Anchs final friendly saw them travel to Marden who have just been promoted into the league from which Anchs were relegated last season. Despite a very poor pitch some good hockey was played by both sides with a draw being a fair score in the end. The game was very even throughout with Anchs perhaps shading the first half and Marden the second. Both goals came in the first half with Joel Divers scoring for Anchs again and Marden equalising from a penalty corner. Overall another good run out that sets Anchs up well for the start of the league away at Old Bordenians next week.
Anchs made the short trip to OWHC for their third friendly of the season. Despite only having 11 players everyone put in a shift and deserves praise for their hard work. Keeper Darren Richardson made some smart saves notably from penalty corners. The defence of Richard Perkins, Gareth Price and Joe Selby defended brilliantly all day. Glen Rawson and Jake Stevens ran their socks off in the middle of the park and both Luc Debont and Elliott Harris provided excellent width. The front three of OJ Stander, Callum Harris and Lindon Lockhart often put the OWs defence under pressure and were unfortunate not to score. The OWs goal came from a cruel deflection following a penalty corner. Next up its Marden away before the league starts on 30th September.
Anchs welcomed Gravesham for a mid week friendly and ran out convincing winners in front of new coach Lindon Lockhart. The game was played in quarters allowing Anchs to try different formations and personnel in the build up to the new season. Anchs penalty corner routine worked well and Chris Lack in particular benefited from this with a couple of goals. Harry McDonald also scored a good solo effort. Gareth Price also got on the score sheet with Joel Divers adding one too. Overall a good run out. Thanks to Phil Skillen for umpiring.
Anchs welcomed Folkestone for the first friendly of the season. Despite missing several regular starters it was a good run out for Anchs who played well but were let down by poor finishing – something to work on before the season starts on 30th September. The game started with Anchs forwards putting pressure on Folkestone. However from the first penalty corner Anchs completely switched off and were one down following a good drag flick. Anchs more or less bossed the rest of the first half and Joel Divers scored with a delightful reserve stick strike to make the score one one at half time. The second half again saw Anchs dominate but without troubling the opposition goalkeeper. Again Anchs were punished when a hard smash into the D was nicked into the goal giving Folkestone a 2-1 win. Anchs will need to be more switched on and clinical when they face Gravesham on Tuesday and then Old Willies on Saturday.