Luke Amos’ strike was just reward for a positive first half performance as we took a 1-0 lead in at half-time, but a strong start to the second period by the visitors – in which they had a penalty saved by goalkeeper Tom Glover – turned out to be a sign of things to come as centre-forward Tammy Abraham, who was denied from the spot, went on to hit a hat-trick, with Miro Muheim also on target.
Cameron Carter-Vickers had headed us back into the lead after Chelsea’s first equaliser, but it was the Blues who went on to claim the points.
We might have forged ahead barely 70 seconds in at the Training Centre, skipper Joe Pritchard latching onto Anton Walkes’ pass and forcing goalkeeper Brad Collins to parry. Anthony Georgiou went for the rebound but Josh Grant was there to turn behind for a corner at the far post.
We moved the ball about with zest as the half progressed, although clear-cut chances were few in number. Shayon Harrison lashed over the top before Amos fired us ahead with a goal of his own making on 26 minutes.
After the midfielder showed great strength to wrestle possession away from the Blues on the edge of the area, the ball was ferried to Georgiou who struck the base of the post. Amos was quickest to the rebound, lashing home from the left side of the box.
It was only a last-minute excellently-timed tackle from Walkes that denied Muheim as he surged through on goal at the other end within a minute as the Blues sought a quick leveller, while similar defensive heroics from Chelsea’s recovering full-back Fikayo Tomori denied Harrison as he pulled the trigger from 16 yards.
Harrison stole half a yard on his marker and hit the near post following a Lloyd Ross free kick from wide on the left as we continued to press, while Abraham gave an early indication of his aerial power when he headed just over the top of Glover’s bar.
Keeper Collins dived low to his left to keep out Georgiou’s drive on 42 minutes, but the last chance of the half went to Muheim as his low 20-yard shot blasted off the far post shortly before the whistle.
Chelsea made a bright start to the second half and were afforded a chance to restore parity on 48 minutes when Amos was adjudged to have brought Kyle Scott down in the area and a penalty was awarded. Fortunately for us, Glover was equal to Abraham’s right-footed spot kick, diving to his left to palm the ball away.
It proved a temporary let-off, though, as Abraham powered in a header from Muheim’s left wing cross four minutes later to get his side back on level terms.
We then had a very positive spell that resembled our first half display, Pritchard drilling just wide of the post after exchanging passes with Georgiou before we regained the lead. After substitute Zenon Stylianides won a free-kick on the right side of the box, Harrison floated the ball in and defender Carter-Vickers was there to head home from a central position a minute before the hour mark.
Georgiou could have put daylight between the sides when he was sent through one-on-one with Collins four minutes later but a fine low stop from the keeper, followed by a vital block from defender Grant to deny Stylianides as he collected the rebound, saw the Blues escape.
The visitors then took the initiative and duly equalised for a second time in the game on 69 minutes as Muheim worked himself into a shooting position and let fly from 18 yards, the ball nestling inside the far corner.
Five minutes later the Blues were ahead as Grant’s sweeping ball in from the right dropped perfectly into Abraham’s path – the striker running through the middle and emphatically heading home.
Abraham completed his hat-trick six minutes from time, running free behind the defence and shrugging off the attentions of the retreating Pritchard before clipping the ball past the advancing Glover.
It proved to be the last real chance of the game, with the lads left to rue missed opportunities.
Spurs: Glover, Walkes (Muscatt 81), Walker-Peters, Amos, Maghoma, Carter-Vickers, Pritchard, Ross (Stylianides 52), Harrison, Goddard (Azzaoui 70), Georgiou. Substitute (not used): Voss (GK).