By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea 3 v Blackpool 1
FA Youth Cup 6th Round
Chelsea made hard work of it but managed to squeeze past a resolute Blackpool side to reach the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup at Stamford Bridge tonight.
They beat the Seasiders 3-2 after going behind to an early goal.
But strikes from Harvey Vale, a wonderful curler, Malik Mothersille and a penalty from Charlie Webster were enough.
Chelsea could have scored in the opening minute when Derrick Abu overlapped Harvey Vale on the right. The full back sent in a shot, but goalkeeper Alan MacLachlan tipped the ball away for a corner.
But within five minutes the visitors took the lead. A powerful run by Darren Francis on the right saw him slide the perfect ball across the six-yard line where Jake Daniels clipped the ball past Prince Adegoke.
The home side reacted but not effectively and Charlie Webster’s Ieft-footer from 20 yards was weak.
But on 13 minutes the Blues were level. Harvey Vale, who has played for the first team this season, produced a wonder goal, when he curled a sensational left footer from the right apex of the Blackpool goal, and the ball nestled in MacLachlan’s top right hand corner.
Joe Strawn forced Prince Adegoke into a good save on 40 minutes as the Blues sought to take the lead.
And a minute later, they did. Malik Mothersille was denied by a brilliant double save from MacLachlan but on the third close range effort the ball crept over the line.
There were no changes by either side at half-time.
But 14 minutes into the restart and Blackpool equalised.
It was hard on defender Luke Badley Morgan who, when trying to intercept a byline cross, he inadvertently put the ball into his own net.
The Blues were awarded a penalty 69 minutes when Derrick Abu was upended in the penalty area.
Up stepped Charlie Webster who cooly sent MacLachlan the wrong way to put the west Londoners 3-2 up.
With five minutes left on the clock, Daniels thought he had levelled for Blackpool but Prince Adegoke produced a fine save to tip the ball away for a corner.
Teams: Chelsea, Prince Adegoke Derrick Abu, Luke Badley Morgan, Dylan Williams, Harvey Vale, Lewis Hall, Ronnie Stutter, Malik Mothersille, Silko Thomas
Subs: Josh, Tobin Jimi Tauriainen, Leo Castledine, Tudor Mendel, Idwou, Zain Silcott Duberry
Blackpool, Alan MacClachlan, Jack Moore, Tyler Hill, Tayt Trusty, Will Squires, Michael Fitzgerald, Darren Francis, Luke Marietta, Jake Daniels, Arnold Matshazi, Joe Strawin, Prince Yelegan, Archie Cunningham, James Harrison, Johnny Johnston, Kwakiutl Donkor, Johnson Opawole, Luke Byron
Referee: Robert Whitton