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After EFL Trophy disappointment, Chelsea youth advance in FA Youth Cup

Ups and downs, not necessarily in that order

Watford U18 v Chelsea U18 - FA Youth Cup Photo by Clive Howes - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

It’s been quite a week for one Harvey Vale.

On Saturday, he came off the bench (for Thomas Tuchel) in the 5-1 win over Chesterfield in the FA Cup to make his third senior Chelsea appearance already, at age 18. On Tuesday, he started (for Andy Myers) against Arsenal U21 in the EFL Trophy Round of 16, only to be on the receiving end of a 4-1 beatdown (thanks in large part to Xavier Mbuyamba’s harsh dismissal in the first half). And then last night, Thursday, he started (for Ed Brand) and played the entire 120 minutes as Chelsea U18 beat Watford in extra-time, 3-2, to advance to the fifth round of this year’s FA Youth Cup.

Almost four hours of football in six days, at three different levels for three different coaches. Phew!

Unfortunately, that middle game did feature a defeat, ending our nearly historic EFL Trophy run for this season, but at least we recovered to avoid a shock elimination in the FA Youth Cup.

The Chelsea side that started featured three players who have already made their senior debuts (Vale, Lewis Hall, and Jude Soonsup-Bell), but after jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, they let the home side come back into it before finishing the job in extra time and thus avoiding the lottery of penalties. Vale scored first and last, with Malik Mothersille adding one in-between.

You can watch a replay of the game on Watford’s YouTube channel, because they’re cool like that and we (as in Chelsea) are not. Vale scored in the 9th and 105th minutes while Mothersille’s goal came in the 22nd. Watford scored in the 44th and 75th minutes.

Next up for Chelsea in this competition will be either Liverpool or Burnley, away.

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