Gillinghams Anchorians 1st XI 1 – 0 Meopham 1s

With two of their last three matches postponed due to inclement weather, The ladies 1st XI were desperate to get back on the pitch and make the most of the dry conditions and put their season back on track.

They hosted fellow strugglers Meopham in Kent Premier division. The visitors started the games on top and Anchs defended two short corners well. After soaking up the pressure, Anchorians took charge of the game and stepped themselves up the pitch with several dangerous crosses into the Meopham defensive area. Jackie Gray found herself in a one-on-one with the visiting keeper after a quick break from defence, but she was unlucky to only find the side netting. Anchs’ persistent hard work paid off and they won themselves a short corner of their own. The ball came out well from Emma Strangleman and Sarah Lack’s great strike was deflected, off a defender, into the back netting to give Anchs the lead going into half time.

In the second half, Meopham pushed an extra player forward and saw more chances, but Anchorians were more than equal to the pressure. The only tight moment coming when a combination of keeper Sarah Hrebien and Sharon Hodges cleared a shot off the line. Despite losing sweeper Strangleman to a serious ankle injury, the last fifteen minutes of the match was all in the host’s favour and they were unlucky not to add more to the score, with the game closing 1-0. Player of the match went to newcomer Heidi Barratt who worked tirelessly upfront.

Emma’s ankle was thankfully ligament and soft tissue damage and not a break as we’d all feared. Next week, the Ladies 1st XI travel to local rivals Old Williamsonians where there will be winning cake to reward their fantastic effort this week!

Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Strangles, Ash, Shaz, Irish, Laura, Hev, Heidi, Abby, Biffo

Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI 3 Crowborough 1

Anchs made another trip to sussex to face high flying Crowborough. Captain, Gareth Price, made it clear that Anchs needed a win in his team talk. Anchs didn’t disappoint and excellent forward play by Callum Harris, Dan Mutton and Mati Puche led to a penalty corner from which Chris Risby squeezed home. The score remained the same until half time. Despite starting the second half with ten men it was Anchs who scored again following an excellent team move which saw Mati Puche slot home. Anchs continued to press and soon it was three nil with Dan Mutton slotting home following excellent midfield work by Jake Stevens, Chris Lacky and Jon Stiff. For the last 20 minutes the home side dominated and did score from a penalty corner but good goalkeeping from Darren Richardson and excellent defending by Glen Rawson, Rob Dixon and Rich Perkins kept them at bay to earn Anchs a vital three points!

Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI 2 Old Williamsonians 2

Anchs welcomed high flying local rivals old willies on Saturday. Thankfully the pitch cleared of water so the game could go ahead. Both sides made a good start to the game with Chris Lack dominating the middle for Anchs. John Stiff then forced a decent save from the opposition keeper from a penalty corner. From their first penalty corner, Old Willies took the lead with Gary Jackson unlucky not to make a great stop on the line. This brought Anchs back to life and soon they were deservedly level following a good finish from Mati Puche. 1-1 at half time.

Anchs made the better start to the second half and were soon 2-1 up with Callum Harris slotting home after a great team move. A great drag flick from John Stiff was stopped on the line with a 16 given and then Chris Risby smashed against the post. Despite some decent saves and clearances from keeper Darren Richardson and good defending from Glen Rawson, Dan Mutton and Jake Stevens from penalty corners, an overload saw Old Willies equalise towards the end. Next week Anchs travel to Crowborough.

Gillinghams Anchorians 1st XI 2 – 3 Gore Court 1s

Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI this week faced the team relegated into the league, who sat second in the table. After several weeks of narrow defeats and a game called off during the warm up in their previous outing, Anchs were feeling the frustration of a season not quite going their way. The match started with Gore Court on the front foot and Anchs found themselves defending a string of short corners. They were equal to the task though, Lucy Morgan carrying on through a cracking shot to the shin and were able to keep the score neutral until a stray ball found a defender’s body on the line. The forward took the resulting penalty stroke well, past keeper Sarah Hrebien and putting Gore Court into the lead. A second followed shortly after but towards the end of the half, Anchs pushed back, working well out of defense and pushing themselves up the pitch as a unit. Great defensive calling from the back by Emma Strangleman and with a couple of stinging crosses flying through the GC area, unfortunately just out of reach of a decisive touch, meant the A’s ladies went into the break two goals down, but not feeling out-played, and ready to fight back. They did just that, taking control of the second half early on, moving the ball across the pitch more freely and playing it around the Gore Court midfield, they pushed hard at the visiting team. The pressure let up and they earned themselves a short. Despite an initial miss-hit, Ash Davenport latched onto the stray ball, slipping it through the keeper’s legs and putting Anchs back in sight of the game. The pressure held up and another short wasn’t long in coming. Another miss-hit, (we’ve really got to work on that, ladies!) a diving sweep from Strangleman through the keepers legs again, and Anchs found themselves back on equal terms. Unfortunately, as has been the way with the ladies 1s lately, there was another goal left in the game, and another string of short corners led to the decisive goal and GC took home the three points. To put the performance into some context though, Gore Court had upwards of a dozen short corners and converted two, Anchs had three shorts and converted two so all credit to the ladies holding the line! Next week fellow league strugglers Gravesend travel to Darland Avenue and hopefully the ladies 1s luck will break.


Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Shaz, Lucy, Shaz, Irish, Laura, Hev, Abby, Biffo, Heidi

Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI 1 Eastbourne 1

Anchs made the long journey to Eastbourne and came away with a well deserved point that should probably have been three. Despite the heavy rain and wind, a good team talk and warm up saw Anchs dominate the first half. Excellent work by Jon Stiff from a penalty corner saw Anchs deservedly go into half time one up. The second half was a much more even affair and both sides had several chances. Jake Stevens missed a sitter at the back post and Dan Mutton forced a great stick save from the home keeper. Eastbourne were most dangerous from penalty corners as proven by their equaliser; despite a good initial save from Darren Richardson their forward managed to smash home the rebound. Man of the match went to Chris Lack who had a superb game at right back! Next week is a local derby versus Old Willies at 1.30pm at Anchs. All support would be very welcome.

Anchorians 1st XI 2 – 4 Kings Alleyns 1st XI

This week Gillingham Anchorians Ladies 1st XI took on Kings Alleys. After a disappointing first few minutes for Anchs, Kings took an early lead in open play. The visitors’ strong attacking formation and movement off the ball caused some panic and a few short corners were conceded, leading to two more goals.  Anchorians pulled together, organising their midfield and started to turn the game around. Returning goalkeeper, Sarah Hrebien, made a particularly amazing stick save while sliding in the opposite direction, as Kings tried to pass round her, to keep Anchorians in the game.  After some great play to force their way up the pitch, captain Laura Hopkins put a great free hit towards the goal for Hannah Shimmin to latched on, make a great strike and put the score to 3-1, and Anchorians back within reach of the game.  After an encouraging team talk from coach Richard Brewer, Anchs came out fighting at the beginning of the second half, however Kings Alleyns were awarded a short corner which they converted into a goal.  Anchorians didn’t give up and pushed up the pitch as a team, picking up their communication and having a few good chances in the attacking area. In the end their hard work was rewarded and Sharon Hodges scored from a short corner, putting the final score at 4-2, with an amazing second half performance from the Anchs ladies. Player of the match votes were spread among six different players, with Emma Harris took the accolade this week. Special was shared between Laura Hopkins (for her delegation) and Emma Strangleman (for using her assets to photobomb important promotional filming/photos).

Team: Herbie, Harris, Lacky, Strangles, Lucy, Shimmie, Shaz, Laura, Hev, Abby, Biffo, Ellie

Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI 5 Worthing 6

A long trip saw Anchs return pointless following an epic away match at Worthing. Anchs made a good start and went one up. Soon however they were two one down and by half time it was 3-2 to Worthing. The second half saw Anchs make a poor start and soon they were 5-2 down. However Anchs fought back to 5-4 but Worthing converted a penalty corner to make it 6-4. Anchs however did the same and made it 6-5. Anchs had the opportunity to snatch an equaliser from a last minute penalty corner but were unable to score. Anchs scorers were Jon Stiff (2), Chris Lack (2) and Dan Mutton. Next week sees Sutton Valence come to Anchs at 1.30. All support would be welcome.