Gillingham Anchorians Mens 1st 4 Gravesham 0

Anchs hoped to continue their strong start to the season with a tough home game against local rivals Gravesham who although languishing towards the bottom of the table lived up to their reputation of being a very physical side who wanted to try and win.

The warm up was good and boy was it needed as it was freezing. It was great to have support on the sideline also to cheer the side on. More of the same would be much appreciated in future matches. Anchs started the game in a positive fashion and soon the midfield of Mike Lindley, Chris Lack, Glen Rawson, Jake Stevens and Ash Risby were in total control. It came as no surprise when the ever reliable Joe Byrant puts Anchs into the lead lifting the ball over the advancing Gravesham ‘keeper. The score was to remain the same until half time due to the fact that Anchs dropped off and were indebted to the Anchs back line of ‘keeper Darren Richardson and defenders Andy White, Simon Pickard and Gary Jackson who kept the opposition out.

The focus at half time was on getting back to the same level as Anchs had produced in the opening exchanges of the first half. Anchs produced some excellent hockey in the second half and easily deserved the three points at the end of the game.  Good team play allowed both Chris Lack and a second from Joe Byrant put Anchs in total control. A superb penalty flick from Glen Rawson wrapped up the win and saw Anchs maintain their position towards the top of the table.

Thanks to Trevor Shave for umpiring.

Captain’s Blog – Game Date: 20/10/2012

Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI faced yet another tough opponent this week in their string of top-of-the-table clashes when Maidstone Ladies 2nd XI came to visit. Maidstone sat second in the table having won all their games so far and trailing Burnt Ash only on goal difference. Anchorians had seen themselves gradually slipping down the table after a string of draws and defeats. But they were spurred on by a possitive defensive performance against the league leaders in their previous outing.

However, Anchorians’ warm-up was lacklustre at best. The team seemed unable to focus in the build up and needed to find their concentration quickly to threaten the strong opposition. Maidstone played a 4-4-1  formation with a roaming player weaving in an out of their midfield and forward. Maidstone had the better of the game for the first twenty minutes and put the Anchs defence under intense pressure. But with excellent communication and team-work, A’s were up to the challenge. A few stray balls slipped through but with Emma Strangleman, Lucy Morgan, Sarah Watkinson and Sharon Goodall rotating in the back three, Maidstone didn’t make much to threaten Sonia Houlker’s goal.

However a well-worked short corner pulled the otherwise strong defence apart and the Maidstone player swept in to put her team in the lead. Anchorians rallied though, and spent the rest of the half on the attack with Tina Hamer and Rosa Hargrave-Sotherland causing trouble for the visitor’s defence withthe support of Noelia Lopez, Hannah Bennett, Devia Bijkerk and Rachel Rawson in attacking midfield. Even Laura Hopkins and Kerry Searle made headway into the Anchs onslaught from defensive midfield.

At half time, Anchorians were trailing but remained positive. They began the second half with several short corners in their favor but missed Heidi Hadfield in the formation and her loyalties have to be called into question as she spent the weekend in Paris! Despicable. Maidstone threatened mostly from breaks with Houlker having to defend the edge of her D on more than one occasion. However, Anchorians were put on the back foot, not by poor defending or a particularly strong attack, but by an umpire who only seemed to know the signal for ‘short-corner’ given for more and more rediculous reasons. Anchorians defended them as best as they could but with an ex-national league player on straight stike, they were up against it. Maidstone completed with the score line with two perfectly placed strikes at Houlker’s left post where Strangleman was helpless to stop them.

Anchorians can take a lot from this week’s defeat. It was by far their strongest game as a unit and the defence, once again, withstood great pressure, only surcoming to well worked set-plays. Player of the match went to Sonia Houlker in goal and special went to Sharon Goodall who managed to hurt someone else this week!! Next week they play Bromley and Beckenham, another team threatening the top of the table.

  • Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI – 0
  • Maidstone 2nd XI – 3

Burnt Ash 0 Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI 2.

Anchs made the journey into London to play the team who started the day 1 point and 1 position better off than themselves. However following a good display Anchs walked away with 3 well deserved points and a first clean sheet of the season.

Having arrived in plenty of time Anchs warm up was very good and showed that they meant business. Rather shockingly Burnt Ash didn’t seem to bother with a warm up and this played into Anchs hands. The game started at a frantic pace with both sides getting stuck in. However it was the home side that had the first two opportunities from short corners. From these,  Anchs ‘keeper Darren Richardson made two smart saves which were then swept clear by Mike Lindley and Jake Stevens. Somewhat against the run of play Anchs took the lead with Chris Lack hitting a good shot that the Burnt Ash ‘keeper let beat him at the near post. This gave Anchs the confidence to push on and a fantastic team goal soon followed with Jake Stevens tapping in at the back post to put Anchs two up at half time.

The second half was very much an even affair with both sides creating chances. Good goalkeeping again from Richardson kept Burnt Ash out on several occasions as did some fantastic defending from OB, Wookie and Andy White. The holding midfielders, Gary Jackson and Mike Lindley also made life difficult for the opposition. Some good forward play from Ben Selby, Harry McDonald, Glen Rawson and Gordon Thomson created excellent chances but Anchs were unable to put these away. A lovely cold shower and possible the worst teas ever (however they were made by a very attractive lady!) followed the game but Anchs were happy to head back along the A2 with 3 points which puts them 2nd in the league.

A massive thank you to Vicky Winchester for umpiring.

Match Report (or Captains Blog) Sat 20 Oct

Okay so here is what was sent to the papers for the match report:
On Saturday 20 October 2012 Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 3s played against Greenwich Polygons 1s at home. It was a tough game but with some excellent team work we ended with a draw of 1-1 at full time. Gillingham Anchorians played a beautiful game with Ayshe Tilki, Rachel Rae and Jess Neale working together to get the ball towards the goal. Sandy Bendle provided a strong defence as sweeper giving the other defenders time to get into position. Player of the match was awarded to Jess Neale this week for her tenacity.

In addition to this I think I need to make mention that Vicky Winchester and Amy Kleynhans were also very helpful in the midfield. Keely Reddington had a fantastic game and really got involved with running to the ball and tackling the opposition this week!

Keep up the hard work 3s! You should all be really proud of your effort today!

Captain’s Blog- Game date: 13/10/12

The two weeks leading up to this game were somewhat strenuous for Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI. On 29/09 they came away from a game with a (suspiciously) strong Sevenoaks “Acorns” (oldest Acorns I ever saw!) team with a 2-2 draw after a scrappy game in which Anchs had a winning goal disallowed (yes, alright, it did hit a foot on the way in, but the umpire shouldn’t have given it and then changed her mind because the “Acorns” complained!). They had conceded on the break but two fantastic goals from Emma Strangleman on the post for short corners ensured the point. The following week, 06/10, Anchs faced Cliftonville 1st XI who were sitting comfortably towards the top of the table. Anchs went 2-0 down early, but pushed back hard and after several dangerous short-corners, Noelia Lopez won Anchs a penalty Flick. Laura Hopkins stepped up to the mark with the added pressure of the flick she’d missed two weeks before weighing on her shoulders. This time though, she left the ‘Ville keeper with no chance and put the ball in the net. It wasn’t to be enough though. A’s picked up the pressure in the last ten minutes but it was too little, too late and their first loss of the season was recorded.

This weeks match against top of the table Burnt Ash Ladies 1st XI, was always going to be a tough one. A weak Anchorians side had faced them 5 weeks earlier for a friendly in the scorching heat. Anchs lost 3-0 in that match and went into the league game determined not to do the same again. With a full-strength squad their chances looked good. However, Ash aren’t top of the table for nothing. From the off, Anchs were camped in their own half. Sarah Watkinson, Lucy Morgan and Emma Strangleman made crucial tackles in defence and the few they couldn’t make, Sonia Houlker, ever steady in goal, was able to take care of. Meanwhile, Emma Harris provided welcome rest-bite for the defense. However, with the midfield all pulled into marking rolls, when Anchs did take possession, they were unable to feed to Tina Hamer, Noelia Lopez or Rosa Hargrave-Sotherland who were trying to get free in their forward positions. A combination of good defending from Burnt Ash and errors made by Anchs made breaking into attack near impossible. However, despite the intense pressure, A’s only conceded 3 short corners and the teams broke for half time 0-0.

Anchs needed a change and they made it. Skipper, Laura Hopkins dropped back from attacking-midfield to make a 4-woman defence. The forwards took it in turns to drop back and mark an opposition midfielder, which freed up Heidi Hadfield as a play maker in the middle. This combination worked for Anchs who were far more fluid in their marking and found themselves in Burnt Ash’s 25 as a result. Kerry Searle and Hadfield held the centre midfield and Rachel Rawson, Hannah Bennett and Devia BiJkerk found they had far more space on the wings. Despite this, Burnt Ash made the most of their breaks and managed to score two past Houlker, one a sweep from close range over the grounded keeper. The other, a square pass which left Houlker stranded and neither Strangleman or Hopkins quite able to stop the Ash forward guiding the ball into the back of the goal.

While Ash did deserve to win the game, their attitude on the pitch left a lot to be desired with pushing, hitting, complaining and obstruction seeming to be standard weapons in their itinerary. The umpires did little to help and Anchs became more and more frustrated with the conduct of the opposition with many of the team walking away from the pitch carrying bruises they did not arrive with. Despite this and the score line, Anchorians can take this game as a fantastic confidence boost in defence. Burnt Ash spent around 80% of the game in the Anchs half and to lose only 2-0 given this fact is a massive testament to the way Anchs held it together and performed under the intense pressure.

Player went to Lucy Morgan for her sterling efforts in defence and Special to Rosa Hargrave-Sotherland who managed to get lost/go to the wrong pitch despite only living ten minutes away from the venue! Next week Anchs Ladies 1s face another difficult opponent in Maidstone Ladies 2nd XI who currently sit 2nd in the league, after this weeks defensive display, however, the Ladies in White have little to fear.

  • Burnt Ash 1st XI – 2
  • Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI – 0

Mens 2nd XI 13th October versus Herne Bay

The Men’s 2nd XI recorded it’s first league victory of the season with a 4-2 away win at Herne Bay, but it was a much closer game than the scoreline might suggest.

The first half proved to be very closely contested with few clear cut opportuities. Anchs created a good chance from the first penalty corner but the Herne Bay ‘keeper did well to keep out Richard Brewer’s effort. Other than that Anchs were slightly off the pace and were indebted to stand-in goalie, Ben Selby, for a number of good saves. Shortly before the end of the half Anchs failed to clear from defence and conceded a penalty corner. An excellent flick from Herne Bay rattled in off the crossbar, leaving Selby no chance.

The half-time team talk suggested Anchs needed to up the pace and the whole side raised their performance in the second half. Early on a good move down the right resulted in Owen Hamer having possession of the ball at the top of the D. Leading goalscorer CJ Verrall was screaming for the ball at the far post but Hamer decided to take the ball reverse side and slide the ball past the advancing keeper. Verrall was soon in action himself and was in a great position to score but was completely flatted by the Herne Bay goalie. Brewer dispatched the resultant penalty flick to give the visitors a deserved 2-1 lead. Both sides created further opportunites and Selby made 2 further saves from Herne Bay penalty corners. Anchs took a further lead when Harry McDonald rifled home from what looked to be an impossible angle.

Herne Bay contuniued to press and scored a second from another penalty corner leaving a very competitive final ten minutes. Anchs proved more composed than the previous week, and retained possession well for the remainder of the the game, before McDonald scored his second of the game with only 2 minutes to go, to put the result beyond doubt. Again left free on the right he proved that reverse stick hits are very much part of this generation’s armoury.

A thoroughly desrved result for Anchs from an excellent alround team performance.

13/10/12 Mens 5s vs Old Willies

Old Williamsons                   1
Gillingham Anchorians V      8

Anchorians first away game could not have gone better for them, collecting all 3 points and gaining some considerable goal difference which may prove vital as the season progresses.
Scott Montgomery stepping in as captain, for the absent Neil Dixon, not only led the team to their best ever away win, but also managed to get his name on the score sheet too. Is this a great captain in the making or a one time trick? Time will tell.
Rob Baldwin making his debut in goal for the club, and with only little experience of playing at school level did not look out of place and proved he is a goalkeeper full of natural talent. He will definitely be one to watch out for in the future.
Also special mention to youngster Joel Divers, who is still new to playing at this level of hockey, scored his first goal for the club, and I’m sure it wont be his last.
Further goals from Terry Hanson, Dave Stewart, Geordie Thom, Andy Wit and 2 from Jake Stefens made it a misery of a day for Old Williamsons.
Watch this space to see just how far Anchorians V can go this season.

Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI 6 New Beccs 2.

Anchs were keen to get back to winning ways after collecting 3 points from their opening 2 games this season and welcomed old foes New Beccs for an early start. It was the Anchs midfield that dominated the opposition from the start with the pace, skill and tackling ability of Glen Rawson, Mike Lindley, Chris Lack, Jake Stevens and the ever improving Jack Oxby causing lots of trouble.  The  opening goal came from a very well taken short corner strike from Simon Pickard, aka Wookie. yahoo ask (Joe – it was not an OG!) Fair play to the New Beccs defender who almost lost his eye and ended up at the Medway getting stitches in helping Anchs to score their  first goal. The second soon followed with Chris Lack hammering home. Any New Beccs attacks were easily dealt with by Darren Richardson and his defence comprising of the never ageing Richard Brewer, Andy White, Wookie and Ash Risby.

Anchs started the second half and had soon racked up another 6 goals at home  following excellent work and finishes from Joe Byrant (cannot believe a trip to Dorchester is more important than our next game!!), Gordon Thomson (2  goals – jug avoidance anyone??) and Jake Stevens (we all LOVE your shoes!) The only disappointing fact in a good performance was that Anchs let the opposition score 2. Their centre midfielder was allowed to ghost into the D and lift the ball into the net and an unlucky OG from Glen Rawson did remove a little bit of sparkle from a good performance and 3 points!

Thanks to Trev for umpiring.

6-10-12 Mens 5s vs New Beccs

Gillingham Anchorians V   0
New Beccehiams 4           1

Anchorians didnt get their league campaign off to the perfect start they were hoping for, by missing out on their share of the points in this incredibly even, fiercly contested match.
For most of the game, the ball was going back and forth with each side testing the others defensive and attacking skills. both teams had an even amount of time in their attacking 25yrds, continuingly battering against the defense and the goalkeepers did well to thwart so many chances.
A man of the match performance from Terry Hanson in goal, saw him diving, sliding and jumping all around the D, to continously deny the opposition so many chances they had created. Supported by a back line of Nigel Macdonald, Luke Montgomery, Jerry Montgomery and Neil Dixon, New Beccs had their work cut out getting past, and so many oppertunities were cut down in their prime. Attacking duo Mark Hamer and leading goalscorer Sean Harris, kept their defense busy, and at times had them running in circles. Midfield youngsters Joel Divers, Christian Nasillo and Luc DeBont were contiously full of energy and their trickery were a great support to the attckers and the defenders. They added valuable weight and options to the attacks going forward. Special mention to Andrew Ferguson, who stepped up from defense to midfield and proved that he should be back in the middle of the pitch. He made some excellent runs and was doing some fantastic 1-2 passing, that just blew past New Beccs.
Despite the game being so even, New Beccs were lucky that in the last quarter of the game they managed to flick a ball over the keeper and past the defender on the line to get the full points. However with a short corner being given on the final whistle, and the whole New Beccs team coming up for it, excellent run outs from Nigel MacDonald and Neil Dixon managed to keep the deficit down to one goal.
Keep this up, and Anchorians could be on the way to their best league position for a few years.

Men’s 2nd XI 3 Sutton Valence 3

The Men’s 2nd XI shared the points in an enthraling encounter at home to Sutton Valence on Saturday. The home side settled quickest and were very comfotable moving the ball around the side and retaining possession. The vastly experienced midfield of Jackson, Brewer, Gray and Walters (average age 45), kept their younger counter-parts working hard to gain any control. It was no surprise that Anchs took the lead midway throught the first half after an interception by Owen hamer fed CJ Verrall to lay the ball into Gary Jackson’s path. Jackson’s shot was illegally kept out by a Sutton Valence defender’s foot and skipper Richard Brewer clinically dispatched the reuslting penalty stroke.

Anchs maintained possession for much of the rest of the half but one lapse of concentration resulted in a Sutton Valence penalty corner which was worked well to the unmarked player at the far post for an easy finish. Anchs regained the lead shortly before half time after a mazy dribble into the D by Owen hamer, left CJ Verrall with another opportunity 5m from goal; he doesn’t normally miss from that range as he proved again.

Sutton Valence came hard at the home side in the early part of the second half but Anchs weathered the storm and took a further lead when Brewer scored his second of the game from a worked short corner. 3-1 up and seemingly in control Anchs should have seen the game out. However, Sutton Valence has other ideas and stepped up their performance resulting in two quick equalising goals as the Anchs defence seemed to lose it’s normal composure.

There was still time for Anchs to have the final say with a penalty corner in the dying minutes. Paul Gray struck the ball into the net but it was correctly ruled illegal for being too high. Anchs will rue their lapses in concentration which prevented their first win of the season, although their were planty of positives to take from the game, particularly the continuing development of youngster Harry Banfield.