Girls under 12 had an early start at Bromley. With a squad of just seven the girls performed really well. Debutantes Ellie and Learna found their positions in defence. Then with Rio in the centre and Evie with great runs down the left and Jess providing crosses from the right. Holly and Annabel played the forward roles working hard. With two draws and two wins the girls can be proud of there performance!!
Today our boys U12 braved the first cold Sunday at Burnt Ash to play in the latest triangular tournament. Us, a team from Maidstone, one from Burnt Ash and two from Blackheath and Old Elthamians awaited.
Our first match was against Maidstone and it immediately became apparent that they had some very skillful players, however our boys were resolute in defence and went forward in numbers moving the ball around well and made the 2-1 win look quite comfortable. A good start.
Match two was against Burnt Ash and despite some more excellent play we couldn’t quite score and were unlucky to lose 1-0.
Match three was when the boys really switched on. Against Blackheath and Old Elthamians 2 using the full width of the pitch and passing the ball swiftly and accurately giving the opposition little chance to get into the game effectively and winning 8-0.
Our fourth game was a case of so near yet so far, the tiredness of four games in a row was beginning to show and despite some good play against Blackheath and Old Elthamians 1 we lacked the energy to cover the ground in the same way as the earlier games. A 1-0 loss although that one goal was almost kept out with a spectalur save by debutante goal-keeper James.
All round a fine team performance that is yet another improvement on what we have done before.
Team list:- James (GK), Charlie, Daniyal, Daniel, Will, Jonny, Robbie, James, Tom and Jacob.
Our U12 boys were away to hosts Bromley and Beckenham Hockey Club at Langley Park Boys School. A venue with a lovely new pitch but the walk from the car park to the astro was worth at least two warm-ups and the one building site-style portaloo caused a few dismayed looks amongst the supporters, especially the Mums.
Six teams (three from Bromley, two from Sevenoaks and us) all played eachother in a round robin league format. There were some surprises for us the first of which whilst watching the first round from the sidelines was that we were playing penalty shuffles for offences inside the D. With our keeper and penalty takers duly instructed we entered our first game against the eventual winners of the morning’s play. A skillful and attacking side from Brom/Becks kept us camped in our own half and struggling to string any attacking moves together but our defence was solid with keeper Charlie Smith saving three penalty shuffles and making many other saves backed up by the defence around him. The final score was 0-0.
Our second match had a surprise too and despite our midfield beginning to grow in confidence and create all sorts of attacking moves it appeared we were now playing 8-a-side but not everyone knew (or forgot to count the opposition before the game) (my fault as coach). This was our only loss, 1-0 against one of the Sevenoaks sides.
Match three and whilst we started with seven not eight for a few minutes we were fully into our stride, no way through the our defence, outletting the ball to midfield and the wings up to our forwards who now knew where the goal was and weren’t going to let the oppostion get in the way. From here on we only let in one more goal all morning and scored lots.
After a game off (and the coach now counting up to 8 with remarkable regularity) our fourth and fifth games against Brom/becks and Sevenoaks respectively showed the boys fully in their stride. Both games were won comfortably against competent opposition but the last surprise was that the umpire on this pitch was playing short corners! A very quick lesson on the baseline when the first one was given was delivered (no need for a defensive one as we didn’t concede any) and the game continued.
We finished a highly creditable third with the team improving all the time and still enough energy for a knock around on the pitch after all was over.
Huge thanks to to our sizeable crowd of vocal supporters and player of the morning is almost impossible to choose because everybody contributed but this week goes to Charlie Smith for his performance in goal especially during the first game.
Gillingham Anchorians played host to the U12 Girls tournament, which saw teams from Blackheath and Brom & Becs which would challenge our young girls. With a total of 4 teams, we took to the pitch with an agreement of 10 minute games and a decider at the end.
For the first time, we had a goal keeper, where Amy Shave had gladly volunteered as a new recruit for that role and only after having one training session she did a great job throughout the tournament making some lovely saves off the line.
First game against Blackheath 1 was a warm up for the girls as they sorted out their own personal positions and responsibilities within the team. It was a 50/50 match with some hard tackles and an unlucky goal in the first 5 minutes. Anchs struck back with some lovely runs by Jess Gray down the right ring and we could not fault their grit and determination as they came back with a great goal finishing 1-1.
The second game against Brom & Becs was a little more balanced with the same age group throughout. The girls were much more organised, their communication brilliant with some great calls from the back. The defence was strong with some lovely tackles made by Darcie and Amelia. Mid field play from Grace and Rio made it hard for BromBeccs to fight through. After there was concern from the other team that we had 7 on pitch as well as a goalkeeper we encouraged they bring another player on which actually gave them an advantage with 8 outfield players, but that didn’t deter the Anchs girls at all and with some fantastic runs again from Jess and Hollie, the team found their first win at 1-0.
The third game, we thought, was going to be the tough one as the older players from Blackheath 2 were on pitch. The Anchs girls were brilliant. They had listened to the advice from previous games that morning and went out and performed one of the best matches to date. Creating space, supporting, passing, skilful play, defending, tracking back and working as a unit, they showed that they had gelled as a team with effective and dynamic passing and strong tackles which took them to a 3-0 victory.
The decider was for 1st place and they had to take on Blackheath 1, the team they had drawn with at the beginning. Again true determination shone through. This was a 12 minute each way game but with excellent runs down the wing by Jess, strong tackles from Darcie and Amelia, great running and tackling from Rio, Grace, Evie and Anabel and skilful moves from Hollie, they dominated the game from start to finish. With a 1-1 score at half time, it was all to play for and they didn’t disappoint. In true Anchorians style and with some great support from the side line, the girls pulled it back to score 2 more goals in the second half and win the game 3-1 and the overall tournament.
On Sunday 16th November, the Under 10s participated in a mini-tournament involving Canterbury, Anchorians plus hosts Ashford. An excellent turnout enabled all three clubs to field two teams so it was decided to play two mini leagues with a team from each club and then a play-off round to settle final placing’s.
Anchorians fielded the ‘Purples’ in Group A and ‘Whites’ in Group B.
Whites kicked off with a difficult game against a strong Canterbury side, unfortunately coming out on the wrong-end of 2-0 score-line after a hard-fought game, before gaining a creditable 1-1 draw in the second game against Ashford , some strong defence and good counter-attacking play just failing to be rewarded with a victory.
Purples also played Canterbury in an opening game that ended 0-0 despite Anchorians having the ball in the back of the net twice (the second chalk-off only very belatedly discovered by the stand-in coach long after the match ended!). The second game against Ashford saw the Anchorians team fall behind after a fast start, before equalising and then being denied a late winner, hitting the outside of both posts in the final minutes.
After both placing second in their respective groups, some swift negotiation with the organisers enabled the Whites and Purples to face their alternate Ashford sides in their play-off games, rather than each other, leaving Canterbury I and II to battle it out for the top places.
Both play-off games were entertaining 0-0’s that probably could have gone either way and containing some excellent goal saving blocks and tackles from both sides. Final placing’s were impossible to fathom but I doubt few cared and a solitary loss and five draws out of six was a commendable performance from all.
Backed by superb support from the parents, and featuring a number of players making their tournament debuts, the Anchorians play featured organised defence, robust tackling and some enterprising individual and collective attacking play – a testament to the excellent coaching on offer from Nigel and the team – and in their best tradition the Young Anchorians will have gone to bed last night with ‘Sticks down’, ‘Find some space’ and ‘PASS’ ringing in their ears.
The future is indeed bright – it’s Purple and White!