Chelsea’s kids managed to squeeze into the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy tonight against AFC Wimbledon after goals from Charlie Brown and Daishawn Redan secured the 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge with substitute Anthony Wordsworth notching a classy overhead goal for the visitors before getting himself red-carded with minutes left.
The visitors deserved at least to take the game into penalties if not outright winners.
They were stronger and fitter, but a lack of concentration and a slice of luck for the home side’s opening goal.
It was a well taken Charlie Brown penalty after Liam Trotter apparently tripped Marc Guehi. TV replays suggested that it was a tad unlucky on the Dons.
The first significant effort went to the visitors, on six minutes but striker James Hanson’s downward header from six-yards out, lacked power and failed to trouble goalkeeper Jamie Cumming.
Jake Jervis got a deserved yellow for a late lunge on Connor Gallagher, on nine minutes which almost took the midfielder’s leg off.
He was lucky it was not deemed a straight red by referee Charles Breakspear.
Hanson, on 26 minutes produced a thumper of a left-footer but rattled the crossbar, while three minutes later a long-range effort by Anthony Hartigan forced Cumming into an acrobatic dive to his left to parry the ball to safety.
The Blues took an undeserved lead on 36 minutes, Liam Trotter clipped Marc Guehi just inside the Dons penalty area. Up stepped Charlie Brown to slam the ball home, past Tom King.
The Blues doubled their lead seconds in to the restart - Dutch youngster Daishawn Redan had the simplest of chances to nod home from close range from an excellent right wing cross from Tino Andorin.
Simon Bassey replaced James Hanson with Joe Piggott on 57 minutes.
New boss Wally Downes came down to the dugout to take charge, and made two substitutions - Trotter off, Anthony Wordsworth on and Michael Pinnock on for Alfie Egan on 65 minutes.
It had almost instant rewards as the Dons pulled a goal back through an overhead kick by Wordsworth.
Chelsea boss Joe Edwards replaced Anjoin with Luke McCormick - seconds later, on 72 minutes Terell Thomas forced Cumming into a finger-tip save as the visitors went in search of the equaliser.
Jervis was unlucky on 78 minutes to see his glancing near post header zip inches wide of the Chelsea crossbar as they piled on the pressure. Edwards brought on Billy Gilmour for the final eight minutes, replacing Brown.
A delightful cross-field ball by the young Scot found Tariq Lamptey. The right-back’s cross fell to Gallagher, but his shot failed to hit the target, rather he hit row Z of the Matthew Harding Stand, behind the goal.
Lamptey was then hacked down by Wandsworth, causing a melee of players to shove and push each other. Referee Breakspear gave the substitute a straight red card.
Chelsea: Cumming, Colley, Marty, brown, Gallagher, Guehi, Castillo, McEachran, Redan, Lamptey, Andorin
Subs: Grant, McCormick, Taylor-Crossdale, Gilmour, Masampu, Thompson, Mola
Wimbledon: King, Nightingale, Thomas, hartigan, Jervis, Garrett, Trotter, Hanson, Sibbick, Egan, Burey
Subs: Tzanev, Watson, Wagstaff, Pinnock, Kaslambayi, Piggot, Wordsworth
Referee: Charles Breakspear