammy Abraham, a second-half substitute, completed the turnaround for Chelsea in the 55th minute when he and Swift combined before Abraham, who netted 41 goals last season, made no mistake from inside the penalty area. In the 65th minute, it was 3-1 after some excellent teamwork from the Blues. Palmer linked up well with Kyle Scott before they found Jay Dasilva to fire home again from inside the area.
Aldershot’s fatigue showed in the final ten minutes, when both Alex Kiwomya and Abraham scored the final two Chelsea goals, with the latter producing a neat chipped finish over the onrushing Thomas. Despite the result, Barry Smith’s side will have plenty of positives to take from the victory and may add to his squad after two trialists were fielded for the Shots, who begin their National League campaign against Gateshead on 8 August.
Aldershot XI: Thomas; Alexander, Oliver (Barker 46’), Saville, Richards; Trialist A, Gallagher, Stevenson, Hatton; Walker (Barnes-Homer 46’), Trialist B.
Chelsea XI: Beeney; Tomori, Davey (Wright 46’), Ake (Suljic 63’), Dabo; Swift (Muheim 63’), Boga (Kiwomya 46’), Romeu (Scott 63’), Feruz (Abraham 46’); Palmer, Dasilva (Quintero 69’).
Radio Woking Reporter: Scott Taylor