Gillingham Anchorians 7 Gore Court 2.

With promotion sealed the week before, Anchs went into this local derby knowing full well that it was going to be a tough physical battle. The pre-match team talk focused on maintaining the excellent effort as the week before and ensuring three points.

The game started with Anchs on top with Mike Lindley, Chris Lack and Jake Stevens controlling the middle. Half chances which fell to Callum Harris and Ash Risby were not taken. From a counter attack Gore Court were awarded a debatable penalty flick which was put away. This spared Anchs into action and within minutes Anchs were level following a good finish from Chris Lack. With Anchs dominant the score was soon three one with Callum Harris scoring both goals.

The second half again started with Anchs in control. However a very poor tackle saw Gore Court awarded another penalty flick which was also put away. For the rest of the game it was one way traffic with Anchs in total control.  Another goal from Callum Harris, a penalty flick from Glen Rawson, a good first time strike from Ash Risby and a well taken finish from Jake Stevens put Anchs ensured Anchs continue their excellent progress this year.

Gillingham Anchs 2 Burnt Ash 1.

Top of the table and previously unbeaten Burnt Ash were the visitors to Anchs in a game that would see Anchs not only beat the champions of the league but also seal promotion themselves. A massive well done to all involved in the team – a richly deserved promotion after a season of hard work.

Having seen the weather Anchs were somewhat reluctant to warm up so instead hid upstairs and drank tea until the last possible minute. A mediocre warm up sent Anchs into what they knew would be a tough game. The game started in an even fashion with both sides cancelling each other out and neither ‘keeper being tested. However midway through the first half a superb team move which involved Andy White breaking down the right and passing  the ball to Glen Rawson who ghosted past the defender and squared the ball for Callum Harris to give Anchs the lead with a good finish. The rest of the half saw Anchs defend well with the returning Ian Rawson and Gary Jackson in control. Following an illegal stop from a short corner, Ash Risby was very unfortunate to hit the post from the resulting penalty flick. Burnt Ash managed to pull level from a penalty corner which Jake Stevens was unfortunate not to clear. One all at the break.

For most of the second half Anchs were up against it. From a penalty corner ‘keeper Darren Richardson made an outstanding save to his left to keep the scores level as well as pulling off a world class stick save which even the opposition applauded. Fantastic defensive work from the whole team was rewarded with a breakaway goal which saw Callum Harris grab the winner with ten to go. Fantastic defensive work from Jack Oxby, Mike Lindley and Chris Lack saw Anchs hold on to celebrate a fine victory!

A massive thank you to Ann Hopkins for umpiring so superbly.

Men’s 2nd XI versus Folkestone 16/03/13 lost 1-2

The men’s 2nd XI travelled to Folkestone on Saturday and after a great run of results, suffered it’s first defeat since early January.

In cold wet conditions the first half was fairly evely contested, although Folkestone probably had the best scoring opportunities and came closet to a goal from a penalty corner. A drag flick from the top of the D was well saved by Anchs ‘keeper Karl Thomas. Anchs enjoyed a good spell of possession midway through the half and came closest to opening their account after a good work down the left flank by debutant Ian Price resulted in a penalty corner of their own. Brewer’s short was well saved in front of goal. Chris Risby playing up front linked up well with Owen Hamer on a number of occasions but the Folkestone defence always managed to clear the danger. Risby did have a one opportunity when straight through on the keeper but his shot was well saved. Folkestone had the best of the last 10 minutes of the half but couldn’t break the deadlock and 0-0 at half time reflected a fairly even contest.

In the second half with the wind at their backs Anchs created a few more opportunities. Two or three free hits were worked into the D but Anchs forwards couldn’t quite get the final touch that mattered. It was a little bit against the run of play that Folkestone took the lead midway through the second period. A couple of clumsy tackles outside the D rightly resulted in a penalty corner and this one was worked well by Folkestone to create the successful scoring opportunity.

The game developed into a very end to end affair as Anchs searched for the equaliser. Brewer went close but only succeeded in rattling the side board. However, it wasn’t long before Anchs were on equal terms. Price looked to have tacken the ball too far to the left to create a scoring chance, but his reverse stick shot flew into the net.

The final 10 minutes was very competitive as both sides sought the winner. Anchs had a great opportunity as Paul Gray laid the ball into Adam Williams’ path. Williams first time shot looked to be going in but the Folkestone ‘keeper just managed to get the toe of his kicker to the ball to keep the ball out.

Shortly after Anchs failed to deal with a bouncing ball into the D and the Folkestone centre forward managed to get the final tip onto the ball to guide it into the goal.

Holcombe 2 Anchs 1st XI 4.

After last weeks’ disaster against Blackheath, Anchs got their promotion push back on track with a deserved win away at local rivals Holcombe. Following a poor warm up Anchs dominated the opening 15 minutes and two excellent team goals, finished by Callum Harris saw Anchs sail into a commanding position. However soon the home side were back in the game following a favourable penalty corner decision and a very favourable penalty flick decision which saw Holcs drew level.

The second half was almost all Anchs. A great one on one save by ‘keeper Darren Richardson kept the scores level and goals from Joe Byrant and Ash Risby saw Anchs deservedly come away with three points despite a yellow card to Chris Lack.

Next week sees top of the table Burnt Ash come to Anchs for a top of the table clash.

Anchs 1 Blackheath 4.

‘A bad day at the office’ sums this game up for Anchs. Without doubt the worst performance of the season and Anchs were rightfully punished by a good side. However still being well clear in second, Anchs have it all to play for in the last four games of the season in their bid for promotion.

The warm up was excellent but Anchs started the game on the back foot. In the opening minutes of the game Blackheath were awarded a penalty flick which ‘keeper Darren Richardson and the post managed to keep out between them. However Blackheath took the lead following a well taken drag flick from a short corner. Anchs however were soon back in the game following a good finish from Jake Stevens. However with more or less the last touch of the first half Blackheath went back into the lead with their forward being left unmarked two yards out and slotting the ball home. 2-1 to Blackheath at half time.

The second half started well for Anchs but they were unable to trouble the opposition ‘keeper. A break away saw Anchs outnumbered six on three and clever play from Blackheath saw them score at the back post to go 3-1 up. Having lost the midfield completely Blackheath scored a fourth when their player was allowed to run into the D and smash the ball into the bottom corner. 4-1 to Blackheath. A needless yellow card to Joe Byrant made Anchs afternoon even worse.

Congratulations to Jack Oxby for an outstanding display on both wings which earned him the man of the match prize and as always massive thanks to Trev for umpiring.