The Army welcomed the RAF to the Military Stadium for the start of their defence of the Inter Service crown which they retained last year.
Capt Sandra Hodgson MBE decided to change her normal formation for this match to cause as much confusion as possible for the visitors after their recent narrow win over the Royal Navy. The Army showed their intent within the opening minute when Cfn Bianca Ross shot wide of the post.
The first attempt on target was soon to follow when Gnr Jordan Frayne found Pte Lisa O’Neill who beat two defenders before passing to Cfn Jess Moran whose effort was saved by the RAF keeper. The home side kept up the pressure when Ross turned her marker on the edge of the area after O’Neill had made a crunching tackle in midfield, but her effort was saved by the RAF keeper.
After breaking up a rare RAF attack Bdr Beth Dainton found SSgt Krissy Wright whose run and shot flashed wickedly just past the far post. The first change of the afternoon came when O’Neill had to be replaced by LCpl Yvette Kemp as a result of that earlier tackle. Ross tried her luck again after being release by LCpl Kelly Cox when her shot could only be parried by the visitor’s keeper and Pte Jen Keane could only prod the loose ball wide.
The RAF were awarded a free kick just inside the Army half. The high ball was well defended by SSgt Juliette Brown whose header cleared the immediate danger. Switching play the RAF tried to attack down the flank by sending a long ball in behind the Army back line which was bravely dealt with by Sgt Becky Davies despite being injured whilst making the save.
The next couple of RAF attacks were high deliveries into the area which were easily dealt with by both Davies and Brown. Frayne sent though Pte Delise Clifford who was stopped in her tracks at the edge of the RAF area with a well timed tackle.
The Army were constantly looking to make the breakthrough with chances falling to Ross, Wright and Moran which were well defended. On the rare occasions that the visitors did try and penetrate the Army defence they were denied by Brown, Frayne and Dainton.
On 43 minutes the hosts got the rewards that their play deserved when the referee spotted an infringement in the area and awarded the Army a penalty. Brown stepped up to take the pressure kick which found the back of the net via the post.
Half time 1 – 0
The second half started brightly for the RAF when Gnr Jade Clark headed clear a dangerous cross and Dainton deflected the follow up shot for a corner. The resultant kick was missed by everyone except Cox at the back post who steered the ball to safety.
The Army doubled their lead on 53 minutes when Dainton broke up a RAF attack and passed to Keane who then played a give and go with Moran, she then found Ross who had evaded her marker to fire low past the oncoming keeper. A good interception by Clark sent through Wright who found the keeper matched her shot by turning it round the post for a corner.
Once again the RAF tried to turn the Army defence by putting a high ball into the area which was easily cleared by Brown. Efforts by both Ross and Moran could not extend the hosts lead.
The third goal came on 76 minutes from Clark winning the ball in defence and finding Ross just inside the RAF half, who then sent Wright clear, her initial shot wasn’t held by the keeper and she smashed the loose ball into the empty net.
The Army were still looking for further goals but neither Kemp nor Pte Rachel Rigby could find a way past the RAF keeper. The last piece of action saw Davies produce a stunning save when she kept herself big in a one-on-one situation to divert the shot away for a corner.
Full time 3 – 0