The Army look forward to taking on the Navy, in the Inter Services Tournament, after a comprehensive 5-3 win over the RAF.
The Military Stadium Aldershot was bouncing after two goals in the opening ten minutes handed the hosts the upper hand. Cfn Rachel Gwilliam (REME) lobbed the keeper to break the deadlock between the sides and when Krissy Wright’s (AGC RMP) cross was headed in by Jemma Dinning (REME) it looked like the game was definitely going the hosts’ way from early on: 2-0 Army.
The Army showed their dominance with Rachel Rigby (RLC) and Mandy Kidd (R.Signals) linking up on the left wing resulting in Nikki O’Donnell (AGC RMP) having little to do in the home goal. Bianca Ross hammered home the killer blow with a third when Wright delivered a pitch perfect cross which was left for Ross to tap in: 3-0 Army.
With five minutes of the first half remaining, Wright raced forward down the right and looked to weight a ball into the path of Ross once again, but the RAF keeper was off her line quickly to gather the ball in before Ross could get a toe to it.
The first half came to a close with a shocked RAF side 3-0 down and the Army’s confidence sky high.
The second half started as the first had finished and within 6 minutes a through ball saw Ross one on one with the keeper. Cool, calm and collected as ever there was no doubt this ball was only going to end up in one place and that was the back of the net: 4-0 Army.
The RAF had to make some drastic changes at this point if they were ever going to get back in this game and to the Army’s surprise that’s exactly what happened. That distinctive moment came when the Army keeper was caught off her line and RAF striker Keri Haywood lobbed her with a speculative strike, this gave the RAF a glimmer of hope and it was game on: 4-1 Army.
The RAF continued to persist and often looked for Haywood, who showed plenty of promise up front and the confidence grew and grew. With the RAF stepping up their game the Army retaliated and the game turned into a real battle for that trophy with Krissy Wright hitting the post and Dinning coming close to getting on the score sheet again.
The sheer determination in the second half by both teams made this an exciting match to watch and the RAF were on the edge of their seats with the Army stepping it up a gear making tactical substitutions with Terri Trowbridge (AGC SPS) on for Charlene Rooney (AGC RMP) and Ross (REME) being replaced with Chloe Mackay (RLC).
With the confidence flowing through their veins, the RAF added a second just before the 70 minute mark once again, Haywood getting on the score sheet and then a third with minutes to spare: 4-3 Army.
The RAF really wasn’t going to walk away from this game without a fight and the Army fans were starting to get twitchy until Skipper Krissy Wright broke through the RAF defence and really put this game to bed. One on one with the keeper Wright clearly wasn’t going to miss showing exactly why she is captain of this squad: 5-3 Army.
The game ended 5-3 to the Army with the RAF giving a splendid performance throughout the second half. The Army now face the Navy, Wednesday 25 March 2015, KO 14.00hrs at HMS Temeraire. A win or draw will see them win the Inter Services for another year.
Report supplied by WO2 Dave Stephenson -Ball