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Title dream over

Posted on 27 April 2009  - 12:00

Our reserves' slim hopes of the title were ended by Chelsea at Brentford on Monday night.

Title dream over

Our reserves' slim hopes of the title were ended by Chelsea at Brentford on Monday night.

Two goals from Fabio Borini in the 29th and 75th minutes plus an unfortunate own goal from Steven Caulker saw the Blues home 3-0 at Griffin Park.

The scoreline was a little harsh on the lads as they created more than enough chances, especially in the first half, but on this occasion their finishing was somewhat wayward and when they hit the target, Chelsea keeper Jan Sebek proved tough to beat.

The result ended a run of six-successive wins in the Barclays Premier Reserve League South but Villa clinched the title on their own merit anyway by beating West Brom 2-0 at Villa Park.

We lined-up 4-4-2 against Chelsea's familiar 4-2-3-1 formation with Kyle Fraser-Allen and Simon Dawkins up top and John Bostock central alongside Jake Livermore.

The opening exchanges were even with Livermore and Jacques Maghoma just off target and Ben Alnwick saving well from Portuguese star Ricardo Quaresma.

We stepped up a gear on the quarter-hour as Takura Mtandari headed Gilberto's cross over from a central position before Sebek got down well to deny Livermore.

But just as we looked to be getting on top, we were stung at the other end. Quaresma got away from Livermore and teased in a cross from the byline that Borini couldn't fail to head home from six yards for the opening goal after 29 minutes.

We hit back again as Sebek foiled Maghoma down to his right and Fraser-Allen met Bostock's cross only to guide his effort over from close range.

With news coming in that Villa were 1-0 up against West Brom, it was all to do in the second half.

Nathan Byrne came on for Bostock and we looked bright again with early efforts from Maghoma and Mtandari but a stroke of bad fortune left us with an uphill battle just three minutes into the second period.

Borini found himself on the right side of the box and looked to square across goal only for Caulker, sliding in to block, to divert the ball into his own net at the near post with Alnwick left stranded. It was a real kick in the teeth.

It looked like we might be gifted a way back when Sebek dropped Byrne's cross from the right but Fraser-Allen couldn't turn the ball home from a tight angle.

Spaces were starting to open up as we looked to get back into the game. Sala almost took advantage when he robbed Mtandari centrally and hit a stinger from 25 yards that Alnwick did well to tip wide.

Yaser Kasim came on for Dawkins but the next action of note all-but ended the contest as Livermore received a straight red card for a challenge on Mellis, 71 minutes on the clock.

Alnwick almost immediately produced the save of night to deny Sala from close range but could do little as Borini drove home from 14 yards to make it 3-0 in the 75th minute.

Undetered, Clive switched to three at the back and pushed Fraser-Allen and Maghoma right up to support Byrne, now the lone striker.

Smith, full of energy all night, continued to raid forward from right-back and it was somewhat fitting that the last action was his cross from the right byline in the fourth minute of added time.

Chelsea: Sebek, Ofiri-Twumasi, Bruma, Hutchinson (Clifford, 71), van Aanholt, Philliskirk, Quaresma, Mellis (Gordon, 91), Borini, Sala (Ferreira, 83), Nouble. Subs: Heimann, Phillip

Spurs: Alnwick, Smith, Gilberto, Livermore, Rocha, Caulker, Mtandari, Bostock (Byrne, 46), Fraser-Allen, Dawkins (Kasim, 63), Maghoma. Subs: Jansson, Cox, Butcher.