United Under-23s earn 2-2 draw at Chelsea

Manchester United and Chelsea Reserves fought out a terrific draw in extraordinary conditions at Aldershot’s EBB Stadium on Monday.

United were two goals to the good at one stage, with Tosin Kehinde and James Wilson netting, but Chelsea rallied well to claim a share of the spoils.

This is one of the longest trips of the season for United's Under-23 side and it can hardly be described as home game for Chelsea considering the military town of Aldershot is in Hampshire, some way outside Greater London.

But is has to be said that the EBB Stadium, once upon a time the Recreation Ground, is one of most picturesque in the country, with towering trees dominating the scene.

There was decent crowd inside the ground, which is just a stone's throw from the town centre, as the game started and, within a minute of the first whistle, Chelsea's Miro Mukeim had forced Kieran O'Hara into action after hitting a blistering drive.

Isaac Christie-Davies also had a great chance to put the ‘home' team in front a few minutes later but he squandered the opportunity.
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Hit the play button to see Lou Macari's analysis of James Wilson's goal at Chelsea on Monday night
Chelsea were certainly making the early running and, on the quarter-hour mark, Jacob Maddox looked to have succeeded in giving his side the advantage but his shot struck the post and stayed out following his darting run from midfield.

Chelsea continued to have the lion's share of the attacking play, but United's defence were coping well with the threat the Stamford Bridge lads were posing. And Chelsea's finishing was leaving a lot to be desired as Callum Hudson-Odoi completely miscued his shot from a great position.

Then, in the 38th minute, United showed Chelsea how it's done as Kehinde unleashed an unstoppable shot, after taking a pass from DJ Buffonge, which Jamie Cumming, the Chelsea goalkeeper, had little chance of stopping.    

Half-time and United went in a goal to the good when they could have easily been looking at a mountain to climb in the second half.  

The half-time entertainment came in the form of an incredible downpour of rain that was still swamping the arena as the teams started the second half.
Wilson is on the comeback trail and looks sharp after his lengthy period of absence through injury
The first real chance after the break fell to United, in the 52nd minute, when Wilson headed wide from Joe Riley's inch-perfect cross.

United had opened the second half brightly, making more visits into Chelsea territory, and in the 56th minute they doubled their lead with a terrific header from Wilson.

United's genuine chances in the game had been considerably rarer than Chelsea's but it's the ones that go in that count.   

Hudson-Odoi was set free with the goal in front of him and he looked odds-on to score but Riley and keeper O'Hara combined to stop him in his tracks.

Chelsea finally found a way past United's defence in the 72nd minute when, following a sweeping move, Christie-Davies hit the net with a neat finish.
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Under-23s manager Ricky Sbragia admits the heavy rain made it difficult for his young Reds at Chelsea
Still the rain came down and almost every pass and challenge was accompanied by a plume of water.

The home side had certainly regained their momentum since halving the deficit and, with eight minutes remaining on the clock, drew level with Hudson-Odoi grabbing the equaliser from close range.

United:  O'Hara, Riley, Mitchell, Warren, Olosunde, Warren, Dearnley, Hamilton, Wilson (Bohui 79), Buffonge (Boonen 79), Kehinde (Kenyon 84). Subs not used: Richardson, Sang.