Anchs final friendly saw them travel to Marden who have just been promoted into the league from which Anchs were relegated last season. Despite a very poor pitch some good hockey was played by both sides with a draw being a fair score in the end. The game was very even throughout with Anchs perhaps shading the first half and Marden the second. Both goals came in the first half with Joel Divers scoring for Anchs again and Marden equalising from a penalty corner. Overall another good run out that sets Anchs up well for the start of the league away at Old Bordenians next week.
Anchs made the short trip to OWHC for their third friendly of the season. Despite only having 11 players everyone put in a shift and deserves praise for their hard work. Keeper Darren Richardson made some smart saves notably from penalty corners. The defence of Richard Perkins, Gareth Price and Joe Selby defended brilliantly all day. Glen Rawson and Jake Stevens ran their socks off in the middle of the park and both Luc Debont and Elliott Harris provided excellent width. The front three of OJ Stander, Callum Harris and Lindon Lockhart often put the OWs defence under pressure and were unfortunate not to score. The OWs goal came from a cruel deflection following a penalty corner. Next up its Marden away before the league starts on 30th September.
Anchs welcomed Gravesham for a mid week friendly and ran out convincing winners in front of new coach Lindon Lockhart. The game was played in quarters allowing Anchs to try different formations and personnel in the build up to the new season. Anchs penalty corner routine worked well and Chris Lack in particular benefited from this with a couple of goals. Harry McDonald also scored a good solo effort. Gareth Price also got on the score sheet with Joel Divers adding one too. Overall a good run out. Thanks to Phil Skillen for umpiring.
Anchs welcomed Folkestone for the first friendly of the season. Despite missing several regular starters it was a good run out for Anchs who played well but were let down by poor finishing – something to work on before the season starts on 30th September. The game started with Anchs forwards putting pressure on Folkestone. However from the first penalty corner Anchs completely switched off and were one down following a good drag flick. Anchs more or less bossed the rest of the first half and Joel Divers scored with a delightful reserve stick strike to make the score one one at half time. The second half again saw Anchs dominate but without troubling the opposition goalkeeper. Again Anchs were punished when a hard smash into the D was nicked into the goal giving Folkestone a 2-1 win. Anchs will need to be more switched on and clinical when they face Gravesham on Tuesday and then Old Willies on Saturday.
Anchs welcomed a good mid Sussex side on Saturday and were disappointed to only gain a point from the game knowing that a win was needed to help ensure survival in the regional leagues. Anchs completely dominated the first half and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty stroke when the defender illegally stopped Mati Puche’s low drag flick with his leg on the line. However the same player did give Anchs the lead following an excellent solo run and finish. The second half was more even. Slack marking allowed Mid Sussex to pull one back and Anchs were unable to convert any penalty corners but did defend some very well at the other end. In the last minute Elliott Harris almost snatched a win for Anchs but sadly it wasn’t to be.
Anchs final game of the season saw them travel to Sutton Valence for a rearranged fixture. A fantastic start saw Harry McDonald open the scoring for Anchs with a rocket of a penalty corner. However by half time poor give aways in midfield saw Anchs more or less hand the opposition two goals despite the best efforts of Anchs keeper Darren Richardson. The second half was even for the opening 20 minutes. However another turn over in midfield saw the unmarked Sutton Valence forward slot home. At this point Anchs chased the game and were undone by two late goals.
A bad day at the office. However it started brightly with Callum Harris and Dan Mutton working well together to allow the latter to give Anchs the lead after one minute. Unfortunately Callum Harris picked up an injury in setting up the goal. Anchs were then hampered further when skipper Gareth Price also had to go off injured. This upset Anchs shape and by half time it was 3-1 to Canterbury. The second saw Anchs pick up more injuries and they were over run by a very fit Canterbury side. OJ Standen did get a consolation goal at the end with a good reserve stick strike. Anchs will be keen to return to form when mid Sussex visit this coming Saturday.
Anchs welcomed local rivals Old Willies on Saturday. Despite missing skipper Gareth Price through injury Anchs worked very hard to secure all three points. An excellent team talk and warm up set Anchs up well for what was to prove to be a hard fought game. Although the opposition had most of the ball in the first half they only forced one good save from Darren Richardson. A great break away saw Anchs take the lead with Callum Harris’ shot deflecting over the stranded opposition goalkeeper. A rallying half time team talk from stand in skipper Chris Lack asked for more of the same from Anchs. The second half was similar to the first with Anchs defending well and proving difficult to break down. Another good finish from Callum Harris put Anchs two up and with the last play of the game Mati Puche converted a penalty corner. An excellent three points for Anchs which continues their winning run and moves them further up the table.
Anchs travelled to London to play high flying Kings, looking for revenge following a 6-1 defeat earlier in the season as well as looking to continue their good form. An excellent team talk and warm up set Anchs up well and the game started evenly. An amazing through ball from Ali Jenner put Callum Harris through one on one with the keeper who he nutmegged to put Anchs one up. The score remained the same until half time due to hard work and excellent organisation from Anchs. The second half started evenly. Again another excellent ball from Ali Jenner put Chris Risby through on goal and he made no mistake with a reverse stick strike. Kings came more and more into the game and pulled one back from a penalty corner. However decent goalkeeping and defending kept Kings out to secure an excellent three points for Anchs.
After last weeks win Anchs were keen to get out of the relegation zone by beating Horsham for a second time this season. The team talk focused on doing the exact same as last week. Anchs played well in the first 20 mins and deservedly took the lead with a great team move being finished off by Mike Lindley at the back post. At the end of the first half Horsham came back into the game and pulled level from a penalty stroke. The second half was even but the real difference was that Anchs were more clinical in their finishing. A good finish from Dan Mutton put Anchs in the lead and then Gareth Price converted from a penalty corner. Horsham then pulled one back from a penalty corner but almost instantly it was 4-2 with Mike Lindley again slotting home. Horsham did have two penalty corners to try and salvage something from the game but smart saves from Darren Richardson kept them out. Another valuable three points for Anchs.