• raffavets

13th November 2021 v West Brom Spinney at St George’sPark.

Up against O35s national champions this looked to be a tough game but the RAF welcomed back Steve Young after his enforced 6 month OOA and fielded a strong side. Sadly, after just 7 minutes, West Brom lost a player with a serious knee injury and the Vets family all wish Justin Richards a speedy recovery. This didn’t affect the game however as both sides were up for this. The RAF came close after 11 minutes when Watkin got through but his effort went wide of the post. Almost immediately after, Barker slipped in defence leaving an attacker free on goal. He tried to be too precise and in curling his effort around Algar in goal, he also curled it the wrong side of the post. West Brom won the ball back from the goal kick and an awful mix up in the RAF defence saw the ball deflected to a striker who had the easiest tap in imaginable. 1-0 West Brom. In the 16th minute the RAF came close again, twice. Firstly Norton was denied by the outstretched leg of the keeper and when the ball ran loose, Young saw his curling effort come back off the post. It didn’t take too much longer though to equalise as in the 21st minute a Watkin corner found the head of Duerden and it was 1-1.

The pressing and pressure from the RAF was forcing West Brom to play long and it was being mopped up by the RAF defence. It paid dividends in the 26th minute when the ball was picked up and played down the left to Norton who outstripped his marker and his shot across the keeper nestled in the bottom corner of the net. 2-1 RAF. West Brom came straight back and only the fingertips of Algar and the crossbar saved the RAF...a great save.

In the 29th minute the RAF extended that lead when a quick counter saw Jeffery bring the ball forward. His pass took a lucky bounce off the shin of a defender and the ball fell invitingly to Young who made no mistake. 3-1 RAF. It stayed that way until half time.

The second half was similar to the earlier game in as much as both sides were creating chances but neither could capitalise on them. It looked as though, for the second game in a row, we were going to have a goalless second half. It was going that way until the 85th minute when West Brom decided otherwise. A brilliant turn inside the box wrong footed two defenders and although Algar got a hand to the shot he could not keep it out. Worse was to follow as just 40 seconds later it was all square when a long ball saw the RAF trying to play offside. 8Everyone apart from the assistant referee and the West Brom striker thought it was but play was waved on and the striker made no mistake. 3-3.

As I’ve said many times before, this current crop of players do not give up and with just 5 minutes left they now needed to find something extra. They continued to play pass and move football and in the final minute, when they hadworked the ball right and left, they got into the final third where Watkin decided to attack the defence. As he reached the edge of the box he was fouled but as the ball landed at the feet of Young, the referee waved play on. What a decision that was. Young took a couple of touches to get the ball out of his feet and past a defender before smashing an unstoppable shot past a despairing diving keeper. What a goal and the crowd, including the management staff, went mental. That was it. 4-3 RAF and a great game to watch.

All in all, Magnificent 7s!!

What I hear you shout?

Well, the early game was our 7th of the season and we won.

There were 7 goals in this game and

Our number 7, Steve Norton, scored for the 7th game in a row!!




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