RUBEN LOFTUS-CHEEK played 90 minutes for Chelsea’s development squad on Monday night as he edges closer to a return to the first team.
The midfielder won the deciding penalty as the Blues beat Everton 1-0 at Aldershot.
Loftus-Cheek ruptured his Achilles tendon in May and has not featured for the first-team since that game against New England Revolution.
The Englishman played 60 minutes for Chelsea’s development squad in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford B at the Blues’ Cobham training ground last month.
And he has even been an unused sub for Frank Lampard’s first team in recent weeks.
Loftus-Cheek played in a number 10 role and could have put his side 1-0 up before Luke McCormick’s winning penalty.
Ian Maatsen swung a corner in with just 15 minutes to go but his powerful header went just wide.
But he did not have to worry as just five minutes later, Everton captain Beni Baningime shoved Loftus-Cheek in the back and the referee pointed to the spot.
McCormick made no mistake with the pen and while the result will please all those at Chelsea, Loftus-cheek’s full shift will cheer them up even more.