RAF reign supreme over East Riding FA
The Royal Air Force won the Royal British Legion Cup after beating East Riding FA 4-1 at the Roy West Centre.
East Riding FA, who was represented by the current Humber Premier League Champions Chalk Lane, took the lead from Scott Phillips, but a brace from David Webb as well as further goals from Hayden Pain and Ash Davis sealed the win for the RAF.
Before kick-off, both teams laid poppy wreaths and paid a minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives due to conflict. Original referee Matty Wright was injured in the warm-up and Fourth Official Dom Hawkins stepped up to take charge.
It was the visitors who created the first chances of the game. Kyle Willis curled a shot at Philip Dobson, before the midfielder fired another attempt over. Willis then drilled a low shot narrowly wide before RAF defender Danny Dixon blocked Andy Stott’s effort. Chris Wainman then headed over from a corner while good play between Craig Sedman and Grant Tait allowed Scott Phillips to flick the ball into the air, before firing his volley narrowly wide.
Phillips got himself on the score sheet however a minute later to put East Riding ahead. A loose back pass put Christian Pavlatt-Brigg into trouble and Mark Griffin dispossessed the goalkeeper, before putting the ball back across for Phillips to open the scoring after twenty minutes.
At the other end, Dobson had to be alert to hold David Webb’s header before the RAF received a penalty after Willis was adjudged to be fouled in the penalty area. Webb stepped up and sent Dobson the wrong way to equalise. Winger Ashley Rowley then had two glorious chances to put the visitors ahead, first seeing his deflected shot go behind before from the resulting corner, East Riding failed to clear the initial delivery and that allowed Rowley to fire a shot at Dobson.
In the other goal, Pavlatt-Brigg pulled of a stunning one-handed save to push Phillips’ flicked headed over the bar. That save proved to be vital as the RAF took the lead five minutes later as from a Tarren Moxon free-kick, Hayden Pain was unmarked and slid in to finish from close-range. Dobson was then sin-binned for dissent before the RAF forced substitute goalkeeper Steve Pougher into a good save to deny Rowley, before Webb’s rebound was blocked by Ryan McAllister.
The RAF however made the extra-man advantage count in added time as Pougher’s clearance only found Webb on the edge of the East Riding penalty area. The striker took his time before punishing Pougher’s mistake by slotting the ball into the bottom corner to put the visitors 3-1 ahead at half-time.
After the break, Ben Greenwood fired the first chance of the half over from Rowley’s cross, before Moxon’s curling shot also flew over. Rowley then saw his shot blocked by Tom Claisse while at the other end, Tait’s initial cross shot was blocked, before the rebound from Wainman was fired over the bar.
After four substitutions, the RAF scored their fourth on the 72nd minute. A through ball from Greenwood found substitute Ash Davis, who used strength and power to bully his way into the penalty area before rifling his low shot past Dobson. Moxon then blazed a shot over, before Wainman headed over from Griffin’s cross.
The RAF had a few chances in the last ten minutes to add a fifth goal. First, good one-two passing play allowed substitute Dylan Kay to fire wide, before fellow substitute Mike Duerden saw his shot saved by Dobson after it took a deflection off Alex Britton. Kay then fired another shot wide as the RAF won The Royal British Legion Cup for a second successive season, after winning this fixture 5-3 last year.
EAST RIDING FA: 1. Phil Dobson (GK), 15. Andy Stott, 3. Alex Britton, 4. Chris Wainman, 16. Gary Collins, 6. Ryan McAllister, 7. Mark Griffin (C), 8. Grant Tait, 9. Scott Phillips, 10. Alex Appleby, 11. Craig Sedman. Substitutes: 17. Josh Eccles, 2. Joe Singleton, 12. Jason Chanayire, 23. Steve Pougher (GK).
ROYAL AIR FORCE: 1. Cpl Christian Pavlatt-Brigg (GK) [21. SAC Matt Cape (GK) 46’], 2. SAC Ben Greenwood (C), 3. SAC Phil Bright, 4. SAC Danny Dixon, 5. SAC Hayden Pain [12. SAC Tom Palmer 65’], 6. Cpl Tom Claisse, 7. Cpl Sam Mason [15. AC Mike Duerden 46’], 8. SAC Tarren Moxon, 9. Cpl David Webb [18. PT Off Ash Davis 65’], 10. SAC Kyle Willis [14. Flt Lt Dylan Kay 65’], 11. SAC Ashley Rowley [16. Cpl Robbie Bennett 69’].
RAF Manager Phil Major:
“I’m really happy with the performance tonight. A lot of new faces turned up as we lost nine guys to the UCAF, which is like a combined service team, (UK Armed Forces’ team) so fresh faces came into it. We trained really well beforehand, worked on a couple of things and it’s pleasing to see it happen on the pitch in a successful manner.
“It is bad to concede first, but it’s just having that belief, to stick to the game plans that we’ve worked on and you’re always confident that you can come out on top of it.
“It’s always a pleasure to come up here (to the Roy West Centre). It is a big occasion in the Forces’ diaries as well as the Legions. It’s a great facility, they look after us and we enjoy coming up here; it’s a privilege and a honour. Chalk Lane gave a good account of themselves again. They’re a good side so it’s pleasing to come away 4-1 winners and I’m more than happy with that.
“This result is definitely something to build on. We have got lads to come back in to it, but I think they have given a good account of themselves tonight. Next week, we look forward to the 26th of November, where we’ve got Stafford Rangers in the Walsall County Cup. It’s a tough fixture, but there’s momentum to build on and we’ll go forward from there.”
Chalk Lane Manager Mike Mellors:
“I thought we represented ourselves quite well. We took the lead and I thought they started well and we started to get into the game. They’re a very fit and good side and by the time we kept up to the pace of them, I thought we started doing okay. We got the goal and then we had a crazy ten minutes with the penalty. I’m not quite sure whether it was a penalty. Our lad said it wasn’t and I couldn’t really see through a melee of players, but we were told it was and it wasn’t, so you just have to take it. The second goal was a great ball in and then coming from that, we lost the keeper who had to go off and then the other keeper let a goal in straight away as his clearance was poor and we’re 3-1 down in ten minutes and it’s changed the whole game really.
“I thought that we held our own in the second half. The RAF team are training every day and they’re very fit side and I don’t think it was the fitness that let us down. If anything, I just think they were a little bit better than us and we gave our best, but unfortunately sometimes you’ve got to hold your hand up and say the better team did actually win. I do think they were the better side against us, but I think 4-1 flattered them.
“Unfortunately, we’ve picked up a couple of injuries and we’re down on numbers at the moment from other injuries for the East Riding Senior Cup game on Saturday against Westella & Willerby AFC. It’s going to be a hard game and unfortunately I don’t think the injuries are ones that they’re going to shake off over night, but it’s always good to play in these games; you want to test yourself against better players so I think it’s done the boys good.”
Match report from | Joe Brown