Football

RAF Footballers Beaten By Swindon Town On Return To Action

New RAF Ladies boss Jim Bryden's first game in charge ended in a 4-1 away defeat.

New RAF Ladies boss Jim Bryden's first game in charge ended with a 4-1 loss away to Swindon Town.

Returning from an extended break due to COVID-19, the Royal Air Force took the lead inside the first 15 minutes.

However, a strong second-half performance from the Wiltshire-based side saw them take a comfortable victory.

Bryden has taken charge of the team as a replacement for Michelle Harvey-Perkins and will have been encouraged by his team's start in their first match since beating the Army in their Inter Services opener six months ago.

Just 12 minutes in, skipper Cat Beaver came out of a scrap with the ball and it led to Rachel Griffiths firing in the opener.

Unfortunately for the Forces team, Swindon's response was almost immediate.

Helena Diaz-Butcher got free on the right wing and slotted past the on-rushing RAF goalkeeper Emma Connington.

The RAF are led by experienced captain Sergeant Cat Beaver.

The RAF were dealt a blow when influential midfielder Charlotte Arrowsmith went off injured, but could have gone into half-time leading.

Amy Leask failed to deal with a loose ball for Swindon and went down injured, but Jade Brown could not take advantage as she fired wide.

Connington made a number of fine saves to deny Swindon throughout the game, but she could do nothing about the home side's second and third goals.

Firstly, Annie Martin did well with a drop of the shoulder to make space before rocketing a shot into the top corner with her right foot.

Minutes later, the ball was in the back of the RAF net again. Rianne Lewis let fly from 25 yards and the shot left Connington stranded on it's way into the bottom corner.

The fourth goal was a deflected strike in off an RAF player, but the Air Force can take plenty of positives from the performance despite the result.