Match Report – Army FA vs Surrey

International Surrey Football were handed their first ever defeat, in only their second ever match, when they lost 6-0 to the British Army at the Aldershot Military Stadium, writes Nathaniel Holland (a.k.a The Terrace Traveller).

Hat trick hero Adam Wakely opened the scoring early in the game before Kyle Cassell doubled the lead before the break. Wakely netted the next two goals as the Army went 4-0 up with 20 minutes to go. Substitute Sean Thomson netted the fifth from close range before Sam Atkinson’s free kick took a wicked deflection into the back of the net to round off the scoring.

The game was a great warm-up for upcoming matches for both the Army and Surrey. The visitors have their first home game of the season at the end of April when they host the Chagos Islands at Merstham FC’s Moatside Ground. The Army head into next week’s inter-services opener with the RAF at Aldershot Town’s Recreation Ground.

Ashley West, Lea’van Sullivan, Felix Ahorlu, Ben Ewing, Mal Thomas and Jay Jones all returned to the Surrey side for their second caps, whilst debuts were handed out to Ali Fofanah, Bas Morally, Era Kabuye, Kieran Campbell and Daz Siaw.

The first chance of the game fell to the visitors as Lewisham Borough’s Jones laid the ball off to Thomas who saw his shot whistle just wide of the post. However it was the hosts who took the lead on 12 minutes when Surrey could only half clear a corner into the box and the ball was crossed back in, West dropped the ball and Wakely bundled the ball in over the line.

At the other end Kabuye was left in acres of space on the right wing as he collected a lobbed diagonal ball forward that caught out the Army defence, however, the Chessington & Hook midfielder sent his cross high and wide when he possibly could have tested the ‘keeper with a shot instead.

The Army doubled their lead with another soft goal on 23 minutes when Daniel Stoneman’s low cross evaded everybody inside the are and fell to Cassell at the back post to drill the ball into the back of the net.

It was a close encounter with much of the play bogged down in the midfield, with the hostsprobably just shading the possession as both sides tried to get a foothold in the match. Ahorlu, who plays at club level for Knaphill, had a curling effort fizz just wide of Luke Cairney’s goal. The Poole Town keeper was having a fairly quiet night between the sticks.

Chessington & Hook’s Daz Siaw was also a physical presence in attack for the Yellows, but the Army were organised at the back. Surrey were dealt an injury blow just before the interval when Fofanah of Colliers Wood United limped off with an ankle injury after taking a bad knock in a challenge on the touchline. This forced the opening substitute of the game as Ayman Dahdouh came on for his first cap.

At half time, Surrey made a change between the sticks as Kevin Wheller of Knaphill replaced West for his second cap, and there was also changes in personnel for the Army side too.

Matt Glass was denied by the inside of the post when he managed to work a shooting opportunity before firing an absolute pile driver at goal that cannoned off the post after it had the beating of Wheller.

The third goal did come on 57 minutes when a long ball forward caught out Ewing, who could only direct his header backwards, allowing Cassell to put a low cross into the box and Wakely tapped in from close range for his second of the night.

Surrey created a chance of their own after some build up play and Kabuye worked some space inside the area but Cairney made a good block at the near post to concede a corner.

The visitors were dealt another injury blow and were forced into another substitution as Ahorlu limped off with an ankle injury to be replaced by Wanderers’ player Dare Mustapha. Wakely completed his hat trick on 69 minutes when Thomas sloppily gave the ball way to Stoneman who put in a pinpoint cross for Wakely to head in from five yards out and end all hopes of a Surrey comeback.

Army coach Sean Birchnall made plenty of changes as his squad gained vital game time ahead of their inter-services matches and with Surrey all out of changes, the fresh legs were to be the difference in the final 20 minutes.

With five minutes left on the clock, a long ball forward to towering forward Jack May left him through on goal, but he was nudged over inside the area by Morally who escaped a card in the spirit of the friendly. Glass stepped up to take but his shot was well saved by Wheller, but Army substitute Thomson was on hand to nod into the back of the net with the rebound.

The Army finished the game strongly and the sixth goal went in from Sam Atkinson’s drilled free kick from the edge of the box, taking a wicked deflection and nestling into the back of the net with Wheller wrong-footed.

This report was brought to you by The Terrace Traveller, a full album of images from the game can be found on The Terrace Traveller’s Facebook page!

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