Albion under-23s finished third after missing out on the win they needed to overtake Arsenal in second place behind champions Everton.

Simon Rusk's side ended an impressive campaign in Premier League 2 following promotion with a 2-1 home defeat by Chelsea.

Albion almost fell behind in the 15th minute, Dashwan Redan firing against the crossbar from the edge of the box after they were loose in possession in their own half.

Chelsea took the lead in routine fashion in the 23rd minute, Richard Nartey rising highest towards the near post to head in Billy Gilmour's corner.

The character showed by Rusk's prospects throughout the season was emphasised again as they responded within two minutes.

Soufyan Ahannach set up under-18s winger Ryan Longman inside the area for a shot that went in via the far post.

Chelsea regained the lead in near-carbon copy fashion on the stroke of half-time, Gilmour's corner narrowly eluding Nartey before it was diverted into his own net by Archie Davies.

It should have been 3-1 to the visitors early in the second half, Gilmour's effort flying over the bar with the goal gaping after Max Sanders had been caught in possession just outside the box.

Albion could not capitalise on that let-off, although Longman almost levelled again with a shot at the far post from Ahannach's cross which keeper Jamie Cumming stopped with an outstretched foot.

Sub Danny Cashman also had a stooping header acrobatically tipped over by Cumming just after coming on.

The crowd at the Lancing training complex included former Albion assistant Dean White, now a European scout for Spurs.

Albion (4-4-1-1): Sanchez; A. Davies, O'Hora, Hall, Cochrane; Ahannach, Molumby, Sanders, Longman (Radulovic 73); J. Davies (Cashman 78); Gyokeres.

Subs: Tomlinson, Collings, Kazukolovas.

Chelsea (4-2-3-1): Cumming; Lamptey (Colley 86), Nartey, Guehi, Castillo; McCormick (Anjorin 68), Gilmour; Uwakwe, Brown, Johnson (Lavinier 68); Redan.

Subs: Ziger.