Anchs travelled to table topping Brighton in the hope of finally kick starting their season back in the regional leagues. However after a poor start to the game Anchs were two down inside ten minutes following a good finish and a well taken short corner. This seemed to wake Anchs up and for the rest of the game Anchs played some good hockey and by half time were back in the game following a close range finish from Linden Lockhart. The same player also forced a great stick save from the Brighton goalkeeper. Anchs also started the second half the better side but were caught by a counter attack that saw Brighton go three one up. Anchs soon got back into the game following a good team goal from a penalty corner that saw Linden Lockhart slot home and despite late pressure Anchs were unable to find a late equaliser. A lot of positives to take into next weeks journey to Worthing but Anchs must start games in a more focused manner if they want to get points on the board.
The men’s 2nd XI enjoyed an emphatic 5-2 victory away to local rivals Old Williamsonians on Saturday. Anchs started the brighter of the two teams moving the ball well around the pitch so it was really against the run of play the home side took the lead from it’s first penalty corner. A goal bound shot found a deflection and hit stand-in skipper, Richard Brewer’s foot on the line to give OWs a penalty flick, which was emphatically dispatched. Anchs equalised almost immediately as Ash Risby won the ball in midfield and almost unchallenged made his way to the top of the D before calmly slotting into the corner of the goal. OWs were soon back in the lead following a mix up in the Anchs defence. Thus followed OWs best period of the game. Despite a sequence of penalty corners OWs were not able to capitalise. Anchs were indebted to a fine double save from ‘keeper, Chris Billingham to ensure the lead remained a single goal. After this little wobble Anchs again began to take control and equalised, again through Ash Risby, shortly before the interval.
In the second period Anchs stepped up a gear with Risby and Rob Dixon bossing the midfield and debutant Matius Puche hitting a number of telling long range passes. Anchs took the lead midway through the second half as Gordon Thomson got a touch on a drive into the D. From then on Anchs really took charge as Ben Selby, Chris Risby and OJ Standeven continued to create chances for the visitors, with only occasional breaks from the home side. These were by and large snuffed out by the visitors defence with Mark O’Brien, in particular, making a number of timely interceptions. Anchs extended their lead from a penalty corner, this time the younger Risby brother, Chris, hitting the target. Chris Risby added his second shortly after, cracking the ball into the corner of the goal from the top of the D.
After last weeks disappointing display against Horsham, Anchs were keen to get their season back on track at home to Sevenoaks. An excellent team talk and warm up got Anchs up for the game and the game started very evenly with Jake Stevens and Justin Harris getting stuck in. The first real chance feel to Sevenoaks but a good stop from Anchs keeper Darren Richardson and a clearance from Gareth Price kept the scores level. Soon Sevenoaks took control and found themselves two up from two short corners. These events sparked Anchs back to life and by half time Lindon Lockhart had pulled one back with a decent reserve finish. The second half saw Anchs make a slow start and soon Sevenoaks were three one up from another penalty corner which luckily looped into the goal. This again woke Anchs up and soon Lindon Lockhart scored from another short corner to make it 3-2. Although Anchs did have chances to equalise they were unable to do so. Although another defeat a much better performance will hopefully get Anchs season up and running in the near future.
A double header of a weekend saw Anchs travel to Horsham and Cliftonville for two tough games. First up was a long journey to Horsham for a tough league game. Unfortunately Anchs were missing a few regulars and those who came in although having given their all were outclassed and lost six nil. To make matters worse, the rain left Anchs feeling both wet and miserable for their long journey home.
Sunday saw the same squad minus two travel to Cliftonville for a Kent Cup game. This was a game of two halves. Sadly the first half was similar to the Horsham game and Anchs were three down at half time but after a few strong words from coach Tom Nissen a different Anchs played the second half and managed to draw it two all with goals from Dan Mutton and Lindon Lockhart. Hopefully this second half performance can be carried into the league game next Saturday against Sevenoaks.
A new look Anchorians second XI travelled down to last years league winners Canterbury. Despite winning the league Canterbury decided against promotion and therefore Anchs knew this would be their toughest test of the season.
Anchs started well and a slick counter attack saw Gordon Thompson win a penalty flick. This was calmly despatched by Glen Rawson putting Anchs one up. Anchs continued to press but unfortunately Canterbury were soon back in the game when their centre forward was given too much space and rounded the keeper! Canterbury continued to press and within minutes were 2-1 up due to slack defending. A sending off for Glen Rawson and injuries to Mike Lindley and Chris Verrall resulted in Canterbury scoring a further two goals and sealing the game 4-1.
Despite the loss there were positives and Anchs will look to put things right next week against Sevenoaks!
Anchs began life back in the regional league with a visit from local rivals Holcombe on one the wettest games of hockey ever played. Despite a bit of a delay in the game before due to head injury which lead to two warm ups it was Anchs who looked the most threatening in the opening exchanges. Unfortunately however Anchs were unable to truly test the Holcombe keeper. Somewhat against the run of play Holcombe took the lead when their forward was given far too much space and slotted home. At this stage Anchs panicked a little and soon Holcombe were two up following a well taken short corner. Anchs did manage to win a few short corners but were unable to equalise in the first half. The second half saw Anchs make a good start and midway through the half they finally made a short corner count and pulled one back from a Jake Stevens goal. At this stage Anchs looked likely to push on, however a costly mistake at the back gifted Holcombe a third goal and despite their best efforts Anchs were unable to get back into the game. Anchs travel to Horsham next week for what will be another challenging game.