Royal Marines Football Association

Royal Marines 1 (Middlemass)  National Fire Service 1

Thursday 15th Sept at Endurance Park CTCRM

Match report by WO1 Shaun Welburn


After some very strong winds during the early part of the week match day was almost like a summers day. The pitch looked perfect, however it was very firm and therefore hard to judge the bounce of the ball at times. The RM started with experienced Corps players all except the keeper Lt Ed Campbell RN, who put in a very assured and confident display. The Fire Brigade brought a much improved and stronger team from the side we played last year, and in turn this proved to be a much harder challenge for us.
As you would expect with 2 quality sides the pace of the game for the first 20 minutes was fast and furious.

9 mins: A long lofted ball was played over the top by Cpl Davie Carns to Mne Mikey Husbands, who latched on to the pass and proceeded to beat 2 players finishing with a weak shot into the keepers hands.

12mins: After some good interplay CSgt Richie Hope picked up the ball just over the halfway line and ran at the Fire Brigade Defence before hitting a shot from 25yrds that sailed over bar.

18mins: Another good move led to the RM being awarded a free kick 35yrds from goal on the the right hand side of the 18yd box. Mne Mark Conett curled over a very good free kick to the penalty spot area where Cpl Ant Newton met it with a good header that went just wide of the left hand post.

20mins: The Fire Brigade had their first bit of pressure with a corner which was well defended with strong header away by captain Cpl Davie Carns. After the 100mph start the game started to settle down a bit and the football started to improve.

25mins: After a decent passage of good passing and movement a chance was created for Mne Karl Rickard on the edge of the box, which was struck well but went just past the left hand post.

38mins: Goal Again some good passing and movement led to Cpl Sam Woodin delivering an inch perfect cross from the byline for Mne Dave Middlemass to rise and head the ball into the top left hand corner of the goal. 1-0 to the RM.

Second Half: RM made 7 changes at half time with Lt Ed Campbell RN being replaced by Mne Baxter in goal, Mne Sutcliffe for Cpl Woodin at RB, Sgt Wayne Shailer for Sgt Dean Quinn at LB, Mne Bath for Mne Conett in CM and Mne Dan Beore for Mne Chris Tunstall in CM, Sgt Rich Harley on for CSgt Hope, and Mne Lee Salmons on for Mne Middlemass.

48mins: Royal Marines gave away possession which resulted in a 2 on 2 situation. A good cross in from the Fire Brigade found their main striker who connected well with the shot but hit the post.

53mins: Goal Good Passing and movement from the Fire Brigade leads to a 1-2 on the edge of the box and their influential striker struck a low hard shot past Mne Baxter into the bottom right hand corner of the goal for the equaliser. 1-1

57mins: A free kick by the Fire Brigade from 30 yards out resulted in a headed chance that went straight into Mne Baxters hands in the RM goal.

60mins: Fifteen minutes into the second half and the RM had weathered the storm with all the new players on the pitch and started to come into the game more.

61mins: A loose ball in the Fire Brigade penalty area was hit goal wards by debutant Mne Lee Salmons, which resulted in a quick reaction save from the Fire Brigade keeper. The rebound went straight to Mne Mikey Husbands who's header was well saved again by the keeper.....very unlucky not to go 2-1 up.

64 mins: A long hopeful punt upfield by the Fire Brigade defence led to confusion at the back between the RM defence and the keeper. Cpl Antony Newton appeared to leave the ball for goal keeper Mne Baxter who had come out to clear the ball. However he totally misjudged the high bounce and subsequently committed a professional foul by handling the ball outside the box. This resulted in Mne Baxter being sent off 19 minutes into his RM debut!! This led to the management making a tactical substitution, putting Cpl James Satchell in goal and sacrificing Mne Mikey Husbands up front, therefore leaving the RM with 10 men for almost the last half an hour of the game.

66mins: However despite being a man down the RM rallied together well and carved a great chance with a pin point cross from Mne Mikey Husbands from the right after beating his man only to see a great header from Mne Lee Salmons crash agonisingly against the underside of the cross bar and bounce down on the line and into the goal keepers hands.....very unlucky not to take the lead.

75mins: Good play by Cpl Davie Carns as he travelled with the ball out of defence before beating 2 players and sending a pinpoint pass with the outside of his foot through to Mne Salmons who beat his defender with a lovely piece of skill lobbing the ball up over the advancing defender and then lashed a volley goal wards that the keeper did brilliantly to beat away for a corner. After a period of very even play without any chances despite the man less, the RM created the last chance of the game when a ball was played inside from the right wing to Mne Husbands who from 25yrds out hit a volley that went just wide of the the right hand corner of the goal.

Full time score 1-1

Starting line up: 1. Campbell 2. Newton 3. Carns 4. Woodin 5. Quinn 6. Hope 7. Tunstall 8. Rickard 9. Conett 10. Middlemass 11. Husbands

Subs: Baxter, Sutcliffe, Shailer, Boere, Bath, Salmons, Harley, Satchell, Sampson (not used)

Overall a very good performance as a season opener for the Royal Marines Corps team against what was a very strong Fire Brigade side. On chances the RM deserved to win the game but the performance was very pleasing for the management with lots to take forward into the inter-commands. Some very good individual performances, with the defence in the 1st looking very solid. 5 players made their RM debuts with Campbell in goal and Salmons up front showing excellent potential for the future. Finally well done to all players and thanks to all management team and back room staff for their assistance.