A fantastic victory signed off an outstanding season for Anchs who are now looking forward to life in the kent/sussex regional leagues next year. Going up as champions and winning the league by nine points and a massive goal difference proved that Anchs were the dominant side in their league this year. A decent warm up and start to the game saw Anchs in control with the midfield of Chris lack, Jake Stevens and Lindon Lockhart winning some tackles and passing the ball well. This resulted in several short corners which unfortunately Anchs were unable to eject properly. However eventually a well worked short corner saw Anchs take the lead. This brought Sevenoaks to life and soon they were level when Anchs needlessly gave the ball away and the unmarked forward slotted home at the back post. However within a minute an aerial caused havoc in the Sevenoaks defence with Callum Harris slotting home. Soon it was three one following another good finish. Although three one up Anchs knew they could play better and with a big home support produced a much improved second half performance with saw Callum Harris complete his hat trick and player of the season Ben Selby finish off a fantastic team goal. Well done to everyone who played a role in a fantastic season! Bring on next season!
Gillingham Anchorians ladies 1st XI this week faced second in the table, Meopham whose promotion was already secure. With the other matches taking place in the league, Anchs had a chance to go third, depending on the day’s results. Anchs’ start surprised Meopham with a good level of hockey and determination to get the win, with particularly strong attacks by Emma Harris and Sarah Lack down the left. Within the first fifteen minutes, Anchs had already won themselves eight or nine short corners but were unable to convert due to good defending and breakdowns of play. Half time found the game still at deadlock but Anchs were looking by far the more likely team to break it, Meopham having squandered what was to be their only short corner of the game. In the second half, Meopham fought back but Anchorians stepped up their game and were rewarded with their third penalty stroke in as many weeks when a defender on the line stopped Captain Laura Hopkins’ shot with her body. Mel Young stepped up and once again, put the ball in the back of the net. The lead was short lived though, when a ball was given away by an Anchs player, straight into the path of Meopham’s two strikers who had only Heidi Hadfield and Goalkeeper Sarah Hrebien to beat. The forwards passed it round the Anchs defence calmly and slotted home an easy goal. The game settled from here and neither team looked like scoring further. Anchs moved up to fourth in the table with their last match against mid-table Tunbridge Wells.
Anchs travelled to local rivals Old Bordenians, who are fighting for their lives in order to avoid relegation. A good team talk and warm up sent Anchs into the game and it was Anchs who made the better start. The midfield of Rob Dixon, Jake Stevens and Chris Lack dominated the game with Jack Oxby causing havoc down the right hand side. Soon Anchs deservedly took the lead following some excellent work from Jack Oxby who put the opener on a plate for Chris Lack to smash home. Any opposition attacks were easily defended by Gareth Price, Gary Jackson and Mike Lindley.
However the start of the second half saw the tide turned with the opposition gaining possession and territory but despite winning several short corners, good defending and some good goalkeeping from Darren Richardson kept them out. A fantastic run and decent finish from man of the match Jack Oxby put Anchs further into the lead and this was followed by a quality finish from C J Verrall. However soon the opposition pulled one back from a short corner but almost instantly a smart finish from Callum Harris put Anchs 4-1 up with ten to go. Anchs then decided to constantly give away possession and failed to mark properly allowing the opposition to score two more goals to hang on for a 4-3 win.
Gillingham Anchorians ladies 1st XI travelled to bottom of the table Bromley and Beckenham 4s with a move up the table in their sights. A strong team took the game to BromBecks from the off and had them pinned in their own area for large portions of the game. An Anchs goal was a matter of when, rather than if, and it wasn’t long to wait. Laura Watters found herself unmarked in the area and sent the ball goal bound, where it lifted off the keeper for Bex Ward to get the final touch into the net. The second followed shortly after when, bizarrely, a defender reached out to catch a wide shot, resulting in a penalty flick which Mel Young stepped up to calmly slot past the keeper for a second week in a row. The second half became almost like target practise as the goals came thick and fast. The third of the afternoon went to Hannah Shimmin who, from a short corner, deflected the ball through the keeper’s legs. The forth to captain Laura Hopkins, who found the ball loose at another short corner and lifted over the defenders stick and the goal line. The fifth came from left back, Emma Harris who saw her cross deflect up, off a defenders stick and the goalkeeper, into the backboard. The final goal of the game came from Laura Watters who saw her first shot rebounded straight back to her and made sure she hit her mark with her second attempt. Six different goal scorers seems fitting as Anchs take themselves to six games unbeaten, five wins in a row and as they’ve stormed up the table to within one point of third place.
Promotion at last! After a long hard season of hard work Anchs are promoted to the kent/sussex league. A good warm up meant Anchs were focused for what was going to be a tough game. Anchs made the perfect start to the game when after only a few minutes a good team move resulted with Callum Harris slotting home to give Anchs the lead. However for some reason unbeknown to me, Anchs then decided to switch off and allow the opposition back into the game. However outstanding defending from Mike Lindley, Gareth Price and Gary Jackson kept Anchs in the lead. Following an outstanding aerial from Gareth Price and an even better take from Jack Oxby and an awful foul from the defender on Oxby, Anchs won a stroke which Price dispatched perfectly to put Anchs 2 nil up by half time.The second half was a game of two halves. The first 20 mins saw Anchs dominate and two good finishes from Lindon Lockhart saw Anchs cruise into a commanding lead. However after this Anchs switched off and were overloaded twice which saw the opposition score twice. Although not a great performance, who cares, as Anchs won again and are promoted!! Next week a tough game away to Old Bordenians awaits.
Gillingham Anchorians ladies 1st XI faced Herne Bay ladies 1s and were quickly on top of the game, looking like the stronger side but the first goal came against the run of play as Herne Bay broke, the ball deflected up and an attacker was there to nudge it past keeper Sarah Hrebien in midair. The score was soon level though as Anchs won a short corner and Laura Watters was denied on the post by a defender’s foot. Mel Young stepped up to take the resulting penalty flick and slotted it calmly past the goalkeeper to level the scores. The next goal came just minutes later as Emma Strangleman sent the ball to Sarah Hopkins on the base line, who drove into the area with Bex Ward on hand to get the ball across the line. The second half continued in the same fashion with Anchorians dominating and Herne Bay reduced to counter attacks which were easily cut out. The game was sealed at another short corner where Heidi Hadfield and Young played a calm one-two past the first defender and Sarah Hopkins got the final deflection to lift the ball over a defenders stick and into the net.
Following on from last weeks poor display against Maidstone, Anchs made the short journey to Holcombe for a top of the table clash. Anchs were very quiet before the game as everyone was focused on the game and the same could be said for the warm up. It was Holcombe who made the better start and early in the game Anchs keeper Darren Richardson kept the scores level with a decent stop from a penalty corner. However soon Holcombe managed an overload on the right and took the lead with a smart finish at the back post. This sparked Anchs to life with Jake Stevens and Rob Dixon giving Chris Lack and Jack Oxby plenty of the ball and soon Anchs were level following a good team goal. Soon Anchs found themselves three one up following an OG and a good finish from Lindon Lockhart. However with the last hit of the half Holcombe pulled one back from a short corner despite a good initial save. 3-2 at half time.
The second half again began with Holcombe on top. They won several short corners but excellent defending from Mike Lindley, Chris Lack and good clearances from Gareth Price and a great save on the line by Gary Jackson as well as more good goalkeeping from Darren Richardson kept Holcombe out. A counter attack started by Ash Risby ended up with Callum Harris cheekily reserve scooping the ball into the bottom corner to put Anchs four two up. Despite constant Holcombe pressure, Anchs held firm and showed why they have the best defensive record in the league. Towards the end of the game another good team goal saw Jack Oxby slot home off the foot of the Holcombe defender to give Anchs a fantastic three points which edges them closer to promotion. A massive thank you to those who came and supported.
Next week Anchs welcome Uni of Kent at 1.30pm. All support would be welcome.
Anchorians Ladies 1st XI faced an early start against the team one place and seven points above them in the league, Ashford 2s. Despite a difficult pitch, Anchs started brightly and quickly took control of the game, with several chances going just wide of goal and Ashford pinned inside their own area. Mel Young’s dangerous crosses resulted in a number of short corners for Anchorians. These were rewarded when player of the match, Sarah Lack, struck at goal, only for her effort to be stopped on the line but the clearance made it no further than Young, who send the ball rocketing back to goal, Ashford defence were unable to cope and Emma Strangleman forced the loose ball over the line. The second half was much the same, with Ashford constrained to breaks in play, but never looked truly dangerous with Strangleman controlling the defence of Emma Harris and Ash Davenport. The game was sealed with another Anchorians short corner and more brilliant work from Young and Lack. The ball fell to Young who found herself surrounded but managed to slip a perfectly weighted pass to Lack who put an unstoppable effort into the net. The win closes the deficit to only four points with just four games left.
After winning twelve games in a row, Anchs finally felt defeat by a well drilled Maidstone side who are fighting to survive in kent premier 1 this season. Despite a stern warning that this would not be a walk in the park a poor warm up was followed by an awful opening 15 minutes which saw Maidstone on top. Only solid work from Anchs back three; Gary Jackson, Gareth Price and Mike Lindley as well as some decent saves and good clearances from keeper Darren Richardson kept the score nil nil. Once Anchs actually woke up they played some decent hockey. During this period CJ Verrall slotted home to give Anchs a one nil lead. Soon two open goals were also missed by Anchs and this was to prove costly. The second half started much the same as the first with Anchs slow out of the blocks. It was during this period that Maidstone took the lead from firstly from a short corner and then from a penalty stroke. Despite late pressure and a number of short corners Anchs were unable to draw level and tasted defeat for the first time in ages. Next week is a top of the table clash against Holcombe and Anchs will look to try to get back to winning ways.