Yeovil 1-1 Chelsea U21
25th October 2017
What are we to make of The Checkatrade Trophy? A competition which last season posted some of the lowest attendance figures ever seen in English professional football (many group matches were played out to three figure crowds), and yet succeeded in attracting 74,000 bods to the final. I suppose the message we take from that is: Everybody Loves a Winner.
To be fair many of these low turnouts were due in part to fans choosing to boycott the tournament subsequent to the inclusion of Premier League and Championship Academy sides. A step many felt was just another in the insidious process of getting reserve sides from the Big Lads shoe-horned into the Football League.
For the 2017/18 tournament, the contentious four-team group stage was retained, but with Under-21 sides replacing the Academy ones – although quite what the difference is, I am unsure.
|Huish Park - Yeovil Town - Main Stand exterior|
|Huish Park - Yeovil Town|
Yeovil Town welcomed Chelsea's young pups to Huish Park this evening; the most high profile name in the Blues' line-up being Kylian Hazard, Eden's younger brother. Although at one point during proceedings the visitors did have two Scotland under-age internationalists on the park – Luke McCormick and Harvey St Clair. Although neither I noted, rather inevitably, were actually born in Scotland <sigh>.
Well, for much of the first-half I felt the young Chelsea chaps gave a fairly decent account of themselves, plying some fine possession football – even if little of it caused the home defence much grief.
And it was very much against the run of play that Yeovil took the lead around the 25th minute, when Sam SURRIDGE headed in a corner-kick – aided, it has to be said, by some woeful marking by the visitors. But the Chelsea lads equalised just 10 minutes later, when the aforementioned McCORMICK scored from close range. Home 'keeper Artur Krysic here disproving the notion that all Poles working in the country are good with their hands.
The youngsters visibly wilted in the last 20 minutes I felt, and the visitors' goal was peppered with shots by Town's Jake Gray, Bevis Mugabi and notably Otis Khan - none of these efforts, to be fair, unduly taxing the talents of the 18 year old Jamie Cumming in the Chelsea goal.
Indeed the closest we came to either side grabbing a winner was a long-range shot from (I think) St Clair which dipped just over the crossbar, with around 15 minutes remaining.
1-1 it finished at time-up, and so to penalties. But even the novelty of observing my first ABBA format shoot-out could not persuade me to hang around, as that car park behind the Away stand had been hard enough to get into. And I fancied the queue to get out would be even more epic. Or should that be epicer?
|Yeovil Town v Chelsea - October 2017.|
|Early in the match Chelsea's Swedish defender Joseph Colley |
thought it would be good idea to attempt to control the ball with his testicles.
|Colley Balls, is this referring to?|
|Panorama of Huish Park, Yeovil.|
|The Screwfix Community Stand.|
For the record Yeovil picked up the extra point to go top of their Checkatrade Trophy group with a 5-3 win in the penalty competition. And the attendance had been a more than respectable 1,896; particularly given the “real” Chelsea were at home this evening, playing a Carabao (i.e. League) Cup tie.
|By early the following morning , the "Next match here" sign had already been updated.|