The last game of the year for the RAF LRT saw them take on the Irish Defence Force on 16 December at RAF Cosford.
Previous defeats to Wolves Ladies in September and TNS in October left the squad desperate for victory.
Early possession from the start presented the RAF with several opportunities on goal. Fantastic deliveries from skipper Zara Mcintosh and right back Sam Wylie were unable to be converted. Credit to the Irish Defence Force keeper who was kept busy throughout and produced some excellent saves and deliveries.
Cat Beaver saw her first game back, following 9 months out for career training, this did not deter from a sterling performance at central midfield with Lauren Cassin. This midfield dynasty was also supplemented by debutant Laura Went, following a period out the game with injury. Though a narrowly missed header from Beaver mid way through the first half was one of many frustrating misses throughout the game.
The second half saw an early corner for the Irish Defence Force, a failed clearance from the RAF and subsequent goal for number 5, Siobhan O’Sullivan.
With tempo and pressure now elevated from the Irish Defence Force, the RAF quickly matched this with a fantastic solo attack from McIntosh, unfortunately hitting the post.
After a successful but relatively quiet first half stint in goal, it was time for internationally capped star Nicky Davies to put her outfield skills to the test at centre half. A solid performance, also following a significant period of time out of the game for career training.
Frustrations high for the RAF, replacement central midfielder Rachel Griffiths received a yellow card mid way through the second half. The RAF persevered and dividends were paid with a fantastic goal in the 80th minute for McIntosh. Full time score 1-1.
Not the desired result for the RAF, however areas for improvement were identified moving into the New Year fixtures. RAF LRT Manager, Michelle Harvey-Perkins said. “Whilst we always want to win, the most important thing at this stage is the progression. It was a very good team performance with some stand out individuals. We will continue to develop and work on converting our chances as we move towards the Inter Services in March.”
Final score: RAF LRT 1 – 1 Irish Defence Force
The RAF LRT next fixture will be against Oxford Utd, at Thames FC, on 20 Jan 16, 1930 kick off.
Match report by Siobhan Davies