The UK Armed Forces football team have got their Kentish Cup campaign off to a winning start, after beating the French forces in Portsmouth.

The home side won the opening game of Europe's oldest cup football competition 2-1.

As always though, their opposition from across the Channel gave them a tense and physical encounter.

UK military footballers vs France, 2017

It was the visitors who twice came very close to scoring in the first 20 minutes.

One of those chances had to be stopped by a goal-saving header on the line from Rob Farkins.

But once the home settled, they managed to get up and running and were first on the scoresheet.

A Callum Wilkinson free kick on 26 minutes led to two heroic saves by the French keeper, only for a deflection off Luke Noble to find Wilkinson again - the Army striker making no mistake from close range.

UK military footballers vs France, 2017

Danny Earle then ran a couple of solo breaks but couldn't hit the target. The French did hit the bar from a free-kick as half-time approached but at the break it remained 1-0 to the UK.

France retaliated quickly after the break from a corner, however, with UK keeper Luke Cairney not seeing much of Remi Mareval's powerful goal.

But the UK showed off their strength in depth, with fresh legs coming on to score the winner.

UK military footballers vs France, 2017

A free kick was floated into the area, directed down by Ryan Paddock and scored by substitute Andrew Todd.

The French themselves had chances from two free kicks to finish the match but neither were successful, leaving the final score 2-1 to the Brits.

UK team captain Lance Corporal Rob Farkins said: "We played well but I don't think we played as good as we could have done.

"In possession we could have been a lot cleaner... but saying that we defended well.

"It was hard second half... but we stuck together and got the result we needed."

The French will play the Dutch on Tuesday, with the UK looking to retain their title against the Netherlands on Thursday.

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