Day: December 9, 2017

K Sports Men’s 1st XI vs Sevenoaks Men’s 6th XI

The midway game of the season was as it has been for the past few years, a match between Sevenoaks and K Sports. Umpiring commitments meant the game had to be scheduled for a 16:30 push back at the newly opened ground in Ditton.
K Sports came out firing and put the Sevenoaks defence under pressure. Fast-paced runs from Ben Newmarch and Richard Thorogood on the wings, supported the forward line of Dave Wood and Paul Cook. They were backed up by the strong midfield of Ewan Hendry, Mike Nock and Neil Mitchell.

K Sports found themselves a goal to the good after Ben Newmarch laid the ball to Ewan Hendry outside the D. He then skipped over the defenders trailing stick and fired a thunderbolt at waist height, beating the keeper at his near post.

Shortly after, Newmarch won a short corner which Mike Nock flicked into the top left-hand corner, leaving the keeper with no chance of saving the goal, putting the home side 2-0 up.

Sevenoaks started to exert some pressure onto the K Sports defence. But the Back line of Mark O’Brien, Andy Mendl (who had a great game getting the better of an old team mate) and Keith Aide, stopped many attack from breaking into the D. If they did, the Sevenoaks forwards found themselves being shut out by Goalkeeper Ali Burt

Matt Sharp added another goal to his tally when he latched onto a loose ball in the D and calmly placed the ball into the bottom corner. This was followed by a goal from James Dench, who was making his premier first eleven appearance this season. Half time and the score was 4-0 to K Sports

The second half started with Sevenoaks on the offensive and they scored 2 very quick unanswered goals, as K Sports were caught napping. This spurred the home team into impressing the supporters that were braving the cold December evening air.

Neil Smith, making his return to hockey after a long break, was impressive in the middle and Sevenoaks could not handle his pace and stick speed. This hard work and tenacity lead to another goal, as Dave wood fired the ball into the Sevenoaks back board.

Mike Nock added another drag flick from a penalty corner, this time disguising the flick and catching the goalie off balance.

Paul Cook had another very impressive display and was rewarded for his efforts with a goal of the season contender! Seeing him unmarked, Ewan Hendry fired the ball from midfield which Cook latched onto. The keeper came out to claim the ball but the K Sports forward flicked the ball over the keeper, ran around his blind side and struck the ball into the goal.

Ben Newmarch was also rewarded for his tireless running up and down the wing when he took on 4 of the Sevenoaks defenders and rounded the keeper to slot the ball home.

Sevenoaks got one more for their tally when a shot which the home side keeper thought was from outside the D was deemed to be in the shooting area (an obligatory jug was purchased for this).

Overall a great game played by both sides. Sevenoaks defended with gusto, attacked with pace and control. But on the day, K Sports proved to be to strong.

Neil Mitchell was named man of the match for a calm defensive and distribution master-class (or it may have been so that he had to wear the coveted shirt at the Christmas dinner)

Our next game is in the new year, with a friendly against Canterbury.

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K Sports Ladies 2nd XI vs Bromley & Beckenham Ladies 6th XI

K Sports had to abandon their free-flowing passing game on this chilly afternoon as they entertained high flying Bromley and Beckenham 6th XI. They were under pressure throughout the match, as the away side proceeded to lay siege to the K Sports half. It was little wonder then that keeper Lorraine Mullaly was handed the Player of the Match stick at the final whistle, but this does not tell the full story of the game.

Kat Lichfield and Emma Thorpe were charged with the immense task of keeping the talented right hand sided players of the Bromley and Beckenham team quiet, and time and again they closed the door firmly shut with the help of Kayleigh Smith and Sue Rea. Phil Ward was asked to play a more central role and she did not flinch at the responsibility, as she made some important tackles before driving the ball forward to try to get the team in black onto the front foot. When K Sports did have possession Maddie Thorp and Holly Bernhard ran hard to catch some beautifully placed passes into their channels. Sharon Turville was her usual industrious self and one pass in particular helped to open up the right hand side for the home side.

However, it was the defence who were by far the busier and Jen Divall had to use all her years of experience to marshal those around her. Her calmness helped give the side a confidence which allowed little panic to fester despite the pressure. She even had the audacity to drive with the ball forward from a hit out, eliminating the opposition before playing a number of sublime balls to the forwards.

Welcoming Jenny Rogers back to the fold with her added calmness and with Tracy Smith and Anna Pirozzolo adding to the fortress which K Sports were building, the away side found it difficult to fashion too many clear cut chances. However, they did score a brace, on both occasions leaving Mullaly little opportunity to stop their shots.

In the dying moments, with the home crowd roaring K Sports forward, both Ward and Kayleigh Smith found themselves momentarily with a window of opportunity to penetrate the opposition circle. However, neither could manufacture a clear opening and the Ladies 2nd XI still have to open their account on the new astro.

Despite the loss, K Sports enjoyed this encounter giving them the confidence that defensively as a team they have the heart to compete with any team in this league. They now have the Christmas break to enjoy before returning to league action in early January.

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Burnt Ash (Bexley) Men’s 7th XI vs K Sports Men’s 2nd XI

K Sports 2nd XI were looking to sign off on a fine first half to the season with an away trip to Burnt Ash, and were looking to add another victory to take into the winter break. K Sports got off to a flying start and had Burnt Ash penned into their own half, and mainly their own 25, which reduced any attacks to long clearances aiming for their striker. Whereas K Sports were a complete contrast, able to put together some incredible passing moves which were fast and innovative.

Quickly, K Sports went 2 goals up after making their attacking play count, which was often started from some impressive work rate from Howard Goacher and Jay O’Shea in the middle. They have built a really strong partnership between them, and playing regularly to learn each other’s game since the start of the season is really coming to fruition for the side. Jack Newmarch came into the side on his return from sunny Spain, and was met by the coldest climate he’s faced for a while. He managed to stay energetic throughout and fitted in seamlessly to replace Darren Body who went for a winter break in the Domincan Republic. Martin Dadd and Joe Dowling were, once again, solid at the back and had one of their quieter games because of the work rate from the midfield in front of them. Luke Boniface added to his season’s goal tally by slotting in at the back post again after running the Burnt Ash right back into the ground, showing once again how dangerous he can be.

Half time came with K Sports truly dominant in the proceedings, but were reminded that there was another half to play yet before they started any festive celebrations just yet. Andy Smith set the tone from push back with some tenacious closing down followed up by his team mates and the pressure paid off after Gavin Found himself in the D and won a short corner early on. It came out to Andy Smith who dropped a shoulder to bypass the runners and reverse stick strike past the keeper.

K Sports were comfortably in control of the game for large parts and managed to keep their calm even as the game because unnecessarily feisty, but the K Sports players did well to rise above it and not react to this. K Sports continued to dominate and added two more goals in the half to total 6 for the game and confirm an unbeaten opening half of the season. Well done… so far..

K Sports are under no illusions that the second half of the season is going to be a breeze, because their performances this year have been surprising for the opposition and dominant, they will need to continue this throughout the remainder of the season. The key to this game was the work rate, distribution and teamwork specifically with Jay O’Shea and Howard Goacher who controlled the middle of the park expertly throughout the game.

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Herne Bay Ladies 2nd XI vs K Sports Ladies 1st XI

On a very cold and frosty Saturday morning, K Sports ladies travelled to Herne Bay for the last league game of the first half of the season.

From the first whistle, K Sports were put under pressure from the youthful Herne Bay forwards, whose attempts at scoring were stopped by Kobs strong defensive line, being marshalled by Danni Nichols. K Sports were also not short of their attacking opportunities against the opposition, with balls being drilled into the D, but unfortunately just out of reach of the attackers to slot into the goal.

K Sports won a string of short corners as the first half came to an end. On the final play of the first half, Morgan Payne professionally injected the ball to Jo Fowler at the top of the D, who stepped in and struck the ball into the air, skilfully dropping at the last second to successfully hit the backboard putting K Sports onto the scoreboard as the first half drew to an end.

Both K Sports and Herne Bay started the second half with a determination to extend the score line. For the first ten minutes of the second half, Kobs were having to play a defensive game to protect their 1-0 lead and were able to keep the opposition out of their D for the majority of the game play. They conceded a couple of short corners, but Kobs had it under control and were able to clear the balls out of danger.

For the final ten minutes, K Sports dug hard and pushed for a second goal. Winning another short corner, Payne injected to Becki Austin at the top of the D, who swept the ball towards the D, which was unfortunately deflected against one of the defenders sticks; but the quick reactions of Kerry Fowler meant she could control ball and strike it past the opposition and into the back of the goal.

The game ended with a well-deserved 2-0 win for the K Sports ladies.

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