Anchs welcomed high flying Sutton Valence on Saturday. The week in the lead up to the game was a difficult one with five players unavailable. However those who stepped in, especially Paul Gray, played very well indeed. Anchs made the worst possible start to the game and within two minutes they were one down from a well taken penalty corner. Anchs did eventually wake up but a stupid clearance after the whistle saw the opposition go two up from another penalty corner. The second half saw Anchs wake up and actually play some hockey. A good finish from Chris Lack and an excellent finish from Paul Gray from a penalty corner saw Anchs draw the second half 2-2. Sutton Valence scored from another corner and following a defensive mistake. Too many individual mistakes cost Anchs and these will need to be removed next week with a trip to South Saxons ahead.
Anchs welcomed New Beccs for what turned out to be a very even game. However in reality Anchs never really got out of third gear. A good team talk and warm up got Anchs ready to go but the first half was all the away side apart from the last five minutes when Anchs woke up. By this time Anchs were one down following a thunderbolt of a reserve strike from the New Beccs forward. Anchs only real chance of the first half saw Chris Lack force a decent save from the opposition keeper. Anchs finally started to play a bit better at the start of the second half and were rewarded when Chris Risby blasted a penalty corner home. At this stage Anchs should have kicked on but never did. Credit to keeper Darren Richardson and defenders Gary Jackson and Richard Perkins who between them keep the opposition out and sealed a disappointing point for Anchs. Next week high flying Sutton Valence come to town and Anchs will need a much improved performance in order to get anything out of the game.
Anchs finally registered their first victory and points of the season away to a good BBHC side. This was a must win game and this message was hammered home to everyone in the pre match team talk and warm up. Anchs started the game at 100 mph and BBHC could not cope. Within 20 minutes Anchs were three up following excellent goals from Callum Harris and two from Dan Mutton. In fairness to BBHC they upped their game and by half time it was 3-2 following a poor give away by Anchs and a very dubious penalty stroke. The second half was pretty even and saw much goal mouth action. Good defending from debutant Jay Edwards, Gareth Price, Rich Perkins and Mike Lindley kept the opposition out. Jake Stevens was running things in the midfield and soon Callum Harris made it 4-2. A good penalty corner routine saw BBHC come back into the game but a good individual game from Dan Mutton sealed the win. Overall a much needed 3 points to get Anchs season up and running.
Anchs, keen to get their season started after last weeks disappointing result at Mid Sussex, welcomed a very strong Brighton side on Saturday. Despite a good warm up and team talk it was the away side who dominated the opening exchanges. Only some good defending from Gareth Price, Rich Perkins and Gary Jackson and a good glove save from a penalty corner from Darren Richardson kept the game goalless. However soon a overload down the right hand side saw an unmarked attacker slot home and by half time it was two following a well worked penalty corner. The second half saw the opposition in control due to good play and fitness. Despite the best efforts of keeper Darren Richardson who even saved a penalty stroke, two late goals by Brighton condemned Anchs to a second loss this season. Anchs will be looking to get their season up and running away to BBHC next week.
How Anchs came away from this game pointless will always remain a mystery to me. Anchs had 13 short corners and put five across the face of the goal but were unable to take advantage of these glorious opportunities. An excellent warm up and team talk got Anchs ready to go for the first league game of the season. In the past slow starts away at Mid Sussex had seen Anchs punished and the game plan was to ensure this didn’t happen again. It was Anchs who made the better start and a glorious ball across the line was unfortunately not converted. Mid Sussex took their opportunity six minutes in when their forward managed to get in front of slack marking and deflected the ball into the top corner. Anchs more or less dominated the rest of the first half but were unable to truly test the keeper. The second half was more or less the same. Mid Sussex managed to score a second when an unlucky deflection of Mike Lindley sent the ball high into the net. Anchs however didn’t stop and in the final minute a lovely strike from Chris Lack pulled one back but it was too little too late. Next up is a tough home game against rivals Brighton.