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  • By Paul Lagan

Late equaliser denies 10-man Chelsea in tight Premier League 2 clash at the Bridge

By Paul Lagan at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 1 v Manchester United 1

Ten-man Chelsea succumbed to a late equaliser as the Blues drew 1-1 with Manchester United in the Premier League 2 clash at Stamford Bridge tonight.

Joshua Brooking, a thorn in the United side for most of the game, lost his head and recklessly cut down live-wire Dillon Hoogewerf on 60 minutes.

It was a straight red card for the defender.

But it was the Blues who took the lead soon after when Harvey Vale slotted home from the penalty spot.

Five minutes from time, United’s best player, left-back Alvaro Fernandez smashed home the equaliser.

The opening exchanges fell to the visitors, but goalkeeper Ted Sharman Lowe was inspired mood, making a handful of save, two in quick succession which showed his ability to get down low to a shot then instantly get up to parried away for a corner what seemed like a certain goal.

But a quick breakaway on 22 minutes saw fine combination play between the home side’s Joshua Brooking and Silko Thomas on the right. Brooking’s byline cross was met on the head by Jayden Wareham, but the defender got his head to deflect the ball away from goal.

Having had a couple of warnings fro referee Alan Dale for late challenges, Ben Elliott entered his little black book for another needless foul.

The Brooking, Thomas combinations worked well on 37 minutes with a floating byline ball falling for the left peg, at the far post for George Nunn, but the wide-man fluffed his lines and smacked the side netting rather than the back of the net.

A smooth move, instigated by George McEachran on 54 minutes, involving a cross from the left by Nunn, almost saw the Blues score, but Harvey Vale’s left footed-volley inched wide of the United goal.

The first substitution for the Blues saw Dion Rankine replace Silko Thomas.then disaster for the home side.

Brooking cut Dillion Hoogewerf down on 60 minutes. Both players received treatment lasting three minutes - Brooking appearing to be the worst affected. But Dale decided the defender was reckless in the challenge and issued a straight red card.

The prompted a double substitution from Andy Myers - Jude Soonsup-Bell and Sam McClellend coming on for Jayden Wareham and George Nunn.

Incredibly the Blues were the side pushing forward, and on 72 minutes a poor clearance was pounced on by Chelsea and a quick counter-attack saw Soonsup-Bell was upended for a penalty.

Up stepped Harvey Vale, who sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to caress the ball home.

Despite looking like they could see out the game, the Blues succumbed to a sucker punch from an unlikely source - the United left-back Alvaro Fernandez.

He jinked and swerved just outside the Chelsea penalty area, on the left, before arrowing home a crisp left-footer that zipped past Sharman Lowe and into the far corner of his net to level the score.

With seconds left on the clock, the United goalkeeper Matej Kovar clashed with Mbuyamba and was replaced - on came Marc Jurado.


Ted Sharman Lowe, Silko Thomas, Joshua Brooking, Xavier Mbuyamba, Bahri Humphreys, George McEachran, Charlie Webster, Ben Elliott, Jayden Wareham, Harvey Vale, George Nunn

Subs: Bryan Fiabema, Ethan Wady, Jude Soonsup-Bell, Dion Rankine, Sam McClellend.

Man Utd

Kovar, Wellens, Fernandez, Olowu, Hartley, Svidersky, Shoretire, Savage, McNeill, Mellor, Hoogewerf

Subs, Jurado, Mee, Garnacho, Mejia

Referee: Alan Dale


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