Scorers: Bean, Degiovanni, Annand
MoM: Nathan Redman
DoD: Matt Carney
The first XI started their league campaign with a big away trip to local rivals, Sevenoaks. After a successful and competitive pre-season period, buoyed by new faces and new old faces, the squad went into the opening weekend with healthy competition for places across the board.
Pre-game, a special mention went to the two debutants of the day, Ronan Taggart, a former Ashford HC boy, making the move to Canterbury via a spell at Cardiff & Met, and another product of the CHC junior section, Ben Young – proud moment for both!
Canterbury hit the ground running straight from the off and adapted instantly to Sevenoaks distinct style thanks to David Bunyan’s Bielsa-esque recon from the previous weekend!
The team were able to nullify the Sevenoaks threats and use the ball to great effect themselves with some calm, intricate passing in and out of midfield to get out of pressure at the back before releasing the pace further up the field for a series of attacks.
Will Mead found himself with the best chance of the early exchanges as the most alert in the circle, he created a good chance to pull ahead, only for the Sevenoaks keeper to deny him with a good save.
With a couple of Sevenoaks penalty corners equally well-saved by a commanding Nathan Redman in goal, half-time came with both sides quite happy with how the first two quarters had gone.
Canterbury continued to grow into the game with Craig and Toby’s reading of the game and distribution from the back telling. However despite the run of play, Sevenoaks did manage to take advantage of a scrappy piece of play with CHC old boy, Sam George able to convert, making it 1-0 to the home side.
A promising show of defiance from the team was evident straight from the restart – there was no way they were rolling over despite the blow. The team continued to play in the same vain which had seem them have the run of the game to this point and soon the rewards came.
Again, an attack was born in the Canterbury 25 with some good inter-play from defence to midfield and beyond, the lively Will Mead played a great cross field ball to Tom Bean in the circle who deflected past the oncoming goal keeper to draw level.
A tiring Sevenoaks seemingly had the wind out of their sails and the attacks continued from Canterbury, the next coming from some skilful play from Jamie Tritton who played a great pass off of the post, straight into the path on Thomas Degiovanni for a simple finish.
A third soon followed through Conor Annand on his backhand to really put the game to bed – for the 30 seconds remaining on the clock, experience told, with Tom Richford setting up stall in the far corner, winning free-hit after free-hit to run the clock down.
Man-of-the-match went to Nathan Redman for a dominant display in his circle, taking care of any chances Sevenoaks had with confidence!
Dick-of-the-day was fiercely competitive with Craig and Carney being the front runners after managing to miss the Sevenoaks exit on the M26 and taking a detour around Caterham to eventually work out where they needed to be. Carney eventually took the title though… because Carney.
The win and particularly the manner of the win was a great start to the league campaign and sets the precedence for our first home game, next Sunday at 12:45.