Football

UKAF Footballers Edge Past Irish Defence Forces

The UK Armed Forces football team secured the victory through a Sam Atkinson penalty.

The UK Armed Forces football team have beaten the Irish Defence Forces side in Dublin to lift the Perpetual Friendship Shield. 

The game kicked off at St Patrick's Athletic's Richmond Park which stands in former recreational areas used by the British Army, close to Richmond Barracks. 

It was the home side who started brighter, spurning a number of chances before being punished by the visitors. 

Danny Earl jinxed away down the right wing before whipping the ball into the box where it was turned into the net off an Irish boot.

An own goal from the Irish Defence Forces gave the UK the lead.
An own goal from the Irish Defence Forces gave the UK the lead.

The men in green responded and started to dominate the proceedings but were unable to get past the in-form UKAF goalkeeper Luke Cairney.

But Cairney went from hero to villain after he brought down an Irish player in the box on the stroke of half-time.

The keeper was unable to keep out Dave O’Riordan's spot-kick and the teams went into the break level.

The game proved to be the tale of two penalties as straight after the restart, the influential Todd was brought down in front of goal before Sam Atkinson slotted home from the spot.

Sam Atkinson scores from the spot.
Sam Atkinson scores from the spot.

The home side pushed for an equaliser but were unable to find a way past an organised and gritted UKAF defence that saw the away side end up 2-1 winners.

UKAF Head Coach, Flight Sergeant Nic De-long, said: "Today wasn't easy and at times it wasn't pleasant.

"But the determination to get over the line and win a trophy which we've done today was there.

"The will was there from the start and we just needed a little bit of refinement and we've come out with a win."

The Irish Defence Forces will be heading to China in October for the Military Football World Cup, while the UK team prepare for the Kentish Cup later this year.