BBHC 3 Anchs 1st XI 3.

One of Anchs toughest games this season which saw them return down the A2 (after very good teas –chip buddies and beer!) with a hard earned point that keeps their promotion hopes alive and kicking with 6 games to go.

The warm up was good and Anchs made the better start with Chris Lack taking control in the middle aided by Michael Lindley and Jake Stevens. A few half chances saw Joe Byrant force a save from their keeper and Callum Harris almost get on the end of a good move involving Glen Rawson. However it was the home team that took the lead midway through the first half. A counter attack from a defensive short corner which almost saw Ash Risby lose his head saw Anchs heavily outnumbered at the back. Clever play and having a man free at the back post, allowed BBHC to work a good goal. However Anchs went back on the attack and within 5 minutes Glen Rawson scored a reverse stick that would not have looked out of place in the National Leagues. With Anchs in control a poor mistake by Chris Lack allowed the centre forward a run in on goal, where he slipped the ball past ‘Keeper Darren Richardson, allowing his partner to score from one yard out. 2-1 to BBHC at half time.

Following a ‘let’s get at them’ chat at half time, Anchs took control with Ash Risby particularly impressive on the left. Sustained pressure led to Anchs being awarded a flick with Ash Risby somehow managed to squeeze between the ‘keepers legs. Having pulled level Anchs decided to sit back. Despite good shot stopping from ‘keeper Darren Richardson and excellent defending from Gary Jackson and Simon Pickard, BBHC retook the lead when their centre forward was left unmarked at the back post and slotted home a good reverse finish. Anchs then woke up and should have been in the lead but for poor finishing meant they were still behind with 5 to go. A wonderful team movement saw Anchs draw level in the closing stages. A great pass from Gary Jackson to Jake Stevens saw Jack Oxby released down the right and his pace saw him cut through the opposition defence and slip the ball to Callum Harris who finished well.

A massive thank you to Mark Hamer for umpiring the game superbly well.

Next week Blackheath come to town and Anchs will be looking for three points!

Mens 5s vs Maidstone

Maidstone called in the later half of the week and cancelled this fixture, meaning Anchs took an automatic 5-0 win. This makes up for the game the 5s pulled last week. Thus meaning Anchs still sit comftably in 2nd place, only 1 point behind leaders Blackheath.

The league has never been so even and tight for the Mens 5th XI

Gillingham Anchorians 1st xi 11(eleven) Herne Bay 1.

Without doubt the worst opposition Anchs have faced this year, but a professional job nevertheless which sees Anchs maintain their 14 point advantage in the battle for promotion.

The warm up and pre match chat focused on imposing our game on the opposition but it was Herne Bay who made the brighter start and won a short corner in the opening 30 seconds, which was very well charged down by Andy White. For the next 69 minutes more or less, Anchs completed dominated the game.

The prolific Joe Byrant opened the scoring and by the final whistle had five goals to his name (another jug!!) and both Callum Harris and Glen Rawson got in on the act too. A flick, YES A FLICK, from Simon Pickard put Anchs in total control by half time.

The half time team talk focused on more of the same and Anchs did not disappoint in the second.  6 additional goals including two from Gordon Thomson and one from Jake Stevens gave Anchs a fine victory. The gloss was taken off the victory when Herne Bay scored a late penalty flick, despite ‘keeper Darren Richardson saving the first attempt the away umpire decided that Herne Bay should be given another go (even though the laws of the game say that if the taker goes before the whistle it’s a 16) which the young forward put away.

A much tougher fixture awaits away to BBHC next week.

Thanks to Ben Selby for umpiring.

Mens 3 vs Holcombe 16/2/13

Stand in skipper Chris Billingham has once again steared the side to another win in this 5-2 victory over bitter local rivals Holcombe.
Some fantasticlly worked goals from Dave Stewart, Ben Selby, Pat Lindley, Simon Trythall and Peter Weekes ensured the well earned win.
With Keith Walters in fine form within the sweeper position, some questions were asked if the team really need Captain Sam week in week out?

Men’s 2nd XI 3-0 versus BBHC Sat 16th February

The Men’s 2nd XI maintained it’s recent run of good form with another clean sheet and a 3-0 vitory at Bexleyheath and Belvedere on Saturday. A lack of availability in the top sides meant there were a few chnages but this did not compromise the teams effort or performance.

BBHC settled into the game quicker and had Anchs under a fair bit of pressure in the first 15 minutes. Neil Byre and Iain Rawson ensured that the pressure was soaked up without too many clear cut opportunities, although goalkeeper, Mike Israel, was called on to make one crucial save.

Anchs were in the lead from midway through the half with their first real penetrating attack. Chris Risby fed a beautiful pass along the left flank to CJ Verrall. Verrall, unusually in the position of provider, slipped a square ball into the D, past the advancing keeper, leaving Danny Bungay to slide the ball in un-marked.

BBHC fed a number of potentially dangerous long balls forward, including several aerials, but forunately for Anchs the forwards were never quite able to latch onto the passes.

Anchs doubled their lead toward the end of the first half. This time Owen Hamer worked the ball down the right and delivered a dangerous ball into the D, which Bungay again found himself in a great position to fire the ball into the corner.

BBHC came out much more determined in the second half and at times the Anchs back line was under seige. However, the vistors have been in this position before and calm and calculated defending kept the home side at bay. BBHC’s sustained pressure forced a number of penalty corners, but they were never able to convert them into goals. Israel made a couple of fine saves from aerials and Neil Byrne did well to deflect another rasied shot over the bar.

Anchs scored the decisive goal immediately after one of these corners. Skipper, Richard Brewer, released a quick free hit to Verrall and after an interchange with Bungay and Hamer, Verrall fired an unstoppable shot from the right hand side of the D into the roof of the net, for arguable his finest goal. BBHC still pressed and gained further penalty corners but Anchs defence reamined resolute.

A fine all round team performance.

Gravesham 2 Anchs 1st xi 5

Without doubt the worst pitch we have played on this year but needless to say a well earned 3 points which keeps Anchs promotion drive on track. The early time didn’t seem to affect Anchs at all and in fact the warm up and the pre-match chat were just about spot on as was evident by the outstanding start to the game. Anchs absolutely flew out of the blocks and Gravesham could not contain them. Mike (who admitted his black book is no more) and Lacky dominated the middle and the attacking five of Ash, Jake, Glen, Joe and Callum destroyed the opposition. Within 15 mins Anchs were 3 nil up following 2 goals from Callum and a return to scoring for Joe. In all honesty Anchs should have been 6 up but poor finishing let them down. For a reason unbeknown to me at this stage rather than taking the game by the throat, Anchs decided to stop playing. Gravesham dominated the rest of the half and despite good goalkeeping from Daz and solid defensive work from Andy, LD and OB (what happens in Paris..stays in Paris until the 23rd March) the home side did pull one back following a good finish.

Even though the half time talk did focus on Anchs starting the 2nd half as they did the 1st, this was not the case. Anchs did however add two additional goals in the second half following an unbelievable first time finish from Ash (open your eyes next time) and a flick/drag flick from Joe. Gravesham did manage to knick another in the 2nd half when there forward was left unmarked at the back post for a tap in. Overall a good result but an indifferent performance. Next week Herne Bay visit and Anchs will be in for another tough game.

Men’s 2nd XI 1-0 versus Cliftonville 9th Feb

The 2nd XI atoned for it’s earlier 6-1 defeat at the hands of Cliftonville with a hard fought 1-0 victory at home on Saturday.

The first half was quite a cagey affair as both sides assessed their opponents strengths. Anchs probably enjoyed more of possession with Cliftonville creating the better scoring opportunities. Michael Israel made a couple of crucial saves in quick succession and Cliftonville would have hoped to do better from a number of short corners but Ben Selby running one, closed them down well. Clftonville had a good shout for a penalty flick when the ball was played into Tom Banfield’s feet but the decision was a penalty corner which Anchs kept out well.

The half time talk was about maintaining the tempo but adding a bit of composure and this is exactly what Anchs achieved in the second half. Gordon Thomson and CJ Verrall almost created a scoring opportunity from the restart but ultimately the vistors defence coped with the threat. Anchs stretched Cliftonville by moving wide and at pace and it was no surprise that Anchs took the lead midway through the second period. A Paul Gray ball into the D was helped on by Richard Brewer to Tom Banfield (making a surprise appearance in the oppostion D) for CJ Verrall to finish with a reverse stick shot from an acute angle.

Cliftonville upped their game from that moment on and put the Anchs defence under considerable pressure. It is a measure of how far the team has come that it is capable of withstanding these kind of onslaughts. Gray, Brewer, Iain Rawson and Neil Byrne made a number of timely tackles and Cliftonville were unlucky with a lifted strike that hit a post.

Shortly after, Anchs could have settled the nerves with a second, with a quick break invloving Owen Hamer, Verrall and Thomson resulting in Thomson’s shot going narrowly wide. Cliftonville launched a final salvo looking for the equaliser but, despite having to endure another sequence of penalty corners the home side held firm for a rewarding 3 points.

Captain’s Blog – Game Date: 02/02/2013

This week Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI played at home for the first time in about two months! Their opposition was Burnt Ash Ladies 1s, top of the league, who have taken three points from every game played this season. The challenge was the biggest the Anchorians ladies had face this season and they rose to it magnificently.

The Anchorians warm up was strong and they were focused as the game began. Burnt Ash put on the pressure from the start but the defence of Lucy Morgan, Emma Strangleman and Emma Harris dealt with it well, with Sarah Hopkins providing an extra level of support as sweeper. However, the first chance fell to Ash as the ball struck Sarah Watkinson on the foot, mere inches inside the D. Burnt Ash made the most of it with a superb short corner which hit the top of the back board.

Anchorians were not deterred and pushed back from the off, Mel Young making a guest appearance as a solo forward and Laura Hopkins in midfield putting the pressure on the Ash defenders, closing them down quickly and making them chase loose balls. The visitors defence must have had it pretty easy this season and didn’t cope well with the pressure, gradually making more and more mistake which A’s were quick to capitalise on. However, as usual, they just couldn’t get the ball over the goal line.

Against the run of play, Burnt Ash made a break and, with some good work from their forward and perhaps a little miscommunication between Strangleman and Sonia Houlker, in goal, th ball was slipped past the defense to roll in. Anchorians followed this with a funny five minutes in which marking suffered, but communication from Strangleman in defence and Heidi Hadfield and Sarah Watkinson in centre mid, helped cover the problems. The first half ended  2-0 to Burnt Ash but Anchorians were positive in their half time talk and came out ready to fight for the game.

If you were to read Burnt Ash’s report of this game, nothing really happened in the second half. The reason for this, I strongly suspect, is that nothing much really happened in Anchorians defensive D. Burnt Ash were struck and looked to be out of ideas, anyone watching from the sideline would have been shocked to find that Anchorians were behind by two goals! They played their best hockey of the season with Devia Bijkerk and Hannah Bennett pushing from the wings, putting the wide defenders under pressure.

With such an intense game, Anchorians were lucky to have two players ready to sub on with Rachel Bennett and Jackie Grey stepping up to make sure there was no weak point in the Anchorians armour. With all this pressure, goals must have been abundant in the second half, right? Er…no! Anchorians seem to suffer from a crippling inability to put the ball, over the line, between the white posts! Anchorians played their best hockey of the season against the best opponents in the league and looked to be by far the better team in the last thirty-five minutes. There is much that they can take from this game, and despite the scoreline can walk into their next game (away vs Maidstone) with heads held high.

Player was given to Mel Young who’s constant work caused more than a few errors in the opposition defence. She was also awarded Special for earning herself a green card after arguing with the umpire over a dangerous ball.

  • Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI – 0
  • Burnt Ash (Bexley) Ladies 1s – 2


P.S. Those following the Captain’s Blog will have notice that last weeks report is missing. Let us just say it was not a game worth reporting and leave it at that.