Neil Hope 2

RAF U23 2 - 0 Army U23

Army U23 beaten in Inter Service Opener

RAF U23 2-0 Army U23

The opening Inter Services of 2024 saw the RAF deservedly collect maximum points with a 2-0 victory versus the Army in the Under 23 category at Tithe Farm, the home of Combined Counties League Rayners Lane FC.

The Army started strongly but were soon on the back foot and conceded a penalty midway through the first half. RAF Waddington’s Dean Higham coolly slotted the spot kick home to give the RAF the advantage. Jake Staunton, in his first Inter Service season, came close to extending the lead putting a free header wide of the target from close range.

There were chances after the break with ricochets off the cross bar at both ends. However the game was effectively a step too far for the Army when Scotsman Logan Buick beat the offside trap to calmly take the ball around the outcoming Army keeper to slot the ball into an empty net. Buick also netted against the Army in the 2022 fixture.

Three new trophies have been commissioned for the Under 23 competitions. The annual Army v RAF Under 23 fixture will be known as the Neil Hope Trophy. A fine servant of RAF football Wg Cdr Hope presented the inaugural trophy to skipper Adam Lamb after the match.

The Army v Royal Navy Under 23 match is being played at Aldershot Military Stadium on Wednesday 14 February with a 1500hrs kick off and has been named the Joe Collins Trophy. Joe will be in attendance to present the trophy at the end of the match.

Army : Harry Birchnall (RLC), Danny Constable (REME), Alfie Watts (REME), Davy Watts (R Signals), Alfie Moulding (REME) ©, Ethan Reynolds (RE), Jack Leighton (Infantry), Dominic Walmsley (Infantry), Owen James (RLC), Lewis Simmons (Infantry), Arran Moore (REME) Subs: Tristan Hawkins (REME), Charles Pocklington (Infantry), Declan Howe (RLC), Femi Johnson (REME), Liam Walsh (Infantry), Nathan Kay (RE), Matthew Gray (REME)

Referee (Royal Navy FA): PO David Bartlam Assts: CPO Stuart McVey, Lt Cdr Neil Pitt Fourth: LH Jonathan Batteson