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Chelsea Game 1 2006

Saturday 6th May, Stamford Bridge

Chelsea (Home) 4 Chelsea (Away) 5

An outstanding 4 goals from Stephen Preston gave Chelsea Away a hard fought victory over the Home team in a thrilling start to the Chelsea FC leg of the Football Aid Championships.

The opening minutes of the match were frantic and fast paced setting the tone for the remainder of the game. With only 3 minutes on the clock, Home looked to be off to a winning start when a ball into the Away box fell to midfielder Sanchez-Myles who drove it cleanly into the net.

However Away swiftly replied with a goal of their own. A flowing move down the left wing was cut inside giving striker Preston time to turn his defender and tuck the ball inside the left hand post.

Without pausing for breath, Away came forward again and the Home team found themselves completely exposed in a 3 on 1 situation. The ball was worked from right to left to an unmarked Saeed, but the centre forward pulled his shot wide.

Like a seesaw, the game once more swung in Home’s favour when a cast iron penalty was awarded to Wyatt after he was taken down in the box by a late challenge. Keeper Smith pulled of a fantastic save and the follow-up was screwed wide to keep the score at 1-1.

Minutes later the situation was repeated when Smith’s opposite number Brassington safely saved skipper Weaver’s penalty attempt. But there was no stopping Preston’s strike shortly after.

A surging run from 25 yards saw the powerful midfielder evade 3 tackles before stretching to strike a superb shot high past Brassington from 10 yards to make the score line 1-2.

Just before the break, Away strengthened their lead and the hard working Preston was instrumental in the move. He played in to forward Bailey who turned his defender, skipped past an advancing Brassington and finished deftly despite the angle.

Away continued to look dangerous in the start of the second half. In a break down the right wing, Preston cut back from the touch-line and only a great saving tackle by Mark Halls cleared the threat.

The Home side made a breakthrough in the 66th minute after some good pressure. The ball broke to Hall who took a good touch and shot accurately into the left corner of the goal to give Bells’ men hope.

Newfound confidence saw dominant play for the Home team for the next few minutes and an aggressive attack in the penalty area saw a deserved goal from No * (please see below) through a crowded penalty area.

3-3 all with 15 minutes left to play resulted in a frenetic finale. Home continued to build their pressure and the crowd went wild as substitute Willis slammed in his strike to give Home the lead for the first time in the second half.

However, celebrations were shortlived and the crowd were left gasping for breath as a quick break of pace by Away’s Littlejohn saw him through to the by line. He sent a perfect ball into the area and who else but the ever vigilant Preston arrived on cue to slam home his hat trick.

But Patten wasn’t quite finished. In the dying minutes, after great forward play, substitute Saeed selflessly played the ball across goal to team mate Bailey whose resulting shot was bravely saved by Brassington. Great positional play meant Preston was fittingly there at the back stick to tuck away the final and winning goal of the match. An inspired individual performance and a thrilling end to the most closely contented match of the Football Aid season.

Final score 4-5.
As Saeed commented after the match,"Just want to send a big thanks to all those involved with Football Aid for organising a great day at Chelsea. I had a memorable day and I'll definitely be back again next year!" *The Match Reporter was unable to see which player pushed the ball over the line. Please contact info@footballaid.com with details!