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09 November 2019 v Rhyl FC Vets at St Asaph Leisure Centre

“Sunny Rhyl” said Matt Beattie. “Sunny Rhyl” proclaimed the posters as I drove into the town, however...It was SNOWING!!

Yet another new look squad with more than enough debutants (almost) to make a team of their own. What would be the outcome, how would we cope against a very good Rhyl squad with whom, we have had many good battles? Only way to see was to get the game kicked off.

The kick off was moved back to 12.30 and the floodlights were ON!! The snow had stopped but the black clouds above and the horrendous rain all morning did not augur well for a good game. That said, the rain had ceased come kick off and so it began with Rhyl kicking off. Things were nip and tuck for the first 10 minutes though Young was making a nuisance of himself with the Rhyl defenders. The RAF were unlucky when a great cross from Young reached Laing but alas for the big boy playing Centre forward for the first time with this squad completely missed it. It came as no surprise however when, in the 12th minute, a good switch of play from right to left found Young and he curled a lovely shot round the keeper and in off the far post. 1-0 RAF. Laing was working hard up front but unfortunately, his centre half hoof was not working in the centre forward role and another chance went begging from a Young cross. In the 25th minute the RAF doubled their lead when Zenko intercepted the ball and smashed it past the helpless keeper 2-0 RAF. The game settled down then as Rhyl probed to get back into the game and the RAF battled to extend the lead further. That extension came in the 42nd minute when Rooney was stopped on the edge of the box only for the ball to run free to Laing who stroked home from 20 yards...see, the boy is a natural!! 3-0 RAF but that only woke the Rhyl players up and only a superb double save from Algar in the 44th minute kept the score at 3-0 at half time.

After a couple of changes at half time, the RAF soon settled back into a rhythm and Bennett, who had been one of the changes tapped in from a Zenko cross to make it 4-0 in the 58th minute. Three minutes later it was five when good work down the left saw the ball arrive at Bennett and he smashed home for his second of the game. 5-0 RAF. Could we have a faster hatrick than the eight minute Seddon one a couple of weeks ago? Well just 2 minutes later, the 63rd, another goal...but this time it was Smith with a first time strike and his first for the family. 6-0 RAF. That was 3 goals in 5 minutes but it didn’t stop there. A minute later, some great solo play by Young saw him through and he slotted home to make it 7-0 RAF. That made it four goals in six minutes and still it wasn’t over. In the 64th minute, Young completed his hatrick with a neat stepover and slot. 8-0 RAF. It looked as though the RAF could now go on and get a cricket score but some great 10 man defending by Rhyl and some missed opportunities meant the game petered out and terms of goals and the score stayed at 8-0 till the end. This “earn the right to win the game” thing payed dividends again today. A fantastic performance against a no mugs side and the beer tonight would taste sweet.

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