Men’s 5th XI vs Gillingham Anchorians 1st XI (Away) | 20 Nov 21

Lost 4-2

Scorers: Ethan Filmer, Simon Downes

MoM: Pete Ratcliffe on debut – solid

DoD: Brad for his changing room revelations


The side were looking to continue their winning sequence as they travelled to Gillingham to take on the Anchorians 1st XI. We were a close match to Norwich City circa 1974 in our away kit, some of the looks on the faces of the younger players as they donned the replica shirts was priceless, it was a bad look for their Snapchat/ Instagram. All we needed to complete the full Norwich City experience was Delia Smith and her chants of ‘where are you?’ to both of our travelling supporters. The closest we have to Delia is Brad (head chef of the Wheatsheaf Inn in Swalecliffe) between the sticks. Anyway about the game….

A tight and scrappy 1st quarter with neither side gaining an upper hand changed drastically as the home side converted 2 chances to lead 2-0 at half time, the direct style of our opponents was causing some problems but we never ‘got started’ and the atmosphere was pretty flat.

Some stern words at the break and a much improved 2nd half was evident straight from the restart as Ethan Aitken pulled a goal back and we started to grow into the game. The fight back was well truly on and an equaliser from Simon Downes meant with 20 minutes to go we on course for some points, Delia would have been proud.

The home side went ahead 3-2 with a disputed goal and then pulled further away with an own goal to lead 4-2, it felt harsh but credit to our opposition who continued to push forward and kept us under pressure.

Despite the scoreline, the longer the game went on the more chances we created and on another day we could have taken something from the game, alas, it was not to be on this occasion.

A much improved 2nd half couldn’t mask the disappointment and feeling of ‘what could have been’ if we had started the match how we finished it. Target for next week has to be a proactive intensity and not reacting to our circumstances.

Squad: Brad Brown-Lea, Pete Ratcliff, Harry Halle-Smith, James Rollins, Simon Buckingham, Jonathan Adams, Ethan Aitken, Simon Downes, Freddie Phillips, Tom Wacher, Stuart Forbes