6XI Match Reports
Gore Court 6XI 2-2 Burnt Ash 6XI
Gore Court 6XI remained in second place in Kent Open Division 2 after a 2-2 draw with a strong Burnt Ash 6XI side. Burnt Ash hadn't taken a point all season from their previous fifteen games and deservedly took a two goal lead before half time with one goal from open play and another from a short corner. Gore Court upped their game in the second half and had numerous short corners but were unable to convert any until the ball hit a Burnt Ash player on the foot on the goal line and the umpire awarded a penalty flick which Neil Wanstall cooly converted. Wanstall added Gore Court's second late on and although they continued to have short corners they still couldn't get the final touch. Other chances were squandered when the ball was played across in front of the Burnt Ash goal and the forwards failed to take their chances. Both teams had chances late on but a 2-2 draw was a fair reflection on the game.
Gore Court 6XI 2-1 Old Bordenians 5XI
Gore Court 6XI played host to local rivals Old Bordenians 5XI on Saturday in a combative game which saw the home team just about come out on top. Old Boys were quick out of the blocks pushing Court back and had several short corners which they were unable to score from. Gore Court took the lead against the run of play with a breakaway which saw Mark Webber score against Old Boys for the second time this season as he did in the away fixture in November. Old Boys soon brought the score level with a flowing move of their own to make the score level until late on in the game. They had a series of short corners which again they failed to score from, but it was Gore Court who were to record their second 2-1 win over their neighbours when Neil Wanstall scored from a much disputed short corner.
Gore Court 6XI 5-0 Marden Russets 4XI
Gore Court 6XI moved to within one point of the lead in Kent Division 2 with a comfortable 5-0 win at home to Marden Russets 4XI. It was an experienced side that took to the field for Court and they were soon into their stride with a well taken goal from Nigel Eves. Eves scored his second soon after from a short corner so the home side went into the break 2-nil up. The second half started in much the same way as the first finished with Court on the front foot and they ran out easy winners with two more well taken goals from Dominic Annand and one for Jamie Horne scoring against his old club.
Folkestone Optimist 6XI 2-2 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI took a trip to the coast on Saturday and came away with a well deserved point against a good Folkestone 6XI. The game started with Folkestone with most of the possession as Gore Court struggled to get used to the bounce of the pitch. Folkestone soon had a short corner which was drag flicked into the left hand side of the goal, not something the goalkeeper or defenders are used to seeing at this level, but which should have been dealt with anyway as the flick wasn't the quickest the hockey world has ever seen. Folkestone soon went two goals up when the ball was crashed into the D and their forward got a cheeky little touch on it to divert it into the goal near the post.
The second half saw Gore Court begin to play some hockey and most of the second half was played in Folkestone territory. Sam Stone pulled a goal back with a sharp shot on his reverse side and with time running out Graeme Jonas played the ball into the D for James Anderson to get a vital touch as it went into the goal. The umpires conferred as to whether there had been a touch but concluded that there had been to make the score 2-2, which reflected the balance of play.
Gore Court 6XI 2-1 Old Williamsonians 4XI
In one of the few matches to beat the weather on Saturday Gore Court 6XI battled their way to a last minute win against Old Williamsonians 4XI. Old Wills started well and took the game to the home side and earned themselves a few short corners but Gore Court defended resolutely to go into the half time break level at 0-0.
The second half brought much of the same although Court had a few short corners of their own only to find the opposition's keeper in good form. Court's own keeper Mackenzie Stevens kept the score level for a long time with many fine blocks but he was unable to do anything about the shot from a short corner which gave Old Wills the lead. Gore Court hit back with a penalty flick which was awarded for a stick tackle on Jamie Horne when he was about to score, the flick being tucked away by Neil Wanstall. Wanstall was to steal the points in the last minute with a fine shot from a short corner which sent the home team into second place in the league.
Blackheath & OE 5XI 1-0 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI began Saturday's match in second place and faced the third placed Blackheath & OE 5XI team in what has become a close fought match in recent years. Blackheath spent most of the time camped in the Gore Court half in the first 30 minutes of the match but Gore Court's defence held strong owing to some fine defensive performances from their defenders, none more so than forward Jake Cooper who found himself playing in central defence because of a lack of available defenders. Blackheath had a series of short corners but were unable to convert any of them so the score was 0-0 at halftime. The second half saw Gore Court with much of the possession but this time it was the Blackheath defenders who survived the onslaught and a breakaway saw their forwards outnumbering Gore Court's defence and the ball fell to one of their strikers who smashed the ball into the net. Gore Court were unable to find the finishing touch in the opposition's D so go into the mid season break in a very creditable third place having only lost to the two teams above them and with much hope for the second half of the season which begins on 14th January with a friendly away to the Canterbury Friars.
Gore Court 6XI 2-0 Holcombe 5A
Gore Court 6XI made it three wins in a row with a 2-0 victory against a Holcombe side who were looking to stop a run of recent defeats. Both sides had an equal amount of youth and experience but it was Court who seemed to be having the better of the first half. A series of short corners came and went for the home side and Holcombe had a few chances of their own owing to some defensive lapses but it was Court who were to take the lead through Alex Cooke who calmly struck the ball past the Holcombe keeper. Gore Court were to further increase their lead after Nigel Eves ran the ball to the touch line and then passed it to the far post for Luke Stringer to guide the ball into the goal to score his first goal in adult hockey. After the half time break Holcombe woke up and began to take the game to Court but the home defence held strong and soon the game began to go the way of Court but they were unable to score anymore goals, so the score stayed at 2-0 for the second week running and moved them up to second in the table.
Burnt Ash 6XI 0-2 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI took another scalp on Saturday from a team with far more experience than themselves with a 2-0 victory away at Burnt Ash. With only eleven players available, six of them under fifteen and again with a stand in goalkeeper, Court took the game to Burnt Ash and had a series of short corners which the opposition were able to repel. Burnt Ash got into Court's D a few times in the first half but the goal was not really threatened and the match went into the half time break even. After a half time pep talk the Gore Court team were soon into their stride and a flowing move saw Jake Cooper play the ball across the D for David Baker to sweep the ball past the Burnt Ash keeper. The last quarter of the game was a tetchy affair and quite tense but the tension was eased when Pete Hyams scored the second Court goal late on for the visitors, so ensuring they took the three points home with them.
Gore Court 6XI 2-1 Ashford Crusaders
Gore Court 6XI faced an Ashford side who have been losing games by the odd goal of late and it was to be the same again after this fixture. Court seemed to be the dominant of the two sides and were to take the lead in the first half when Luke Stringer found himself in the D and calmly passed the ball to Neil Wanstall who tapped the ball in past the diving Ashford keeper. Gore Court should have run away with the game by half time but they were to miss a couple of open goal chances but eventually extended their lead after a well struck shot by Alex Cooke left the keeper with no chance of saving it. Ashford pulled a goal back in the second half but Gore Court held on to maintain their position of third in the table.
New Beccehamians 3XI 1-1 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI faced another strong side again this weekend with a trip to Beckenham to face New Beccehamians 3XI. This normally feisty affair began as expected with both sides trying to push each other back but it was Court who seemed to be having the better chances. With a young front line of Owain Cullen and Jake Cooper, Court carved out a few chances only to see the New Beccs defence hold firm. News Beccs were to take the lead when their forward managed to bustle his way through the Gore Court defenders and somehow score when he was laying on the floor. A series of short corners in the second half for Court saw the ball strike a New Beccs defender on the line so a penalty flick was awarded. Up stepped Neil Wanstall to send the keeper the wrong way to equal the score. Court had enough short corner chances to win the game but it was not to be.
Old Bordenians 5XI 1-2 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI got the better of Old Bordenians 5XI in a fiercely contested local derby at the weekend. The Old Boys team pressed Court back from the off and seemed the stronger of the two sides and were looking to pick up their first points of the season. Old Boys had a number of short corners in the first half but were unable to take advantage of any of them because of the strong defensive display from Jack Streatfield and Kevin Hopkinson along with some luck for stand-in goal keeper Neil Brookson who managed to be in the way just when it mattered. Gore Court took the lead with a sweeping move which finished with youngster Luke Stringer enticing the Old Boys keeper out only to slip the ball to fellow youngster David Baker who calmly slotted the ball home. Old Boys finally broke through the Court defence to level the score midway through the second half only for Court's Mark Webber to get the better of the Old Boys keeper with another calm finish to let the away side sneak off with the three points.
Gore Court 6XI 0-3 Gravesham & Wellcome 2XI
Gore Court 6XI faced their toughest test of the season so far with a home fixture against top of the table Gravesham and Wellcome 2XI and ultimately were unable to cope with the physical size of the opposition. Against a Gravesham team consisting purely of adults, Gore Court's youngsters battled well but they were undone by a couple of well taken goals and a dubious penalty flick when the score was 1-0 to Gravesham. Gore Court were helped out with a fine performance by goalkeeper Mackenzie Stevens who, with some excellent decision making, kept the scoreline respectable. Stevens pulled off a number of saves when the opposition forwards managed to break through the stout Gore Court defence and with Court unable to take advantage of their own short corners and breakaways, the result was a fair reflection of the match.
Marden Russets 4XI 1-4 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI continued their good start to the season with a 4-1 win away at Marden Russets. Gore Court, with a fairly settled side, began brightly by taking the game to their opponents and finally got a breakthrough with a well taken goal by David Baker, his first in men's hockey. Marden were not to be outdone and pressed Court back and a defensive mistake from the away side let Marden in who crossed the ball for their forward to slide in at the far post to make the score even. Gore Court upped their game and the second goal was scored by Harvey Underdown with a tap in by the far post, another first goal in men's hockey this time for Underdown.
Court further extended their lead with a well taken strike from Nigel Eves from a short corner before Peter Hyams rounded off the scoring late on in the second half to secure a 4-1 win.
Gore Court 6XI 0-0 Folkestone Optimist 6XI
Gore Court 6XI lined up against a similarly made up Folkestone 6XI with both sides seeming to have an equal blend of youth and experience. The game was fairly even although Court should have taken the lead from an early short corner which was narrowly missed. The game took an ugly turn at the next short corner when the Folkestone goalkeeper inadvertently deflected the ball into the face of his own defender who was standing on the line. After being patched up he was taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose and cut above his eye, new facemasks might be needed for the next game. Court continued to get a succession of short corners but were unable to convert them so should have run out comfortable winners but it was not to be.
Old Williamsonians 4XI 0-2 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI travelled to Rochester for their first game of the season to face Old Williamsonians 4XI and came away with a well deserved 2-0 win. A spirited start from both sides saw some interesting battles all over the field but it was Gore Court who took the initiative with Owain Cullen breaking through the Old Wills defence only for the goalkeeper to bring him down. Neil Wanstall stepped up to take the resulting penalty stroke and he calmly flicked the ball past the diving keeper.
Court has numerous short corners but were unable to take advantage of any of them and it was Cullen who was to score the second after a fine through ball from Nigel Eves left him with only the keeper to beat which he did so with ease. Both sides had a blend of younger and more experienced players but it was Court who were to remain ahead until the final whistle.
Gore Court 6XI 3-4 Deal 2XI
Gore Court 6XI faced a tough home game against newly crowned champions and came close to winning but for some poor finishing. Court were pushing the Deal defence back from the off and lost one of their players with a facial injury in the first few minutes. Deal managed to score two goals but Court nicked one back from a short corner before Neil Wanstall evened up the score to 2-2 at half time with a penalty stroke.
The second half saw Court on the front foot but they missed four or five chances in front of goal which would have put the game out of reach. Deal showed why they are the champions and took full advantage by scoring another two goals but Court kept plugging away before Owain Cullen dribbled the ball past three or four defenders before calmly slotting the ball into the net for a consolation goal. If the 6XI can take this form into next season hopefully things will be better than this current season has turned out.
Gore Court 6XI 3-3 Old Bordenians 5XI
A feisty local derby ended up in a 3-3 draw between two well matched sides on Saturday. Old Bordenians were to go two goals up before half time with some well worked moves but Gore Court's youngsters kept plugging away and soon earned themselves some short corners in the second half, two of which Noel Lander scored to make the score 2-2. Culum Annand popped up to give the home side the lead before Old Boys completed the scoring to make it 3-3 and a fair result.
Marden Russets 5XI 4-4 Gore Court 6XI
Gore Court 6XI battled their way to a well deserved 4-4 draw away at Marden Russets on Saturday. Marden started the stronger but it was Gore Court who took the lead following some good work by Dale Burden who tucked the ball away well. Marden were soon to equalise but Court took the lead again this time through Luke Alexander. Marden scored another couple to lead 3-2 at half time. After the break Burden scored another two to complete his hat trick before Marden scored a late equaliser. Gore Court debuted another couple of youngsters in this match, Owain Cullen was unfortunate to have two goals disallowed on his debut and Luke Stringer showed promise for the future.
Gore Court 6XI 2-1 Holcombe 5A
Gore Court 6XI won only their second game of the season with a double over Holcombe 5A. Holcombe were the better side throughtout the first half which was understandable as Court had four debutants, Harvey Underdown, Tom Amey, William Brown and Joe Winston, who all performed well after they got used to playing on a full size pitch. It was Gore Court who were to take the lead after some good work by Neil Wanstall and Russell Meyrick enabled Dave Phillips to score from close range. Holcombe were then awarded a dubious penalty flick which they scored from before Meyrick gave Court the lead again. A frantic last quarter of the match passed without any further goals giving Court a long souught after win.
Gore Court 6XI 0-4 Gravesham & Wellcome 2XI
Gore Court 6XI faced a tough game against the newly formed Gravesham & Wellcome 2XI and it was Gravesham who were to run out easy victors in tough conditions. Gravesham pushed Gore Court back from the off but the Court defence held firm but ultimately the game would be lost by four of the softest goals they are ever likely to concede. The first trickled over the line next to the post when everyone though it was going wide, the second was a looping reverse stick shot which somehow dropped in under the crossbar when it looked as though it was going over, the third was an own goal from a speculative shot which hit a Court defender's stick and went in and the last was a tap in after a defender had stopped the ball on the line but couldn't clear quickly enough. Gore Court did have a goal line clearance to keep the score at four and also had a goal disallowed from a short corner as it was hit too high for it to count. A game to forget but to learn from.
Old Bordenians 5XI 2-1 Gore Court 6XI
A feisty local derby between Old Bordenians 5XI and Gore Court 6XI ended up with a win for the Old Boys team. The game started brightly for both teams with the Bordenians team causing most of the problems for the Gore Court defence. Court managed to fight their way back into the game and they took the lead when Rob Goodwin ghosted through the Old Boys defence and found himself with a chance to score which he duly did. Old Boys were not to be out done and equalised through a well taken short corner and took the lead in the second half with a well struck shot. It could have been worse for Gore Court but for some excellent and brave goalkeeping by Mackenzie Stevens and also a couple of defensive clearances on the goal line.
Gore Court 6XI 0-3 Folkestone 5XI
Gore Court 6XI suffered their first defeat after challenging match ended up with a 3-0 loss to Folkestone 5XI. Folkestone were the better side from the off and took the lead after a well worked move. Gore Court had about six short corners during the match but were unable to take advantage of any although Peter Hyams thought he had scored with a deflection from one but the Folkestone keeper pulled off a great save to deny him. Folkestone scored their two other goals after breaking away from Gore Court short corners to secure the points.
Holcombe 5A 1-3 Gore Court 6XI
After winning Kent Division 3 and gaining promotion last season Gore Court 6XI began their new campaign in Kent Division 2 with a comfortable 3-1 win away at Holcombe 5A. Court were quickly into their stride and settled down when Russell Meyrick put them ahead after a few minutes. Jake Cooper took on and beat a couple of Holcombe defenders before the goalkeeper smothered the ball only for it to fall at the feet of Meyrick who passed the ball into the net. The second goal came from a breakdown of play in the Gore Court half with the ball being passed to Neil Wanstall who hit a 60 metre pass to Meyrick who moved the ball onto David Phillips who beat the keeper from close range.
The second half continued much as the first and Meyrick was to get his second after the Holcombe keeper made a smart save but Meyrick slotted in the rebound. Holcombe were to score late on with a well taken deflected goal from their main striker but it was too late for them to recover. Richard Hazell made an impressive debut in defence after being way from hockey for more than 30 years, with his best moment being when he turned a short corner around the post showing that all that time spent at the crease for Gore Court Cricket Club had been honed to perfection with a shot which would have gone through the slips to the boundary had he been on a cricket pitch.