RAF Football Association Match Report
RAF SRT vs Fire Service (UK) – 30 Jan 14 – RAF Cosford
SRT rally following being behind at half-time to record another victory
RAF SRT 2 – Fire Service (UK) 1
The SRT battled back from a 1-0 half time deficit to record a victory in their latest friendly against the Fire Service with goals from Applegate and Debnam.
With the kick off time brought forward due to floodlight issues the SRT hosted the Fire Service on a bitterly cold afternoon at RAF Cosford. The conditions for football were not ideal with the heavy pitch not allowing the ball to run freely but despite the surface both team endeavoured to get the ball down and play when possible.
Initial probing from the RAF saw numerous crosses met by firm headers by both of the Fire Services centre halves and after a fairly non-descript first 10 minutes it was the Fire Service that registered the first shot on goal following a good cross which was headed clear being driven high and wide by the on rushing attacker. This seemed to stir the RAF into life with good interplay between Smith and Debnam in the middle of the park creating the shooting opportunity for Croft, unfortunately he had just strayed offside. Working hard to deny the Fire Service time and space the RAF team looked to be establishing their dominance with a crunching tackle by Flint showing the levels of determination.
Robinson, Applegate and Bartley combined well on the right, resulting in a shot by Flint but he didn’t get a clean strike due to pressure from the Fire Service defence and his effort looped wide. It was 19 minutes before the RAF registered their first shot on target when Smith shot straight into the keepers arms. This was followed quickly by a good run by Croft who latched onto a telling pass crossing to Smith but the Fire Service defence beat Smith to the ball and cleared for a corner. The difference in styles started to become more apparent with the RAF trying to work space for a cross or play short passes around the box, whilst the Fire Service were looking to chip the ball into the space behind the RAF back four.
The next clear chance fell to the RAF, following a free kick 35 yards out on the left touchline, Watkins delivered a good ball into the box which fell to Flint who shot just wide with the keeper beaten. The Fire Service responded quickly creating a chance of their own when following a decent pass to their centre forwards feet, he laid it off and his strike partner produced a fine strike but Mears in the RAF goal watched it go wide.
Each side continued to create half chances but neither looked like troubling the keepers. However, on 39 minutes following a foul by Croft about 30 yards out from goal on the far right the Fire Service were awarded a free kick. The Fire Service number 11 steadied himself to deliver into the box but saw his cross evade everyone in the box to fly into the top corner with Mears desperately trying to tip it over, 1-0 to the Fire Service. An instant response saw Smith put through on goal but the Fire Service keeper was alert and sprinted out to clear the danger. The final action of the half saw Debnam fire his shot wide from 20 yards.
Half time – RAF 0 – Fire Service 1
Subs – Mears (gk) and Bartley off, Hyslop (gk) and Taylor on . On resumption of the action the RAF started very strongly with Applegate shooting well on the turn from 18 yards out. On 50 minutes that match was level, Applegate latched onto great ball into the box and kept his cool to finish well, 1-1. The Fire Service were unlucky not to restore their advantage on 61 minutes when an excellent cross to the far post was met by the Fire Service number 12 who should have scored but saw his header go wide; a lucky escape for the RAF. Sub Smith off, Williamson on.
Sub Applegate off, Proctor on. The RAF started to show more urgency in their play and Debnam worked an opening for Flint who again shot wide. Sub Flint off, Nicholson on. Robinson, Evans and Williamson combined well to craft another opportunity but Robinson was rushed by good pressure from the Fire Service defence and snatched at his shot. A series of other chances were created without troubling the Fire keeper but the RAF now had control of the midfield. A powerful run from Proctor created havoc in the Fire Service defence and a deft pass to Croft saw him fire a strong shot that narrowly missed the goal.
On 80 minutes the RAF got capitalised on their pressure when Debnam drifted into the box to receive a clever pass from the left, controlling the ball well he dribbled around the keeper and then kept his nerve to side foot the ball pass the defender on the line, RAF 2 – Fire Service 1.
Continuing to press until the end the RAF side created two further chances but neither effort troubled the keeper and the ref blew for full time as the light started to fade.
Cpl Mears (Gk) RAF Wyton
Sgt Bartley RAF Northolt
Cpl Watkins RAF Cosford
SAC Dixon (Capt) RAF Leuchars
Cpl Evans RAF Brize Norton
SAC Robinson RAF Leeming
SAC Flint RAF Coningsby
LAC Applegate RAF Odiham
Cpl Croft RAF Wittering
SAC Debnam RAF Coningsby
SAC Smith RAF Leeming
Cpl Taylor RAF Coningsby
SAC Proctor RAF Boscombe Down
Cpl Nicholson RAF Leeming
Cpl Williamson RAF Odiham
SAC Hyslop (Gk) RAF Benson
SAC Fish (Gk) RAF Marham
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