Chelsea report

Newport County AFC celebrated Fraser Franks’ benefit match with a tricky outing against Chelsea U23s at Spytty Park which resulted in a 6-1 defeat.

Franks – who will receive 50% of tonight’s gate receipts – saw Momodou Touray open the scoring on the half hour by calmly dispatching a penalty down the middle.

But the Chelsea youth side ran riot from there as Ike Ugbo scored twice alongside further strikes from Ian Maatsen, Conor Gallagher, Armando Broja and Juan Castillo.

After a disappointing defeat for the first team at Cardiff City earlier in the afternoon, manager Michael Flynn decided to name the remaining members of the squad at Spytty Stadium with some trialists and academy prospects.

Marvel Ekpiteta, Mark O’Brien, Jay Williams, Lazar Stojsavljevic, Dom Jefferies, Keanu Marsh-Brown and Momodou Touray were joined from the beginning by four trialists.

Touray was by far and above the standout player from a County perspective as his neat change of pace caused some problems all evening.

His trickery into the area produced the first sighting at goal on 10 minutes but he just shot over, before he got the goal his performance deserved on the half hour by converting a penalty straight down the middle.

Dom Jefferies – who built upon his stellar display against Bath City with another solid display this time around – was fouled in the build-up to the spot kick after skipping two challenges.

But the more the Chelsea youth side developed into the game, the more possession they had, and it was only a matter of time before they made their dominance.

Conor Gallagher – who looked a cut above everyone else on the field topped a classy performance off just four minutes after the opener with a superb curling free-kick from 20 yards.

Ian Maatsen put Chelsea U23s into the break with a 2-1 advantage thanks to a finish from an acute angle following smart build-up play to drive into the penalty area.

The goals continued into the second half as Chelsea U23s took complete control and if it wasn’t for the County trialist goalkeeper – who made four or five really good stops – then it could have been more.

An unfortunate error on the edge of the area from Jay Williams allowed Juan Castillo to calmly slot home, before Ike Ugbo made it four to complete another fine flowing move on 65 minutes.

The scoring became five with 12 minutes remaining as substitute Armando Broja tapped into an empty net just 60 seconds after coming onto the field following Billy Gilmour hitting the post.

There was a lovely moment for all County supporters to celebrate with five minutes remaining as George Franks – brother of former County defender Fraser – took to the field amid a raucous applause for the whole Franks family.

But Chelsea U23s weren’t buying into the sentiment that much as they got their sixth with the final passage of play – Ugbo getting his second following a clever cutback.


Newport County AFC (4-3-1-2): Trialist 1 (Trialist 5 45’), Marvel Ekpiteta (Callum Jones 60’), Mark O’Brien, Jay Williams, Lazar Stojsavljevic, Dom Jefferies, Trialist 2, Trialist 3 (Trialist 7 45’), Keanu Marsh-Brown, Trialist 4, Momodou Touray (George Franks 85’)


Chelsea U23s (4-2-1-2-1): Karlo Ziger (Nicholas Tie 64’), Dujon Sterling, Marc Guehi (C), Jack Wakely, Ian Maatsen (Armando Broja 76’), Billy Gilmour, Marcel Lewis (Tino Anjorin 60’), Conor Gallagher, Ike Ugbo, Tariq Uwakwe (Clinton Mola 71’), Juan Castillo (Henry Lawrence 70’)


Attendance: 693