The following phrase sums up this game – ‘we robbed New Beccs’. Without doubt Anchs worst performance of the season somehow saw them return back down the A2 with three crucial points in their push for promotion.
The warm up was poor but the post match chat warned Anchs that they were in for a tough physical game; words which rang true. The game started in an even fashion. It was New Beccs who had the first real opportunity which forced a good stick save from keeper Darren Richardson. However mid way through the first half it was Anchs who took the lead. A well worked short corner saw captain Mike Lindley’s cross come shot somehow go past the ‘keeper and defenders on the line to give Anchs an undeserved lead. New Beccs bossed the rest of the first half as Anchs forgot their basics and only good defending from Mark O’Brien and Gary Jackson kept the home side out. 1-0 at half time.
The second half continued in the same vain. Within 15 minutes the game had changed. New Beccs were 2-1 up with a good finish and an unlucky OG. However this galvanised Anchs. A good reverse finish (at the third time of asking) from Joe Byrant and a good finish from Callum Harris give Anchs an undeserved win but in all honesty, who cares? Three points is three points!
Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI, this week, made a trip up to Tunbridge Wells to play their 2nd XI. The warm up was the most enthusiastic of the season which I suspect was largely due to the freezing weather and flakes of snow in the air. The strong warm up clearly put Anchs in the right frame of mind as they took the game from the off and were immediately pushing into the home team’s D. Sarah Hopkins and Tina Hamer were making good runs up front, dragging the ‘Wells defence apart and making space.
However, Tunbridge seemed to have luck on their side as less than ten minutes into the game, Hannah Bennett, in left mid took a painful hit to the ankle and had to take herself off the pitch. Anch’s formation was thrown and they lost their shape, allowing ‘Wells more of the ball. However, Tubridge could only make one goal out of Anchorians’ confusion thanks to the strong defence of Lucy Morgan, Emma Strangleman and Emma Harris. 1-0 at the break but Strangleman was carrying a groin strain which was getting progressively worse.
Anchs changed formation, with Sarah Watkinson dropping back to make a back four. Heidi Hadfield and Laura Hopkins took the centre midfield roles in a more traditional 4-4-2 formation, Bennett on the left wing and Rachel Rawson on the right. But bag luck hadn’t finished with the visitors yet as Watkinson’s foot injury was aggravated, Rawson’s asthma and Strangleman’s groin injury flaring up causing them both to leave the pitch. Anchorians were luck to have Abby Atkinson to call upon for the extra support upfront as Hamer fell back into midfield. At this point though, it was more damage control than anything else. Tunbridge were doing well to make the most of their player advantage and use the counter-attack to devistating effect slotting 3 more past Sonia Houlker in goal.
However, Anchorians were not without their own attacks, Hamer came close from an excellent Hadfield ball but managed to turn it into her own players stomach rather than the back of the goal. Their short corners were as dangerous as ever and overall, they were unfortunate not to convert at least one of their chances. That being said, ‘Wells were the team on top for most of the game and the score line could have been significantly more were it not for the ever-reliant keeping of Houlker who had to deal with a couple of one-on-ones in the second half.
Anchorians can take a lot from this game; the runs upfront are looking dangerous and are being spotted by the midfield more and more, the defence is working well together and short corners, both attacking and defending are as strong as ever. Player of the match went to Bennett who was strong on the left and made some excellent runs up the line and special went to Hadfield who spent the majority of the game calling Abby, “Tammy”. Next week, Anchorians face Sevenoaks Acorns at home.
- Tunbridge Wells 2nd XI – 4
- Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI – 0
Starting the second half of the season 7 points clear in second, Anchs were keen to maintain this gap but were in no doubt that a very tough match away at rivals Ashford awaited them. The opening game of the season had seen Anchs win 6-4 at half so Anchs knew they had maintain their efforts up top whilst improving at the back.
A good warm up and pre match talk got Anchs in the right frame of mind. The words of LD helped Anchs get focused and the game started at a good pace. The midfield team of Lacky, Mike, Glen, Ash and Jake took total control of the game. The pace of Callum and Gordy up top was also causing problems for the Ashford defence. It was no surprise then that Anchs took the lead when Callum Harris slotted home past the home ‘keeper to put Anchs 1 up. Soon the home side were back in the game and were rather fortunate to be awarded a penalty flick, even though the shot was going wide. A poor flick was easily saved to his low right by Daz and from this point Anchs dominated the game. From a short corner which seemed to break down about ten times, Lacky put Anchs 2 up by half time.
The second half was all Anchs. The back three of LD, Andy and OB gave the opposition no chance and in fairness Anchs should have scored a bucket load more in the second half. Their 3rd goal came from Callum Harris again who somehow managed to beat the home ‘keeper at this near post. A lovely set of teas after – sausages, chips and beans and a nice pint, added to 3 points sent Anchs back along the M20 in a good mood.
Next up is T’Wells at home at 1.30pm at home on Saturday 19/1/13. All support would be most welcome.
The Men’s 2nd XI returned to winning ways with a 1-0 home victory over Ashford. Anchs were determined to put last week’s 6-1 defeat behind them and started the match at the right tempo, controlling the game for the first 15-20 minutes. Unfortunately all the pressure resulted in very few scoring opportunities although Ben Selby’s constant threat down the right could have resulted in a few penalty corners. However, none were given and as the half progressed Ashford began to get into the game more. The Ashford skipper and centre forward has proved a constant threat in previous encounters in the the recent past but Iain Rawson was quick to cancel out that threat, invariably getting to the ball first. yahoo ask The half ended goal-less.
Anchs again started well in the second half with the pace of Owen Hamer, CJ Verrall and Jack Oxby proving difficult for the vistors to handle. The only goal of the game came after Paul Gray won the ball in midfield. The ball was fed to Oxby who broke down the right and delivered a classic dog leg pass into the path of Verrall who finished in typically clinical fashion.
Ashford upped their game from that point on and definitley had the better of the second half possession. However, Anchs defended solidly rarely allowing Ashford shots on target, although Anchs were indebted to keeper Karl Thomas for two fine second half saves.
Anchs had their own opporunities on the break. Three further breaks down the right, follwed by great crosses resulted in a near miss from Richard Brewer, and another off target shot from Ben Lindley and a fine save from the Ashford keeper from the same player.
Anchs were delighted to hear the final whistle and gain a hard fought 3 points.
In this re-arranged fixture, Anchs recorded a 5-3 victory over local rivals Holcombe, to take themselves to the top of the table by 1 point.
The super form of Mark Hamer saw him bag 4 of the 5 goals, and assisted with the 5th, scored by Joel Divers.
Lets keep it going guys