Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1 XI had their first away match in 6 weeks against local team, Old Williamsonians. After a strong win the week before, Anchorians worked hard as a team and saw several early chances flashed past the posts. Unfortunately Old Willies scored first, against the run of play, however Anchorians didn’t let this stop them, they continued battling and pushing up the pitch. The one or two touch, passing hockey was superb and with tireless running from the forwards, Anchs looked the stronger side. As a result, Williamsonians lead was short lived as Abby Atkinson won Anchorians first short corner of the match which was converted into a goal with a straight strike from Sarah Lack to put the scores level again.
With the wind against them in the second half, Anchorians had a tougher challenge but pushed up the pitch, winning another short corner which unfortunately hit an Anchs foot after a scramble in the area. They continued to work hard as a team with quick passes across the pitch, even with the wind strong enough to blow the goal backwards at one point. The game finished 1-1 with Anchorians taking their first draw of the season.
Team: Herbie, Harris, Lucy, Lacky, Ash, Shaz, Irish, Laura, Hev, Biffo, Heidi, Abby
With two of their last three matches postponed due to inclement weather, The ladies 1st XI were desperate to get back on the pitch and make the most of the dry conditions and put their season back on track.
They hosted fellow strugglers Meopham in Kent Premier division. The visitors started the games on top and Anchs defended two short corners well. After soaking up the pressure, Anchorians took charge of the game and stepped themselves up the pitch with several dangerous crosses into the Meopham defensive area. Jackie Gray found herself in a one-on-one with the visiting keeper after a quick break from defence, but she was unlucky to only find the side netting. Anchs’ persistent hard work paid off and they won themselves a short corner of their own. The ball came out well from Emma Strangleman and Sarah Lack’s great strike was deflected, off a defender, into the back netting to give Anchs the lead going into half time.
In the second half, Meopham pushed an extra player forward and saw more chances, but Anchorians were more than equal to the pressure. The only tight moment coming when a combination of keeper Sarah Hrebien and Sharon Hodges cleared a shot off the line. Despite losing sweeper Strangleman to a serious ankle injury, the last fifteen minutes of the match was all in the host’s favour and they were unlucky not to add more to the score, with the game closing 1-0. Player of the match went to newcomer Heidi Barratt who worked tirelessly upfront.
Emma’s ankle was thankfully ligament and soft tissue damage and not a break as we’d all feared. Next week, the Ladies 1st XI travel to local rivals Old Williamsonians where there will be winning cake to reward their fantastic effort this week!
Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Strangles, Ash, Shaz, Irish, Laura, Hev, Heidi, Abby, Biffo
Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI this week faced the team relegated into the league, who sat second in the table. After several weeks of narrow defeats and a game called off during the warm up in their previous outing, Anchs were feeling the frustration of a season not quite going their way. The match started with Gore Court on the front foot and Anchs found themselves defending a string of short corners. They were equal to the task though, Lucy Morgan carrying on through a cracking shot to the shin and were able to keep the score neutral until a stray ball found a defender’s body on the line. The forward took the resulting penalty stroke well, past keeper Sarah Hrebien and putting Gore Court into the lead. A second followed shortly after but towards the end of the half, Anchs pushed back, working well out of defense and pushing themselves up the pitch as a unit. Great defensive calling from the back by Emma Strangleman and with a couple of stinging crosses flying through the GC area, unfortunately just out of reach of a decisive touch, meant the A’s ladies went into the break two goals down, but not feeling out-played, and ready to fight back. They did just that, taking control of the second half early on, moving the ball across the pitch more freely and playing it around the Gore Court midfield, they pushed hard at the visiting team. The pressure let up and they earned themselves a short. Despite an initial miss-hit, Ash Davenport latched onto the stray ball, slipping it through the keeper’s legs and putting Anchs back in sight of the game. The pressure held up and another short wasn’t long in coming. Another miss-hit, (we’ve really got to work on that, ladies!) a diving sweep from Strangleman through the keepers legs again, and Anchs found themselves back on equal terms. Unfortunately, as has been the way with the ladies 1s lately, there was another goal left in the game, and another string of short corners led to the decisive goal and GC took home the three points. To put the performance into some context though, Gore Court had upwards of a dozen short corners and converted two, Anchs had three shorts and converted two so all credit to the ladies holding the line! Next week fellow league strugglers Gravesend travel to Darland Avenue and hopefully the ladies 1s luck will break.
Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Shaz, Lucy, Shaz, Irish, Laura, Hev, Abby, Biffo, Heidi
This week Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI took on Kings Alleys. After a disappointing first few minutes for Anchs, Kings took an early lead in open play. The visitors’ strong attacking formation and movement off the ball caused some panic and a few short corners were conceded, leading to two more goals. Anchorians pulled together, organising their midfield and started to turn the game around. Returning goalkeeper, Sarah Hrebien, made a particularly amazing stick save while sliding in the opposite direction, as Kings tried to pass round her, to keep Anchorians in the game. After some great play to force their way up the pitch, captain Laura Hopkins put a great free hit towards the goal for Hannah Shimmin to latched on, make a great strike and put the score to 3-1, and Anchorians back within reach of the game. After an encouraging team talk from coach Richard Brewer, Anchs came out fighting at the beginning of the second half, however Kings Alleyns were awarded a short corner which they converted into a goal. Anchorians didn’t give up and pushed up the pitch as a team, picking up their communication and having a few good chances in the attacking area. In the end their hard work was rewarded and Sharon Hodges scored from a short corner, putting the final score at 4-2, with an amazing second half performance from the Anchs ladies. Player of the match votes were spread among six different players, with Emma Harris took the accolade this week. Special was shared between Laura Hopkins (for her delegation) and Emma Strangleman (for using her assets to photobomb important promotional filming/photos).
Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Strangles, Lucy, Shimmie, Shaz, Laura, Hev, Abby, Biffo, Ellie
Anchorians Ladies 1st XI hosted Cliftonville in a very closely matched game fraught with injuries in which a lucky second half goal gave Cliftonville the 3 points. Anchs picked up from last week’s disappointment with a solid and well organised performance but despite pressure on goal they couldn’t convert. Anchs were unlucky to go down to ten players after an injury early in the first half. However they didn’t let it phase them and continued battling with a solid defensive performance. Anchorians kept their kept their calm and worked as a team to keep a clean sheet at the end of the first half. Still a man down for the first ten minutes of the second half, Anchs came out with a positive attitude – who needs subs! They were unfortunate to concede a lucky goal, early in the second half, but this only made them more determined to get back in the game. After some great long balls and battling in the opposition’s half they were rewarded with some short corners but were unable to make the most of the opportunities. Anchs kept battling till the end, they were unable to convert the pressure into a goal but can certainly take a lot of positives from their hard work, determination and perseverance.
Captains Blog; Game Date 10/09/15
Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI travelled to play top of the league Sevenoaks 3s in an early start. Anchorians started brightly and took Sevenoaks by surprise as the pushed high and took control of the game early on. Their persistence and team work paid off as Emma Harris made a strong tackle to win the ball on the half way line. Two swift passes between the midfielders led to Laura Watters sending a ball through to Ash Davenport. Davenport’s first touch beat two defenders and she was through on goal with only the keeper to beat. Her shot flew between the keeper’s legs and Anchs took the lead. The second half Sevenoaks showed why they are the team at the top and came out much stronger. A foot on the line led to a penalty flick and Sevenoaks drew level. The goals came thick and fast after that as Anchs struggled to cope with Sevenoaks faster pace and overload of numbers upfront. The last ten minutes of the game Anchorians pulled themselves out of their rut and calmed the game down, earning themselves a couple of short corners which they were unlucky to convert.
Team: Vicky, Lucy, Lacky, Strangles, Harris, Bennett, Irish, Laura, Hev, Ash, Biffo
Captain’s Blog; Game date 03/10/15
Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI travelled to Canterbury intending to bounce back from two defeats on the trot. Canterbury 3’s got out the blocks quickly in a scrappy start on an unexpectedly hot day and got an early goal in the first few minutes after a cruel deflection looped the ball in behind goalkeeper Vicky Winchester. They dominated the first quarter until Anchs regathered and increased the pressure on the opposition defence. Their confidence and the pressure grew as they started passing around the back four and pushing forward as a team. Anchs equalised just before half time after excellent team passing led to a trade mark Jackie Gray dive at the keeper’s feet as she persevered to tipped the ball over the line. Anchs settled into their stride in the 2nd half and made better use of the ball in the hot conditions. The midfield worked hard to move the ball across field and supply more balls into the D, until the perseverance of Abby Atkinson resulted in a short corner. The corner was converted into a goal with a fine first time strike from player of the match, Sharon Hodges. Anchs grew tired in the last ten minutes of the game, but settled down and held their concentration to see out the game and seal the victory. A convincing win over a very good opposition which came from a solid team performance. Special went to Captain, Laura Hopkins, as they arrived in a thick mist and she promised cooler weather than their first three matches. Unfortunately the sun came out twenty minutes before push back and in black tops with no breeze or subs – her promise was broken. The win has moved Anchs up to mid-table in a very unpredictable league and next week they travel to face top of the league Sevenoaks 3s.
Team: Vicky, Harris, Lacky, Shaz, Lucy, Ellie, Irish, Laura, Hev, Abby, Jackie
Captains Blog; Game Date 26/09/2015
Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI, this week hosted the Sevenoaks team who had gained promotion with them into the Kent Premier League. Anchorians took a strong warm up into the game and started well, despite the hot conditions and only having the bare 11. Good passing between the midfields meant a strong attacking position for the majority of the first half. Fantastic runs from Heather Shave and Sharon Hodges on the wings carved up Oaks’ midfield and Anchs were unlucky not to be awarded several short corners. A well taken looping shot from Jackie Gray was disallowed and the home side were justified at feeling a little disappointed in the deadlocked score at the half time whistle, considering the quality of hockey they were playing.
Anchorians pushed on in the second half and saw several near misses skimming past the outside of the posts as well as a number short corner routines kept out by good defensive work. The difference in the end was Sevenoaks bring two subs in the blistering heat. Fresh legs on the pitch meant that Oaks were marginally faster to react to an intercepted ball and the visitors made the most of one of their few chances, passing the ball around goalkeeper Vicky Winchester who had been having an outstanding game. Anchs deserved at least a draw out of the fixture but couldn’t quite see it happen, despite spending the last ten minutes of the match camped in the Sevenoaks defensive half. In spite of the result, it was a fantastic performance and a great improvement to their previous performance, demonstrated as six different women shared the player of the match accolade.
Team: Vicky, Harris, Strangles, Lucy, Hev, Shaz, Irish, Laura, Ellie, Ash, Biffo
Captains blog, game date 19/09/2015
Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI came up against a strong Old Bordenians side in the Kent Premier League. Emma Strangleman entertained before the match, and ultimately earned herself special, for remembering her goggles and forgetting her astros. Anchs soaked up the pressure of several defensive short corners in the first 20 minutes and a penalty flick was given away when a shot hit a defender on the line, but goalkeeper Sarah Hrebien was more than equal. Eventually the pressure led to two Old Boardenians goals by half time.
Anchorians came back stronger in the second half and some great passing throughout the team led to several near chances to get themselves back in the game. Newcomer Ellie Hyne held the centre of the park solidly. However Old Bordenians were again awarded several short corners and managed to convert two. Anchorians defence shut out the attack with some fantastic tackling from Strangleman and player of the match Sarah Lack and Old Bordenians were forced onto the back foot for the last fifteen minutes. However a consolation goal was just out of reach and the game finished 4-0 to Old Boardenians leaving both teams mid table. Fortunately, the Anchs ladies had Abby’s fabulous rainbow cake, worthy of the Bake Off, to look forward to after the match
Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Strangleman, Lucy, Shaz, Ellie, Laura, Hev, Biffo, Abby, Bennett, Shimmie
Captains Blog (it’s back!!) – Game Date 12/09/2015
Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI got off to winning ways in their first match after promotion to the Kent Premier League. The opposition was local team Old Williamsonians and the visitors were on the front foot for the first ten minutes of the match, although the Anchs defence remained strong. Soon the tide began to turn and Anchs were first on the score board after a brilliant reverse loop over the keeper from Jackie Gray. The game became more end-to-end with both teams winning short corners, Sarah Hrebien kicking out well to keep the Anch’s goal clear. The second goal came when a short corner strike took the OW’s keeper to the ground and Sharon Hodges calmly flicked the rebound over her and into the net. Old Williamsonians got their first after smart thinking from an attacker who capitalised on an uncharacteristic Anchorians error and struck past Hrebien from the top of the D. Anchs soon re-established their two goal lead however, after a driving run on the right, found the ball loose in the OW’s area and Abby Atkinson calmly swept it past the keeper into the far corner of the goal. Both teams felt the heat in the second half and the game became a less frantic affair. OWs settled the score when they broke away from a spell of pressure in their area to bring the score back to 3-2. Anchs nearly stole another in the last ten minutes of the match with some particularly impressive passing from payer of the match, Laura Watters, but were unable to convert.
Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Strangleman, Lucy, Shaz, Irish, Laura, Hev, Ash, Abby, Biffo