Swindon Town opened their 2018/19 Checkatrade Trophy campaign with a defeat after losing 4-0 to Chelsea's U21s at The Energy Check County Ground this evening.
Goals from Charlie Brown and Charley Musonda Jr. put the visitors in the driving seat at the break, and further efforts from Brown and Ike Ugbo in the second-half capped off a miserable night for the Reds.
Phil Brown plumped for seven changes in total with Luke McCormick and Sid Nelson being handed their club debuts.
And there were full debuts for Jak McCourt and Toumani Diagouraga, whilst Joe Romanski, Ellis Iandolo and Scott Twine were also given starts.
Town were looking to get off to a positive start in Southern Group C but they had to bide their time following what was a subdued start to proceedings.
However, they were able to carve out the first clear-cut chance of the game following a beautiful and well put-together passage of play.
Scott Twine and Jak McCourt combined to set Joe Romanski through on goal but the youngster could only fire an effort straight at Jamie Cumming in the Chelsea goal.
And the Blues went straight down the other end to punish that missed opportunity with Charlie Brown tucking home from close-range.
Town did look to respond in a positive manner as they launched an attack on the visiting goal, although it came to nothing with Scott Twine dragging a shot wide after being fed by Elijah Adebayo.
But Chelsea were able to double their lead before the half-hour mark thanks to Charly Musonda Jr., who slotted home from the penalty spot after Dion Conroy brought down Taria Lamptey.
Luke McCormick had to be called into action shortly after the restart to deny Brown, before Twine was way off-target with a free-kick at the other end.
Town were struggling to settle into the game and they were deal another blow just shy of the hour mark when Brown slotted home his second goal of the evening.
That led to a change for the Reds with Jordan Young coming on to replace Jermaine McGlashan as Phil Brown's side looked for a way back into the contest.
Sol Pryce was then brought on for his Town debut as he replaced the injured Young, before Toumani Diagouraga saw his shot blocked on the line.
There was still time for Chelsea to add some gloss to the scoreline with Ike Ugbo heading home later on despite McCormick pulling off a fine initial save.
And that proved to be the final action of the game with Town suffering a heavy defeat in their Checkatrade Trophy Southern Group C opener.
TEAMS AND STATS:
SCORERS - Charlie Brown (15, 58), Charley Musonda Jr. (29), Ike Ugbo (89).
SWINDON TOWN (4-3-3) - McCormick; Knoyle (James Dunne 19), Nelson, Conroy (C), Romanski; McGlashan (Jordan Young 66) (Sol Pryce 74), McCourt, Diagouraga; Iandolo, Twine, Adebayo.
SUBS NOT USED - Vigouroux, Lancashire, Smith, Doughty.
CHELSEA U21's - Cumming, Musonda Jnr, Dabo (C), Ugbo, Colley, McCormick (Billy Gilmour 07), Brown (Daishawn Redan 63), Guehi, Castillo, McEachran (Tariq Uwakwe 83), Lamptey.
SUBS NOT USED - Lavinier, Ziger, Masampu.
Referee - Brett Huxtable.
Attendance - 1,569.