Men’s 1st XI vs Brighton & Hove HC (Home) | 17 Oct 21

Won 8-0

Scorers: Roberts, Bean x4, Annand, Taggart x2

MoM: Tom Bean

DoD: Tom Richford

Canterbury turned up to Brighton, greeted by a plethora of locked doors and a distinctly empty surrounding area, anyone would have been forgiven for thinking Gary had put the wrong date on Teamo…

Having changed in the dug-outs and warmed up on an empty pitch, we had settled into some stick and ball before the opposition had even bothered to arrive; this gave a fairly good indication of how the game would go.

Straight from the off, Canterbury dominated with lots of possession and circle entries without much reward. A breakaway for Brighton saw them win the first corner of the game which broke down, only for the ball to squirm to Craig Boyne and set up a counter-attack of our own for Hamish Roberts to finish tidily for his opening goal of the season.

After sticking with the processes from training, the team’s performance had David purring on the sidelines with some excellent combination play from the back, through the midfield layers and up to the forward line. When the quarter-break arrived Canterbury were two goals to the good and cruising.

Ensuring no complacency, Toby Vaughan over-indulged on a quintessential Toby Vaughan ‘it’s all under control’ medium paced jog and tweaked one of his hamstrings. This forced a small change to personnel and in came Matt Burton-Bowen – the grandad of the side, aged 36, looking closer to 46, – to secure the centre of defence alongside 33-year old Tom Richford, looking more like 23 and Matt Carney, who seems to have spent most of his student loan in the first month on alcohol and phone calls to his parents to source him some fuel and do his washing.

The changes made no odds to the way the game progressed and the second quarter saw another 3 goals. Skipper Tom Bean added to his penalty corner goal from the first quarter with two back-hand finishes from open play, found brilliantly by Jamie Tritton for one, to top off a first-half hatrick. Conor Annand added another to the tally and yet it could have been more still when Boyne managed to find the keeper with a penalty stroke.

Canterbury’s intensity continued into the second-half after a rousing, DOD-earning speech from Tom Richford who repeated everything Craig had said almost word-for-word just seconds earlier; and with their tails up, every attack seemed to bring a big opportunity to score.

Again, Tom Degiovanni was the cornerstone in midfield, complementing Hamish’s leg work, interceptions and attacking flair nicely to feed a constantly lively Cal Brown-Lea & co. who were a constant thorn in the side of the Brighton team.

Said build up play delivered an opportunity to Ronan Taggart on a plate who duly converted to get his name on the score sheet for the first time this season before Bean added a seventh and his fourth from the penalty spot.

One more was chalked up in the final quarter by Taggart and Canterbury defended stoically in the final few minutes to keep out a late Brighton penalty corner and preserve their clean sheet.

In the past 2 weeks, 13 team goals scored with just 1 conceded has given the group a boost of confidence going into a tough fixture next week against Southgate, the former club of new CHC goal keeper and maestro of Y1 Hockey, Chris Rea who will hope to marshall his defence towards another clean sheet.

Squad: Chris Rea, Toby Vaughan, Matt Burton-Bowen, Matt Carney, Tom Richford, Tom Degiovanni, Hamish Roberts, Craig Boyne, Tom Bean, Dan Gent, Conor Annand, Ronan Taggart, Cal Brown-Lea, Jamie Tritton