Hosts regain the lead
Southampton found the net again and frustratingly it was after another spell of Chelsea dominance. This time a low cross made its way to the edge of the box where a powerful shot flew beyond Merrick via a deflection. 25 minutes remained for another Chelsea response and it was plenty of time as Stutter proved.
Stutter provides short-lived leveller
Our press from the front was causing Southampton problems and it was clearly evident when we drew level. Olise found possession just outside of the box and Stutter started his run towards goal, the wing-back played him in and an expert finish saw Stutter find the net.
But the lead would only last five minutes as our hosts took the lead for a third time. Luke Pearce was first to react to a cross and connect with his head, the ball bounced in off the post and just out of reach of our stopper.
A third equalising goal proved too much to ask for Brand’s boys, who were kept from conceding a fourth by only the post in the final move of the game. Tuesday night’s result means we have now won one and lost one in the competition so far with Fulham left to play in the new year.
Chelsea (3-4-2-1) Max Merrick; Derrick Abu, Brodi Hughes, Luke Badley-Morgan (c); Richard Olise (Aleksi Heino 80), Billy Gee (Josh Tobin 64), Louis Hall, Alex Kpakpe; Leo Castledine, Ronnie Stutter; Malik Mothersille (Edwin Andersson 70)
Unused subs Sami Tlemcani
Scorers Mothersille 50; Stutter 70
Southampton Ollie Wright, Lewis Payne, Jeremi Rodriguez, Kaya Tshaka, Max Alleyne (Jem Hewlett ht), Matt Carson, Jayden Smith, Josh Squires, Luke Pearce, Sam Bellis (Tommy Lee Higgs 68 ), Fedel Ross-Land
Unused subs Zuriel Otseh-Taiwo, Reuben Perry
Scorers Bellis 29, Tshaka 65, Pearce 75