There's been two more games since our last match report from the KRH Football Team in Cyprus. This time both games took place under the blue skies of the Med but both the Scots Dragoon Guards and 1LANCS came away after losing to the Hawks.
KRH vs SDG
The picturesque Happy Valley was the location for the second match against the Scots Dragoon Guards. The match began in a sedate way with both teams giving up possession easily but some sustained SDG pressure resulted in back to back corners. Luckily none were successful and in fact the KRH came away with a counter attack off the last that lead to a KRH goal. Later in the half the KRH were saved from the executioner again as the SDG failed to convert a penalty into an equaliser.
At the dying stages of the half the KRH started to enjoy a period of consolidation and the Hawks adopted to a new formation after some sub changes. A free kick in the centre of the park led to a second KRH goal as Cpl Hume's kick took a big deflection, wrong footing the keeper. The goal served as a catalyst to further KRH pressure and a 50 yard run from LCpl Barcroft ended in a solid finish.
The SDG emerged for the second half with the bit between their teeth, clearly frustrated at their first half performance and this renewed vigour paid dividends within two minutes as they scored to make it 3-1. This attacking play continued and they carved out several more opportunities before grabbing a second goal to reduce the deficit to one.
The Hawks knew they were in a fight and took time to settle, but the introduction of LCpl Fletcher resulted in a third goal of the tour for him and the KRH then began to dominate possession and looked a constant threat going forwards but still conceded a goal to once again find themselves only one goal to the good. The Hawks seem to thrive on pressure, however, and despite some nervous moments in the last ten minutes the KRH maintained the lead and kept their 100% winning record in tact.
KRH vs 1LANCS
The KRH's adopted home of Happy Valley was the location of the third match of the 2017 football tour. This time they faced the gold clad men of 1 LANCS; infantry cup finalists and a team sure to threaten the Hawks' 100% winning record.
The Hawks, however, looked sharp in the warm-up and knew that they needed to be at the top of their game competing in 26 degrees against a unit well acclimatised to the Cypriot heat. For the first time on the tour the KRH started in the ascendancy and looked composed on the ball. However a free kick decision in favour of the Lancs which confused players and fans alike rattled against the crossbar and the rebound was slotted home.
The KRH responded well to going behind and by the mid-half drinks break were firmly on top. As the break drew to a close the KRH knew they had to convert their possession into chances and a speculative through ball to LCpl Barcroft resulted in a one on one which, after an initially sliced effort, was well finished. This spurred the Hawks into life and a half turn by LCpl Fletcher lead to a goal for the irrepressible striker. The rest of the half settled into a pattern of KRH pressure but with little end result.
A half time team talk focused on 'more of the same' greeted the weary KRH players and the Hawks knew they'd have to be aware of the potent attacking threat of the Lancs. The second half opened with two back to back chances for LCpl Barcroft followed by a another for LCpl Fletcher and there was an increasing risk that the KRH would pay for their profligacy in front of goal as the Lancs came back into the game.
In the 65th minute the KRH struck a decisive blow as Cpl Judge crossed the ball which was met by LCpl Fletcher who rifled the ball on the volley into the roof of the net. As the Lancs pressed hard to get back into the game several KRH opportunities were wasted and the chance of a more emphatic scoreline passed the team by.
The full time whistle came and the KRH came out worthy 3-1 winners against one of the stronger teams in Army football. This result and performance crowns a great opening week for the men in crimson who are now three from three on the tour.
KRH Association and serving members of the regiment.