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Stars turn it on for Bloomfield's testimonial
JOHN Terry and Branislav Ivanovic were among the scorers as Chelsea cruised to a comfortable victory in Matt Bloomfield’s testimonial match.
Fans celebrating the midfielder’s ten years of service at Adams Park gave him a rapturous reception at kick off and when he was withdrawn towards the end.
In between the 7,744 supporters packed into the ground saw some of Chelsea’s Premier League stars turn on the style as they won the game 5-0.
Patrick Bamford, fresh from a prolific season with MK Dons, added to his burgeoning reputation by netting the only goal of a first half that Wanderers could have ended level.
Chelsea, led by manager Jose Mourinho, rang the changes at half time and Izzy Brown scored twice before watching on as the more famous faces added the gloss to the final scoreline.
But the night belonged to Bloomfield, the only player left over from the two teams’ most famous fixture at Adams Park – the never to be forgotten 1-1 draw in the League Cup semi final.
The extra class and better first touch from Chelsea saw them control the early stages without ever threatening a breakthrough, as Gary Doherty rushed across to shut the door on John Swift as he burst forward on the counter and Nathan Ake made a complete hash of an attempted overhead kick.
It was Ake that supplied the game’s opening goal with the first real goalscoring opportunity however. The Dutchman did superbly to keep an overhit Lewis Baker pass from going out of play on the byline, before turning inside Doherty and pulling the ball back for Bamford to tidily tuck home from close range.
Stuart Lewis, filling in at right back, flicked another speculative Baker pass out for a corner with Swift closing in before Lucas Piazon dragged a shot hopelessly wide of the target as Chelsea’s territorial domination finally started to translate into chances.
Little was seen from Wanderers from an attacking point of view, as Paul Hayes took out his frustration at being left to feed off scraps by launching an attempt from just inside the Chelsea half. Predictably it lacked the direction to cause any worry to Mark Schwarzer in the Premier League side’s goal.
The veteran Australian failed to cover himself in glory as he flapped at a corner and had to rely on Andreas Christiansen blocking Aaron Pierre’s shot on the turn off the line. A second corner was only half cleared but Paris Cowan-Hall’s cross was glanced onto the roof of the net by Steven Craig, who missed with another headed chance as the first half drew to a close.
The interval saw Chelsea’s stars finally come out to play as ten changes were made at half time, with Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic all being introduced from the bench.
But it was two of their lesser lights who combined to double the visitors’ lead within minutes of the restart, as Jay de Silva scampered clear down the left before laying the ball on a plate for Brown to smash past Matt Ingram into the top corner.
The Wanderers keeper made a good low save to keep out a skidding shot from Jeremie Boga, but he was powerless to prevent former England skipper Terry from prodding home the resulting corner delivery from Boga at the near post for a third goal.
Boga was thwarted by Ingram once more, as the keeper dived to his left to stop a low shot, before Ivanovic missed an absolute sitter in blazing over an open goal from six yards after the increasingly prominent Boga had wriggled to the byline.
A raft of substitutions followed, with former West Ham youngster Callum Driver among those being given an outing by Wanderers after joining the club on trial.
There was no let-up from Chelsea’s stars however and Ivanovic exorcised the demons of his earlier horror miss by beating Ingram to a raking free kick and heading a fourth goal into an unguarded net.
Blues finally managed to create a chance as Matt McClure scuffed into Schwarzer’s gloves after taking a Junior Morias pass in his stride, and the second biggest cheer of the second half for the home fans saw manager Gareth Ainsworth dust off his boots and bring himself on as a substitute in place of Hayes.
The loudest was reserved for 12 minutes from time, as the man of the moment Bloomfield was given a standing ovation from all four sides of the ground when he was replaced in favour of Nathan Evans.
There was still time for the visitors to add a fifth, Brown scoring his second of the evening by curling a gorgeous shot into the top corner from the edge of the penalty area.
Wanderers: Ingram, Lewis (sub Driver), Doherty (sub Fletcher), Pierre, Jacobson (sub Jombati), Cowan-Hall (sub Morias), Bloomfield (sub Evans), Scowen (sub Murphy), Wood (sub Kretzschmar), Hayes (sub Ainsworth), Craig (sub McClure). Substitutes not used: Lynch, Horlock.