Chelsea Game 2 2006
Saturday 6th May, Stamford Bridge
Chelsea (Home) 6 Chelsea (Away) 3
The old age cliché that football is a game of two halves certainly rang true in the final match of the Chelsea leg of the Football Aid championships. An inspired performance from skipper Adam Lang and a double from striker White saw the Home side come back from 2-1 down at half time to steal a thrilling victory over Chelsea Away.
It was the Away team who started the brighter with some good chances down the left wing, but no real scoring opportunities were made until the 12th minute. Forward Shields struck a rising shot from 25 yards but the ball just skimmed past the top of the bar.
The game flared into life in the 29th minute when an attack from the Home team forced midfielder Thorpe to slide in with an aggressive tackle. Blandy stepped up to take the resulting penalty and blasted it perfectly past keeper Risdale to make it 1-0.
Away were quick to retaliate with a quite outstanding individual goal by Panayiotou. The centre midfielder picked the ball up from the halfway line and with a change of pace and some fancy footwork skipped past 3 defenders before firing a well placed shot to the bottom right hand corner.
Minutes later and Away stole the lead after a determined Shields beat the offside trap and surged towards goal. Keeper Ball couldn’t fully stop the striker’s sizzling strike and the ball ricocheted into goal to make the score line 1-2 just before half time.
The second half kicked off and in swept a rejuvenated Home side with skipper Lang providing the all important equaliser after only 5 minutes of play. And it didn’t take long for a rampant Home squad to then take control of the match.
Catching Away defence on the trot, Lang raced onto a long kick out from keeper Ball and headed towards goal. With supreme confidence he took on Risdale 1-1 and drilled a low shot into the left corner to make it 3-2.
Before Away could draw breath, a penalty in the 62nd minute (solidly struck by striker White) made the score 4-2.
Away made a comeback on the half hour when Panayiotou exquisitely played in Baverstock, who struck well past Ball but despite enjoying some good possession after, the Home side always had another gear to move into.
Inside the final 10 minutes, White completed his double, pushing the ball over the goal line after a tense goalmouth scramble. And Lang sealed victory with an easy tap in after the ball was beautifully chipped over Risdale to the well placed midfielder’s feet.
The final score 6-3 to a majestic Home team.
As Stephen Hall commented after the match, “When I took my 3 ½ year old daughter to pre-school on Monday, she was asked about her weekend. Apparently she told a packed class that she'd been to London to see her Daddy play for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Moments like those are priceless. Thank you once again Football Aid for a great day and memories that will live with me forever.”