BY PAUL LAGAN
Martell Taylor-Crossdale competed a hat-trick in 24 minutes as the Blues thrashed Fulham 6-0 at Craven Cottage tonight to progress into the semi-final of the FA Youth Cup.
To add to achievement, the striker was a second half substitute.
Chelsea who have won the title in the past four seasons and look on course to notch up- their fifth.
They face either Norwich City or Birmingham City in the semi-final.
The first effort of the game, after five minutes saw the Blues, with the majority of possession amble towards them Fulham, pemnalty area
Reece James tried his luck from 25 yards and saw bios zipper off a Lopp drive p[ing off a Jayden Mundle-Smith for a corner.
This was quickly followed by a Billy Gilmour effort and a Callum, Hudson-Odoi left-footer which was hacked off the goalie by Mundle-Smith.
Fulham eventually got a foothold in the game, but neither side could fashion a clear cut chance.
A header from six-yards out by Conor Gallagher five minutes before the break was well held by Ashby-Hammond..
There were no changes by either side at half-timer
Five ,minutes after the restart and the Blues took the lead their dominance deserved but it was luckless on Fulham.
Hudson-Odoi, a constant thorn in the Fulham defence went on a power run on the left.
His excellent left-footed byline drive zipped across the frozen six-yard box and hapless centre-back Mundle—Smith smashed the ball into they back of his own net.
It was hard on the defender who had kept the live-wire striker at bay for the match up- to that point.
Six minutes later and the game was almost game over as the striker crashed though the Fulham defence before ramming homer a smart left footer past Ashby-Hammond.
Chris Kelly and Jayden Harris then conspired almost comically to miss a great chance to get a goal back three minutes later.
The ball was fed across the Chelsea six-yard box, but Kelly shot the ball into Harris and up popped Marc Guehi to take the ball away to safety.
Goals number three came on 69 minutes when Hudson-Odoi again on the left fed the ball across and this time a Chelsea player was on the spot to tuck comfortably homer – Martell Taylor-Crossdale, on for seven minutes scored with his first touch.
A shocking error error by Euehi allowed Fulham to strike back from they penalty spot as Jamie Cumming hauled down substitute Timmy Abraham.
Up stepped Nicolas Santos-Clase to thump the spot-kick goal-bound. But Cummings, who had been yellow-carded for his foul produced a spectacular save.
With Fulham beaten, it was left to Chelsea other sub Dujon Sterling to turn and swivel a shot in for number four, before three minutes later, on 77 minutes, Taylor-Crossdale rose unmarked from a Tariq Lamptey right wing cross to head home number five.
Chelsea got their own penalty on 87 minutes when Lamity was hauled down in the Fulham penalty. Taylor-Crossdale completed his hat-trick within 24 minutes to complete the rout.
Jamie Cumming, Tariq Lamptey, Reece James,. Marc Guehi, Mopla, Gallagher, Uwakwe,. Gilmour, Redan, McEachran, Huidson-Odoi
Subs: Ziger, Sterling, Taylor-Crossdale, Lavinier, Brown
Luca Ashby-Hammond, Spence, Felix, Harris, Sessegnon, Mundle-Smith, York, Havillland, Santos-CL;awe, Francois, KLelly
Subs:” Schwarzenegger’s, Abraham, Hioltopn, Martin, Carvalho
Referre Gary Parsons