Development squad win Orient contest

Without a game this month until a trip to Tottenham at the weekend, our development squad hosted Leyton Orient for a Cobham friendly this afternoon (Tuesday).

The O’s brought a group of youngsters and fringe first team players to take on Joe Edwards’s side, who are currently 10th in Premier League 2, though it was the young Blues who dominated this friendly from the start.

The Belgian attacking duo of Charly Musonda and Kylian Hazard (pictured top) dovetailed to great effect, showing a mutual understanding in the final third. The latter benefited from a clever short corner routine, a regular feature for the hosts, but fired into the side netting from a narrow angle after 15 minutes.

It didn’t take long for the first goal to arrive and one of our England Under-17 World Cup winners was the man celebrating, the advancing right-back Marc Guehi latching on to an incisive forward pass from Kyle Scott and producing a tidy finish.

Orient had first team experience among their ranks, albeit teenage talent as opposed to seasoned professionals. The National League side parted company with manager Steve Davis a few hours prior to kick-off and their struggles continued against a bright Blues side.

Harvey St Clair forced one particularly good save with a low deflected drive before the lively Hazard was twice thwarted, first by the keeper and then due to some wayward finishing.

The floodlights were switched on at the break, a gloomy sight for a midday kick-off but an indication that winter is looming large. Hazard and Musonda continued to illimunate on the field but it was Charlie Brown with our best chance of the second period, the striker firing over from six yards after Hazard had delivered from the byline.

Callum Hudson-Odoi, another of our young Lions victorious at the World Cup last month, joined the attack and went close to extending the advantage late on, though it was the visitors who almost drew level with a shot slammed against the post.

Edwards’s side travel to Spurs for their next outing in PL2 this weekend. Before then, our youth team host Brighton & Hove Albion in the Under-18 Premier League this Friday 17 November, kick-off 6.05pm and live on Chelsea TV.