The Chelsea first-team threw away a trip to Wembley and a chance at a trophy with Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal in the League Cup semifinal at the Emirates. Now it’s the U21 team’s turn. After beating mid-table League One side Oxford United in the quarterfinals, the Chelsea boys have been drawn against Lincoln City in the Checkatrade Trophy (nee Football League Trophy) semifinals.
The ‘Imps’ may be 134 years old as a club, but they are one of the up-and-comers of the Football League, having gained promotion from non-league football last season by winning the Conference (err...”National League”) and immediately pushing for promotion from League Two. They’re an experienced, no-nonsense side with the division’s second best defence and an attack led by massive 6’3” veteran of the lower leagues Matt Rhead.
Judging by their fans’ reaction on Twitter, they are expecting the ‘men’ of Lincoln to show the ‘boys’ of Chelsea who’s boss, and Joe Edwards’ charges will certainly have their work cut out for them. With a trip to Wembley on the line for the final in April, they’ll have to play even better than in the previous rounds of this competition, which has seen them beat MK Dons, Portsmouth, and Oxford United in the knockout rounds.
The semifinal is a single-elimination affair, currently scheduled to be played in two weeks, on Tuesday, February 6 at Lincoln’s 10,000-capacity Sincil Bank stadium.
Whet your appetite for this one with highlights of Chelsea U21’s 3-0 win in the quarterfinals.