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21 September 2019 v Wales O40s at St Georges Park

Our 2nd double header weekend sees us start against a strong Welsh outfit determined to revenge their defeat in Cardiff earlier in the year and we would have to be on top of our game to beat the redmen again.

Wales kick off and are quickly on the attack but it comes to nought before a free kick leads to the first attempt on goal but the header is high and it’s a goal kick to the RAF. Taylor then intercepted a pass a played a lovely ball through the middle to Zenko who plays it to Bryan. He returns the pass before Zenko finds Tweedie out on the right but his cross is just too high for Zenko who had continued his run into the box. Never one to give up a cause, Zenko chased the ball, kept it in play and found debutant Reeves. His left foot shot only narrowly over the bar. A couple of free kicks around the box then followed for the RAF but neither were decent, the first not beating the first man, the second, swung in from the right of the box, beating everyone. In the 10th minute Wales took the lead when an RAF attack broke down and 2 passes later the ball was launched into the box. The Welsh forward made a great run between Taylor and Barker before taking it on his chest and then smashing it past Burns in the RAF goal. 0-1 Wales. This galvanised the Welsh side and with the numbers 10 and 11 on fire and a speedy winger they continued to cause the RAF problems. That said, it was actually the Wales player wearing number 19 who was pulling the strings. He was involved in almost everything the men in red did from attacking to defending leading the players back and forward through the thirds in determined fashion. McCormick though was unlucky when, although playing at centre back, he charged upfield at one stage but his shot went narrowly wide of the post. The game evened out but both sides were lacking in a killer finish with both sides creating excellent chances but wasting the opportunities. Zenko was unlucky with his effort though in the 40th minute when a superb one touch passing move ended with him charging into the right side of the box and shooting across the keeper. It was narrowly wide but it was the closest the RAF had come to an equaliser. That was the last real action of the half and the whistle went to allow both teams to regroup. HT 0-1 Wales.

McMahon came on for Reeves at the start of the second half and a few positional changes in the RAF side ensued but the game followed the pattern of the first half. Lots of endeavour, passion and chances but no end product. Wales were unlucky when they hit the bar with a snapshot in the 57th minute and again in the 63rd minute when the number 10 tried to lob the keeper but once more, the crossbar came to the rescue. A great save low down at the foot of the post kept Wales ahead after the RAF had made a raft of substitutions but to be honest, neither side looked capable of putting this game to bed before, with just 3 minutes to go, Bartley took a free kick and whipped it into the box. The ball cleared everyone except for the big centre half Robinson, who had come on as sub. Alas, the ball was played in with whip and dip and didn’t land on his head but hit him on the shin and went harmlessly wide for a goal kick!! The game time was up and the Welsh had deservedly got their revenge. FT 0-1 Wales.

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