Update from The Wyton Station Football Team
Things have been tough for the Wyton Station Football Team over the last 12 months, the team undergoing a huge transitional period. In the past, RAF Wyton has punched well above its weight, but there was a definite sense of foreboding as we started the 2014/15 season.
2014/15 Season – With many of our best players having been posted out in the run up to the season, and few players of any real quality posted in, it became a real struggle just getting a team out. The season inevitably ended with RAF Wyton rock bottom of the league, regularly having forfeited matches through an inability to fulfil fixtures.
During the off-season it was decided that, for the benefit of all, the RAF Wyton and 42 Engr Regt (Geo) teams would amalgamate, the new Wyton Station team able to call on a larger pool of players. It also meant that we could compete competitively in a number of competitions, including Division 2 of the Lincolnshire Services Association Football League, as well as Single Service and Inter-Corps competitions.
2015/16 Season (so far) – The season opener featured an Army Cup game away to 2 Parachute Regt. However, despite putting out a strong 16-man squad, we were defeated 6-1 by a more technically gifted side. Taking away what positives we could, our league opener was an epic 5-5 draw at home to St George’s Barracks, later described by our manager as a ‘freakish’ game. Although not a devastating start to the season, a 4-1 home defeat to rivals RAF Marham soon had us scratching our heads, especially as we hadn’t played that badly.
Our third league match, at home to RAF Coningsby, started promisingly, our manager having recruited some quality players. Although unlucky not to be ahead by half time, we played with a confidence I haven’t seen in a Wyton football team for some time. Even when under pressure, our goalkeeper, SAC Michael Sainty did us proud, making an outrageous save worthy of a professional. Both teams traded a goal apiece in the last quarter, the 1-1 draw probably a fair result. All in all, a fairly promising start to the season; lots of hard work ahead, but plenty of positives to take forward.
RAF Festival of Football – During a break from league fixtures in October, the RAF held it’s annual Festival of Football 5-a-side tournament. Held at the Derby Soccer dome, adjacent to Derby County’s iPro Stadium, seven weary but enthusiastic players from Wyton arrived pitchside having set out very early, but feeling a tad happier having taken on board the optimum fuel of footballers; a McDonalds’ breakfast.
Despite being pitted against some decent teams in our group, Team Manager, Cpl Adam Hankinson was confident we could do well, and we got off to a blistering start, smashing Lintonon- Ouse 4-1. Although drawing 1-1 against Waddington B in our next match, we produced another excellent performance in the one after, beating Stafford A 4-0.
Knowing that a win against Odiham would put us through to the knockout stages, we had to dig deep, coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, thanks to two dramatic goals in the dying seconds. With onlookers now beginning to worry about playing us, we breezed into the Quarter Finals, convincingly beating Stafford B 4-0.
Unfortunately, we drew Waddington A in the Quarter Finals, the Lincolnshire team having won the tournament for the previous two years. However, despite going 1-0 down early on, our confidence was such that we did the unthinkable, taking a 2-1 lead. But, showing their class, Waddington equalised at the death, going on to take the penalty shoot out 3-1, our spot takers and goalkeeper unable to repeat their earlier heroics. Although disappointed, we were very proud of the way we played, and to have lost against the eventual winners was not too shabby a performance.
Looking ahead – Our start to the 2015/16 season gives us reason to be optimistic, and the newly amalgamated Wyton Station team should continue to provide the manager with plenty of players from which to choose from. New players are always welcome, so why not come down and join us at training. It takes place every Monday on the allweather pitch at 1600 hrs. For further information, you can also contact Team Manager, Cpl Adam Hankinson on Ext 5472.