In form Anchs welcomed high flying Crawley for the last game of he season. An excellent team talk and warm up got Anchs in the right frame of mind but sadly the umpires were 20 minutes late holding up the game. Anchs made a great start and a good team goal was well finished by Chris Lack. Soon however a missed aerial saw Crawley draw level and from a penalty corner, despite an obvious back stick which wasn’t spotted by the inept umpire, Crawley went two one up. The second half saw the worst umpiring I have ever experienced in my twenty two years of playing hockey. A very poor decision saw Crawley covert another penalty corner and an overload saw them go four one up. Amazingly the umpire then showed a yellow card to keeper Richardson for a supposed kick. Anchs rallied and managed to hold them out. Despite the result a good season for Anchs who consolidated their position in the regional leagues.
In the last home game of the seasons Anchs looked to make it another successful afternoon as they welcomed BBHC to Darland Avenue. Anchs started very well and dominated midfield early on with some slick play from the Anchsforward line creating a few half chances. Anchs managed to take the lead when a well worked shirt corner from Matti left Elliot Harris with a simple, but well taken finish to give them a 1-0 lead. Shortly after that CJ hit both posts with two good opportunities and was very unlucky not to convert. 2-0 was to be the score at half time and a nice passing move on the right from Brew and Glen allowed Elliot to slot home again while the goal keeper was on the floor.
The second half did not start as well, as BBHC pushed hard and created a few decent chances that were dealt with well by Ryan the Anchs goal keeper and from a man of the math performance from centre back Ian Rawson. However the tide did not stop and it was soon 2-1 to BBHC after making the initial save the ball was slotted into the net after a decent move from the away team. Anchs rallied after that and made it 3-1 with a turn and strike from the top of the D saw Glen convert to relieve some of the pressure. BBHC then converted from a well worked short corner with 20 mins to go but Anchsheld on and have cemented their place in the league once again.
Anchs made the trip to BBHC hoping to continue their fantastic form. Despite the very cold conditions a good team talk and warm up saw Anchs make a good start to the game. Some excellent forward play from Dan Mutton, Callum Harris and the returning Gordon Thompson saw Anchs create several chances but somehow the game remained scoreless. BBHCs first chance fell to their unmarked player at the back post but keeper Darren Richardson made a good save with Gary Jackson clearing to safety. Against the run of play BBHC took the lead from a well worked short corner and managed to keep the lead into half time. Coach Tom Nissen told Anchs to remain patient and play their game and the goals would come. Another good reaction save from Darren Richardson kept the score at one nil and soon the Anchs had equalised following a great team move involving Gareth Price, Chris Lack, Callum Harris and Tom Nissen, which saw the latter slot home at the back post. At this stage it was all Anchs. Another good move saw Dan Mutton sweep home off the keeper and despite the best protest of the opposition the goal was given. Another good wins for Anchs.
It was to be a successful afternoon for the Men’s 2s, who had to travel down to a cold and windy Folkestone for Saturdays’ game. However, it was not a brilliant start as Anchs found themselves 1-0 down within the first 2 minutes as a defensive mix up between defenders and goalkeeper allowed Folkestone to tap home for close range after the ball came nicely off the post.
However that was the last time Anchs were really tested and they equalised shortly after as Ben Selby rounded the goal keeper brilliantly to slot home. It was soon to be 2-1 as OJ ran from the half way line, with the Folkestone defence parting like the Red Sea to finish well. Anchs went into the break 4-1 up as both Gordy and Joel both finished well from slick moves from the whole of the Anchs team who never really gave Folkestone a chance.
Unfortunately the 2nd half didn’t go quite as smooth as Harry Banfield went over on his ankle and had to come off, shortly followed by Gordy receiving a straight yellow for a hearty challenge. However even with 9 men Anchs still went further ahead with a nice move on the right being finished off by CJ to put the game out of any doubt.
Anchs welcomed Mid Sussex hoping to continue their excellent recent form. Despite Mid Sussex being very late meaning a 30 minute delay in the push back Anchs remained focused and blew the opposition away in the opening ten minutes. Great team play saw Mati Puche slot home and the same player put Anchs two up for a penalty corner. The rest of the first half saw Anchs dominate but selfishness meant the score remained two nil. Mid Sussex pulled one back at the start of the second half from a penalty corner but soon Dan Mutton restored Anchs two goal lead with a great run and finish. Mid Sussex again managed to scramble one over the line from a penalty corner but Anchs defence held firm to gain another win. Overall not a great second half performance but a vital three points.
An 8.15am meet saw Anchs make the journey to Cliftonville for a must win game. Despite the best efforts of Rob Dixon, Anchs had a good team talk and warm up and dominated the first 25 minutes of the game. Excellent midfield work from Chris Lack, Chris Risby, Jake Stevens and Justin Harris followed by some good link up play between Callum Harris and Dan Mutton saw Mati Puche slot home. However a silly giveaway in their own D by Anchs saw Cliftonville equalise just before half time. The first twelve minutes of the second half were a disaster for Anchs and poor marking saw them fall three one behind. Only a world class save from keeper Darren Richardson kept Anchs in it. This galvanised Anchs who actually started to play hockey. Dan Mutton pulled one back with a smart finish and then Tom Nissen slotted home from a penalty corner. Tom Nissen then slotted converted a penalty stroke to put Anchs in the lead. Some late Cliftonville pressure was withstood due to excellent defending by Gary Jackson, Gareth Price and Rich Perkins.