11 March 2020 v Army Masters - Inter Service Competition 2020 @TNS
I’d been suffering all week. Coronavirus? nope...flu?...nope. It was the start of the IS games and that herd of rhino had returned. Having won last year and the RAF being there to be shot down, I was particularly bad on the morning of the game as I’d heard all these rumours of the Army having had a one month training camp, brought in dieticians etc and were still fuming at us beating them comprehensively in their own back yard last year. They would most certainly be “up for it”...would we?
I’m not going to drone on about the pre-match. It was done, and very well too, by the gaffer and Wilky. Enough said and it was on to the game.
The Army kick off and the first few minutes are quiet with both sides measuring up the opposition before the first chance fell to the Army but the header was well saved by Algar in the RAF goal, tipping the ball onto, and over, the bar. The RAF then won a free kick but the Army keeper was in fine form too and made a great fingertip save from Seddon’s kick when all watching thought the ball was in the top corner. 10 minutes gone and it’s 0-0. The next ten minutes went the same way with both the Army and RAF unlucky not to break the deadlock and Taylor was unlucky putting a far post volley back across the Army keeper only to see it narrowly pass wide of the far post. In the 28th Minute, the RAF won another free kick. Central to the goal and about 25 yards out, Lawrie decided he was going to take it and take it he did. Samashed past the wall and the keeper, the ball settled in the net and the RAF contingent went mad. 1-0 RAF. Both defences were on top form from then however and chances were few and far between although it was the RAF who were creating the majority. Seddon was drawing niggly fouls whenever in possession and it was no surprise when one of tghe Army lads was booked. There was no further score in the first half and the whistle went. HT 1-0 RAF.
The second half started very much the same as the first with both defences on top although when they were breached, both goalkeepers showed why they were their respective number 1s. With 56 minutes on the clock, the Army almost equalised but a great dive and catch by Algar kept the ball out. In the 64th minute, the RAF were unlucky not to extend their lead not once but twice. Firstly a great build up saw the ball reach Zenko who smashed it goalward first time from the edge of the box. The Army keeper got his fingers to it and put it onto the post and the ball was cleared but not too far. Back came the RAF and Lawrie let fly from 25 yards. This time the ball beat the keeper but the ball cannoned back again off the same post that had denied Zenko. This time the Army cleared well and it was still just 1-0 RAF. The Army then raised their game or it could have been that the RAF lost their way a little but the Army started to get on top. A penalty appeal in the 73rd minute was waved away by the referee and that was the wake up the RAF needed. On 80 minutes, Schofield was unlucky with a chip over the Army keeper and a few minutes later, Seddon curled one wide from just inside the box. The game ebbed and flowed but the last few minutes saw the Army launch everything forward looking for that equaliser. It didn’t come and the full time whistle went after a good seven minutes of added on time. Who cared then? I was jumping about like a screaming banshee. What a great start to our defence of the trophy. The game itself was not a classic but again, who cared? The RAF had won...how doesn’t matter. The Navy up next and the destination of the trophy is in our own hands as a win in that game means we have retained the trophy. Win well, win ugly? Who cares? A win is all that counts and this family are winners!!
RAF Starting XI
Algar, Taylor (C), Dixon, McCormick, Rooney, Brown, Bartley, O’Hagan, Wanless, Lawrie, Seddon. Subs: Zenko, Schofield, Stewart, Burns, Baker, Barker, Stones, Potts, Harris, Arscott, Robinson, Martin, Macek, Longbone.
There were lots of other RAF representatives and if I miss your name, my apologies...
AM Jenkins, Beattie, S.Taylor, Payne, Hill, PD Morris, Jack Morris, Jones, Peel, Pierre, Robison, Robertson, Armour, Hancocks, A.Parker, G.Parker, Duke and representatives from the MDS, Kerr, and others!!