SWINDON TOWN beat Chelsea’s Development Squad 2-1 at The County Ground this evening thanks to goals by Raphael Rossi-Branco and Nathan Delfouneso, writes Adrian Smith
Chelsea’s Mukhtar Ali scored the best goal of the night to give his side hope but it was Town who emerged with the three points from their first ever group match in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Luke Williams gave Sean Murray his first start and home debut in Town colours on a balmy evening at The County Ground as the hosts made six changes in total. Chelsea kicked-off and after a slow start, Town earned two corners with 10 minutes on the clock but both were cleared by the defence.
minute through a powerful looping header by Raphael Rossi-Branco from Murray’s cross and he looked delighted with his first goal of the season on what was his first outing of the 2016/17 campaign. thTown took the lead in the 18
Chelsea almost equalised straightaway through Mason Mount’s powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area but the ball looped over keeper Will Henry and landed on the line before being cleared.
Charlie Wakefield tested Henry’s reflexes with a smart shot from the edge of the area but the Town stopper did well to take the shot down low.
The Town defence gave away possession very easily on the edge of the penalty area allowing Mount to gain possession and sidestep Tom Smith’s challenge before firing just wide of the goal in the 29th minute.
minute which was well taken by Henry under pressure from several players.thChelsea then earned a corner in the 34
minute but his cross was cleared by the visiting defence and shortly afterwards Dijon Sterling made a superb goal-line clearance under pressure from Norris after Jermaine Hylton did well to get a cross in. thSean Murray took another Town corner in the 35
minute.thIsaac Christie-Davis picked up a loose ball in midfield and advanced before firing in a rising shot which Henry caught cleanly in the 39
Charlie Wakefield fired in a rising shot from the edge of the area which flew over the bar after receiving the ball from Josimar Quintero as Chelsea looked to try and get the elusive equaliser.
One minute of added time was played before the half time whistle was blown by referee Graham Horwood, with Branco's emphatic header proving the difference at the break.
Nathan Delfouneso replaced Luke Norris at the start of the second-half for the Robins.
minute as the visitors made a bright start and at the other end Hylton went close after a smart turn and shot from close-range.thWakefield earned a corner for Chelsea in the 50
Chelsea manager and former Town player Adi Viveash replaced Ike Ugbo with Joseph Colley and the Robins replaced Johnny Goddard with Ellis Iandolo in the 58th minute. Iandolo was soon in action sending in a powerful shot which Brad Collins pushed over for a corner.
However, the home side's persistence finally paid off after Delfouneso doubled Town’s lead from a Sean Murray free kick with 61 minutes on the clock when he flicked home from close range to open his goalscoring account for the Robins.
minute for Chelsea.thKyle Scott was replaced by Martell Taylor-Crossdale in the 65
minute during a break in play while Chelsea were waiting to take a corner. The visitors also replaced Quintero with Mukhtar Ali before taking the corner which was cleared by the home defence.ndJon Obika replaced Jermaine Hylton in the 72
minute to the delight of the 174 visiting supporters in the crowd of 1,961.thChelsea’s Ali made an immediate impact as he scored with a long-range shot which gave Will Henry no chance as the ball flew into the right hand side of the goal in the 80
The Sponsor’s Man Of The Match was announced as Sean Murray after a strong performance on his home debut.
minute.thThe only blemish so far for Town was a yellow card given to Delfouneso for a foul near the halfway line on the 86
Town had strong claims for a penalty turned down after Murray tumbled after a challenge in the penalty area but the referee waved play on and shortly afterwards Tom Smith was cautioned for a late challenge.
Jon Obika wasted a good chance to stretch Town’s lead deep in added time when he outpaced the defence before shooting straight at the keeper and the ball ricocheted to Sean Murray who volleyed wide of goal, which proved to be the last action of the match.