Reserves Get Nasty Dose of the Blues

Last updated : 01 March 2005 By The Rambler

Chelsea res v Rams
Chelsea Res 3 0 Derby Res

Chelsea:- Pidgeley, Smith D, Tillen S, Pettigrew, Morais N, Grant, Oliveira (Tillen J 66), Woodards, Kneissl (Morais F 60), Hollands, Smith J (Mancienne 77).
Subs:- Russell, Furman.

Derby:- Brill, Doyle, Martin, Turner, Young, Nyatanga, Ainsworth, Barnes, Junior, Cassidy, Reich (Booth 73).
Subs:- Meredith, Kirby, Nix, Llewellyn.

Referee A Sainsbury.

After a lunchtime pitch inspection the decision was made to allow the game at Aldershot FCs' Recreation Ground go ahead.

With George Burleys' first team in action only 48 hours later it was assumed that the reserves would be totally lacking in experience. It was therefore something of a surprise to see both Junior and Marco Reich included in the starting eleven.

Also named was a triallist from Luton Town by the name of Dean Brill who was hoping to impress.

Snow began to fall about an hour before kick off but though making playing conditions a little tricky to adapt to was never dangerous.

If Brill wanted the opportunity to show what he was capable of the home side gave him plenty of chances to do just that.

His handling was more than competent with two saves from headers in short order noteworthy. The second one, a tip over from point blank range that appeared to have goal written all over it.

The Rams created several half chances of their own with Reich unlucky to be denied at the last after doing all the approach work well.

Ironically the opening goal came after a good move engineered by the German and strike partner Junior. David Cassidy was not quite accurate enough with the final ball in and when the Blues broke the end result was devastating.

The hosts broke down the Derby right and after Danny Young slipped the ball was played through to Filipe Oliveira who took it on a pace before slotting it into the far corner of the net with 35 minutes gone.

Derby responded well but were again undone 2 minutes before half-time as Adrian Pettigrew headed home in a crowded area with Brill seemingly wrong footed.

Junior and Lionel Ainsworth combined inb stoppage time to provide a pass to Cassidy at the far post, but the Irishman was unable to make contact and the Rams went in 2 goals down at the break for the first time in a long while.

The visitors started the second period brightly with the belief forged in recent games that they could pull themselves back from a losing position.

Twice in the first 7 minutes Junior appeared to be pulled back, once outside and once inside the box. The referee was unimpressed by either appeal though.

Chelsea were becoming more insistent as the half wore on, breaching the visitors offside trap more than once.

It was unsurprising therefore, when Olivera burst through the Rams backline before firing powerfully past the Derby keeper to make it 3 - 0 with 59 minutes gone.

5 minutes later Junior saw his shot from the edge of the 6 yard box deflected away from danger by a vital block when he seemed set to score.

Cassidy finally beat Lenny Pidgeley on 71 minutes. But his looping shot was hacked off the line by a well placed defender.

It was Cassidy 4 minutes later who blazed over at the end of a good Derby move.

When Junior executed a deft chip over the Chelsea keeper with 11 minutes remaining only to see his effort drop wide you knew that it was not to be their night.

Chelsea were undeniably the more incisive of the two sides in front of goal but the Rams deserved at least one goal for their efforts.