THE Hong Kong League XI deprived Chelsea of an end-of-season pick-me-up by beating the English Premiership club 2-1 in the Gold Cup exhibition match to mark the 80th anniversary of the Hong Kong Football Association last night. In front of a disappointingly low crowd of 13,388 at the new Hong Kong Stadium, the League XI were always in control after building a 2-0 lead with goals from skipper Dale Tempest and his strike-partner, Anto Grabo. Although Chelsea replied quickly to Hong Kong's second goal with a fine individual effort from Mark Stein just before the break, the League XI could have won by a more handsome margin after creating the more clear-cut chances. So Chelsea, beaten 4-0 by Manchester United in the English FA Cup final at Wembley the previous weekend, return home today empty-handed . . . but wiser for the experience, according to the coach, Peter Shreeves. ''We lost the game because of two individual mistakes in the defence,'' said the former Spurs boss. ''We were a little bit disappointed about how individuals dealt with certain situations but that is why it's good to play matches like this. It gives you a chance to watch the younger players in action without any pressure on them. Only by doing that can you tell if they are ready for the first team. ''The young boys will have learned a lot from this trip, not just from the match but about travelling away to play. ''Next season we will be playing in Europe and this experience will stand them in good stead for what they will face.'' Shreeves paid tribute to the small but noisy band of Chelsea supporters, some of whom had travelled from London especially for the match. They helped to create an atmosphere befitting the occasion - and the Hong Kong fans responded to the challenge. ''I was delighted to see and hear the Chelsea supporters - and the Hong Kong fans showed that they are not content to just sit and watch. It all made for a good festival of football.'' The fans gave a warm welcome to Chelsea's player-manager Glenn Hoddle, who brought himself on as a second-half substitute. Hoddle said he had been suffering from an Achilles tendon injury for several weeks and would not have played if it were a competitive game. There were several impressive performances from the Hong Kong team - and the inevitable goal from striker Tempest, who learned his trade just down the road from Chelsea, at Fulham. This time Tempest scored from the penalty spot - and the player who conceded the spot kick was the unfortunate Frank Sinclair, playing in the centre of defence. Sinclair, who was adjudged - very harshly in many people's opinion - to have fouled Andrei Kanchelskis for Manchester United's crucial second penalty at Wembley in the FA Cup final, brought down Grabo in the 31st minute for a clear penalty. Sinclair's partner in the centre of the defence, teenager Michael Duberry, must share the blame for the penalty, however, as he was dispossessed by Tempest, who put Grabo clear. Tempest sent 'keeper Kevin Hitchcock the wrong way from the penalty spot to maintain his impressive record against more illustrious opponents. Hong Kong went 2-0 ahead in the 43rd minute with a brilliant goal from Grabo, who raced on to Tempest's through-ball and held off the challenge of his marker, Sinclair, before driving the ball low in the bottom right-hand corner of Hitchcock's goal. Needing a quick reply, Chelsea got just that from Stein, whose neat footwork on the right created an opening and he beat Iain Hesford with a curling left-foot shot into the far corner. Chelsea changed their formation for the second half, bringing the experienced Nigel Spackman into the centre of midfield and moving Eddie Newton out to the left flank to replace Darren Barnard. But it was Hong Kong who started the second half on the attack. Right-winger Lee Kin-wo almost capitalised on a weak back-header from left-back Andy Myers but his effort just cleared the Chelsea crossbar; then Steve Berry broke clear in the inside right channel but shot straight at the 'keeper. Soon it was Ross Greer's turn to spring Chelsea's surprisingly square and vulnerable back four with a beautiful pass with the outside of his right foot to release Grabo, who brought a tremendous save out of Hitchcock. The introduction of Hoddle just before the hour brought control to the proceedings but even the great man was unable to find the right pass to give former Lai Sun striker John Spencer the chance he craved for on his return to the territory. After the final whistle, Tempest exchanged shirts with Spencer before climbing the steps to receive the Gold Cup - and a cheque for GBP30,000 for his team. Hong Kong League XI (4-4-2): Iain Hesford; Yau Kin-wai, Ku Kam-fai, Roddy Manley, Lee Wai-man; Lee Kin-wo (Ricky Cheng, 74), Tim O'Shea, Steve Berry, Ross Greer; Anto Grabo (Wu Qunli, 78), Dale Tempest. Chelsea (4-4-2): Kevin Hitchcock; Anthony Barness (David Hopkin, 58), Michael Duberry, Frank Sinclair, Andy Myers (Andy Dow, 71); Craig Burley (Glenn Hoddle, 58), Eddie Newton, Gavin Peacock, Darren Barnard (Nigel Spackman, 46); John Spencer, Mark Stein. Man of the Match: Lee Wai-man. Eastern's versatile young defender was not out of his depth in such distinguished company.