Anchs made a long trip to Mid Sussex for what was always going to be a tough game. Coach Tom Nissen hammered home what went well last week and asked for more of the same. A good warm up saw Anchs make a decent start but soon Mid Sussex were one up from a penalty corner which in all honesty should have been saved by keeper Darren Richardson. Soon however Mike Lindley and Rob Dixon were winning the midfield battle and Anchs drew level from a great finish from a penalty corner from Dan Mutton. The next ten minutes saw both sides score with Mati Pumas slotting home for Anchs. With the last touch of the first half a dubious penalty stroke decision saw Mid Sussex take a slender lead into half time. The second half was an even affair with both sides having plenty of chances but being unable to add to their tallies. Credit to defenders Jamie Caulfield, Gareth Price and Rich Perkins who defended well throughout. Overall a disappointing result but there are some positives to take into next weeks home game against BBHC.
Anchs travelled to in form Old Bordenians knowing it would be a tough game and that is exactly what they got. Despite playing considerably better than previous weeks Anchs still ended up on the wrong end of a 5-0 defeat.
Bordenians took the lead early in the first half from their first short corner. Ryan Aymes, in the Anchs goal, did well to save the first short but the rebound fell kindly for one of the OBs strikers and he made no mistake. Bordenians doubled their lead shortly afterwards as Anchs failed to close down a run from one of their midfielders, who took his opportunity expertly from the top of the D. Anchs had their best spell in the last 15 minutes of the first half and would have hoped to get on the scoreboard with their sustained period of pressure, but it was not to be as the OBs goalkeeper made a couple of very good saves and both Chris Risby and OJ Standeven put shots narrowly wide.
Anchs knew any chance of getting back into the game meant they need to score after the break but the game was settled shortly after the restart as OBs scored their third. Anchs continued to press and created further opportunities Chris Risby hitting the post and Richard Brewer drawing another good save from the home keeper. As Anchs pressed, this meant gaps presented themselves in the defence. A superb aerial from OBs caught Anchs out of position and left Ryan Aymes no chance as two attackers bore down on him for OBs 4th. The fifth came as a huge disappointment to Anchs as they had a couple of opportunities to clear but left OBs with a simple tap in at the near post. Whilst there is no doubt OBs deserved their victory Anchs will feel that 5-0 was a little unkind especially as the defence felt it had played extremely well, with Neil Byrne returning to the ranks and Iain Rawson putting on his best display of the season to date.
Anchs gained a hard fought win which pushed them back up the table and out of the relegation zone. Following a detailed team talk and a good warm up Anchs started well and deservedly took the lead through Matias Pumas. This brought Cliftonville back to life and only outstanding defending and goalkeeping kept Anchs in the lead most notably ‘keeper Darren Richardson making a fine save with his face. Just before half time some good pressure finally told for Anchs and Joel Divers slotted home to make it two nil to Anchs. Anchs made a superb start to the second half and were soon six up following good finishes from Mathias Pumas and Joel Divers and smart finishes from short corners from Chris Lack and Tom NIssen put the result beyond doubt. At this stage Cliftonville upped their game and managed two late goals but overall a very good day for Anchs. A tough challenge awaits at Mid Sussex next week.
Our U12 boys were away to hosts Bromley and Beckenham Hockey Club at Langley Park Boys School. A venue with a lovely new pitch but the walk from the car park to the astro was worth at least two warm-ups and the one building site-style portaloo caused a few dismayed looks amongst the supporters, especially the Mums.
Six teams (three from Bromley, two from Sevenoaks and us) all played eachother in a round robin league format. There were some surprises for us the first of which whilst watching the first round from the sidelines was that we were playing penalty shuffles for offences inside the D. With our keeper and penalty takers duly instructed we entered our first game against the eventual winners of the morning’s play. A skillful and attacking side from Brom/Becks kept us camped in our own half and struggling to string any attacking moves together but our defence was solid with keeper Charlie Smith saving three penalty shuffles and making many other saves backed up by the defence around him. The final score was 0-0.
Our second match had a surprise too and despite our midfield beginning to grow in confidence and create all sorts of attacking moves it appeared we were now playing 8-a-side but not everyone knew (or forgot to count the opposition before the game) (my fault as coach). This was our only loss, 1-0 against one of the Sevenoaks sides.
Match three and whilst we started with seven not eight for a few minutes we were fully into our stride, no way through the our defence, outletting the ball to midfield and the wings up to our forwards who now knew where the goal was and weren’t going to let the oppostion get in the way. From here on we only let in one more goal all morning and scored lots.
After a game off (and the coach now counting up to 8 with remarkable regularity) our fourth and fifth games against Brom/becks and Sevenoaks respectively showed the boys fully in their stride. Both games were won comfortably against competent opposition but the last surprise was that the umpire on this pitch was playing short corners! A very quick lesson on the baseline when the first one was given was delivered (no need for a defensive one as we didn’t concede any) and the game continued.
We finished a highly creditable third with the team improving all the time and still enough energy for a knock around on the pitch after all was over.
Huge thanks to to our sizeable crowd of vocal supporters and player of the morning is almost impossible to choose because everybody contributed but this week goes to Charlie Smith for his performance in goal especially during the first game.
Gillingham Anchorians played host to the U12 Girls tournament, which saw teams from Blackheath and Brom & Becs which would challenge our young girls. With a total of 4 teams, we took to the pitch with an agreement of 10 minute games and a decider at the end.
For the first time, we had a goal keeper, where Amy Shave had gladly volunteered as a new recruit for that role and only after having one training session she did a great job throughout the tournament making some lovely saves off the line.
First game against Blackheath 1 was a warm up for the girls as they sorted out their own personal positions and responsibilities within the team. It was a 50/50 match with some hard tackles and an unlucky goal in the first 5 minutes. Anchs struck back with some lovely runs by Jess Gray down the right ring and we could not fault their grit and determination as they came back with a great goal finishing 1-1.
The second game against Brom & Becs was a little more balanced with the same age group throughout. The girls were much more organised, their communication brilliant with some great calls from the back. The defence was strong with some lovely tackles made by Darcie and Amelia. Mid field play from Grace and Rio made it hard for BromBeccs to fight through. After there was concern from the other team that we had 7 on pitch as well as a goalkeeper we encouraged they bring another player on which actually gave them an advantage with 8 outfield players, but that didn’t deter the Anchs girls at all and with some fantastic runs again from Jess and Hollie, the team found their first win at 1-0.
The third game, we thought, was going to be the tough one as the older players from Blackheath 2 were on pitch. The Anchs girls were brilliant. They had listened to the advice from previous games that morning and went out and performed one of the best matches to date. Creating space, supporting, passing, skilful play, defending, tracking back and working as a unit, they showed that they had gelled as a team with effective and dynamic passing and strong tackles which took them to a 3-0 victory.
The decider was for 1st place and they had to take on Blackheath 1, the team they had drawn with at the beginning. Again true determination shone through. This was a 12 minute each way game but with excellent runs down the wing by Jess, strong tackles from Darcie and Amelia, great running and tackling from Rio, Grace, Evie and Anabel and skilful moves from Hollie, they dominated the game from start to finish. With a 1-1 score at half time, it was all to play for and they didn’t disappoint. In true Anchorians style and with some great support from the side line, the girls pulled it back to score 2 more goals in the second half and win the game 3-1 and the overall tournament.
On Sunday 16th November, the Under 10s participated in a mini-tournament involving Canterbury, Anchorians plus hosts Ashford. An excellent turnout enabled all three clubs to field two teams so it was decided to play two mini leagues with a team from each club and then a play-off round to settle final placing’s.
Anchorians fielded the ‘Purples’ in Group A and ‘Whites’ in Group B.
Whites kicked off with a difficult game against a strong Canterbury side, unfortunately coming out on the wrong-end of 2-0 score-line after a hard-fought game, before gaining a creditable 1-1 draw in the second game against Ashford , some strong defence and good counter-attacking play just failing to be rewarded with a victory.
Purples also played Canterbury in an opening game that ended 0-0 despite Anchorians having the ball in the back of the net twice (the second chalk-off only very belatedly discovered by the stand-in coach long after the match ended!). The second game against Ashford saw the Anchorians team fall behind after a fast start, before equalising and then being denied a late winner, hitting the outside of both posts in the final minutes.
After both placing second in their respective groups, some swift negotiation with the organisers enabled the Whites and Purples to face their alternate Ashford sides in their play-off games, rather than each other, leaving Canterbury I and II to battle it out for the top places.
Both play-off games were entertaining 0-0’s that probably could have gone either way and containing some excellent goal saving blocks and tackles from both sides. Final placing’s were impossible to fathom but I doubt few cared and a solitary loss and five draws out of six was a commendable performance from all.
Backed by superb support from the parents, and featuring a number of players making their tournament debuts, the Anchorians play featured organised defence, robust tackling and some enterprising individual and collective attacking play – a testament to the excellent coaching on offer from Nigel and the team – and in their best tradition the Young Anchorians will have gone to bed last night with ‘Sticks down’, ‘Find some space’ and ‘PASS’ ringing in their ears.
The future is indeed bright – it’s Purple and White!
Having picked up four of points in their last two games Anchs travelled to Canterbury looking to continue their good run. A decent warm up saw Anchs make a good start on a lovely water based pitch with Mike Lindley and Gary Jackson doing well in midfield and Chris Lack working hard up top. However soon Canterbury were in control and a poor give away ended up with their unmarked forward tapping in from one yard out. After this Anchs did well in the rest of the first half but were unable to score. The worst thing that happened was the half time whistle going. Anchs had a poor second half and despite some good defending from Mathias and Jamie Caulfield and some good goalkeeping from Darren Richardson once a good finish had put Canterbury two up some Anchs heads dropped and Canterbury managed two more unanswered goals to deservedly take the three points. Anchs need to get focused in preparation for another tough game against Cliftonville next week.
Anchs, buoyed by their three points last week against Worthing, welcomed Lewes for what was a tough and very even game. Following a good warm up and team talk the game started in an even manner with both sides getting stuck in. Credit to the Anchs midfield of Chris Lack, Jamie Caulfield and Mike Lindley who gave as good as they got in the opening exchanges. Soon a fantastic run from Dan Mutton created a tap in for Callum Harris to put Anchs one up. The rest of the half remained even and saw good defending from Gary Jackson, Gareth Price and Mathias. However with the last touch of the first half Lewes drew level from a well worked short corner. The second half again was an even affair. A decent finish from Dan Mutton put Anchs back in the lead and some great saves from keeper Darren Richardson kept Anchs in the lead. However again Lewes drew level from a short corner with about ten to go. Overall a good game and a fair result.
At last Anchs finally got their season started with a good professional performance which resulted in a good win away at Worthing. An excellent team talk from coach Tom Nissen and a few words from returning senior pro Gary Jackson got Anchs focused and ready to go. The game started with the Anchs midfield of Jake Stevens, Chris Lack and Mike Lindley taking control allowing Jack Oxby and Linden Lockhart to cause havoc in the opposition half. Soon this pressure told and following an excellent team goal that involved Jamie Caulfield link well with Linden Lockhart who put one on a plate for Callum Harris to slot home. Worthing tried to get back into the game but Anchs defence of Gary Jackson, Matthias and Jamie Caulfield did well and any chances were well saved by Darren Richardson. Before half time Dan Mutton doubled Anchs led following a good finish from a short corner. The second half started with Worthing on top and despite a good initial save from Darren Richardson Worthing pulled one back from a short corner. However Anchs were determined to come away with the three points and a glorious ball from Chris Lack put Callum Harris through who finished well to gave Anchs a well deserved three one win. Lewes are up next on Saturday at home at 1.30. All support would be most welcome.