Mens 3s v K Sports (Cobdown)

Match date: 14/03/20
Opposition: K Sports (Cobdown)
Home or away: Home
Result: 4-1
Scorers: Matt Smith (1), Josh Slater (3)
Man/ Woman of the Match Wynn Roberts
Match Reporter Jon McIver

NHBC's 3rds final home game of the season, played in a slightly surreal fin du siècle atmosphere at a near deserted Lennard Road with almost every other team game at the club cancelled. End of an era for Wynn Roberts too, with (probably) his final game for NBHC after many years and even more goals for the club and its predecessors – his contribution will be remembered by all.

The Cobdown 4s is clearly their development side and they were much improved from the side we beat five nil in the reverse of this fixture in November – there are a lot of them, with coaches and supporters, and obviously a lot has been spent on their perfectly matching kit, but if you don’t play in a tight formation at this level, winning matches is hard.

NHBC 3rds do however play in a tight formation and consequently have only lost three competitive games all season, and were in no mood to lose this one. We started the game confidently and pushed Cobdown firmly back into their half but as always struggled to score against a team with 11 men behind the ball, in spite of having Andy Skipper back for his first game in five months. Gradually however we managed to make progress simply by widening the formation and getting behind the Cobdown defence. The first goal came from precisely that, the ball was moved quickly out of defence, up the right wing, across the goal and onto the stick of Matt Smith who gratefully knocked it home.

For the rest of the half we huffed and puffed, Wynn came on and within a few minutes of his (probably) last appearance was given a ball on the end of his stick which he unluckily knocked against the post. The half time team talk focused on the lack of goals – at only one nil we are always vulnerable. Against Ashford the week before the same thing had happened and they had ragged (literally, their striker clearly kicked the ball in and then celebrated like Maradona, embarrassing) an equaliser in spite of us having 80% possession.
The team talk seemed to work and we went into the second half re-invigorated and Josh scored a well-deserved goal after a few minutes. A second from him seemed to put the game out of reach, but Cobdown were not finished and finally seemed to start playing the ball onto their attackers from deep in midfield. A mix up on the left and a pass to their main striker resulted in Cube rushing out of his goal to kick the ball clear, unfortunately he kicked it straight to their other striker who rounded him and slotted home. Cobdown subsequently got a few short corners but another swift attacking NBHC move enabled Josh to get his hat-trick from Andy's skied shot and the game was over.
No handshakes but congratulations all round, we finish the league a firm third.


Mens 3s v Burnt Ash

Match date: 18/01/20
Opposition: Burnt Ash
Home or away: Away
Result: 2-1
Scorers: Wynn Roberts (1), Phil Cole (1)
Man/ Woman of the Match Phil Cole
Match Reporter Jon McIver

First game back of the second half of the season and New Beccs consolidated second place in the league with a decent win against a side that defended for 95% of the 70 minute game. Burnt Ash were on the wrong end of a 6 nil tonking in the reverse of this fixture at HSBC in October, and clearly had damage limitation as their main concern in this game. They defended resolutely and occasionally made a break into our half, but came up against a constant wave of green and yellow.

New Beccs started slowly but started to dominate from about 10 minutes in after the Christmas rustiness had been run off. A low sun in our faces and some poor umpiring became quite frustrating, but we eventually resigned ourselves to both. Nick Williams was picking up the loose balls all over the pitch but Burnt Ash always seemed to have 3 or 4 defenders ready to clear the resulting cross. Leon went close and Phil Cole started to penetrate down the left wing, but we eventually went ahead midway through first half when Wynn expertly dispatched a simple short corner. The good work was undone a few minutes later however, when our defence, who were as desperate as everyone else to score, were dragged too far up field. This had happened at the beginning of the game but when it happened again it resulted in Burnt Ash breaking quickly and scoring in spite of the ball clearly hitting an opposition shin pad and hand in the build up.

The half time score didn’t reflect our domination, and a resolute team talk and some sublime substitutions managed to turn things around in the second half. Jeff Pitcher came on a right back and started to dominate the whole right half area and feed incessant balls to Ewan Williams, who was starting to penetrate the opposition D. This link up and some better shaped defence and long corner routines (we only had 4 shorts all game but must have had at least 25 longs) lead to long periods of New Beccs domination. Phil Cole had missed a couple of sweet chances on the left post (including one disallowed goal which I'm still puzzling about) until he popped onto a goal keeper's error and scoped in from a metre out. The Burnt Ash keeper had played well up until then and had made a number of crucial saves, but I think the incessant pressure finally got to him.

So 2-1 up with 10 minutes to go, we played out the game with some fluent passing and attacking moves, at last finding our rhythm from last year. Burnt Ash had time to get their only short corner of the game, but once we went ahead again there was only going to be one winner in this game.


Mens 3s v Gore Court Men's 5s

Match date: 29/02/20
Opposition: Gore Court Men's 5s
Home or away: Away
Result: 2-0
Scorers: Jeff Pitcher (1) Borys Wowczuk (1)
Man/ Woman of the Match
Match Reporter Jon McIver


Mens 3s v Cobdown

Match date: 30/11/19
Opposition: K-Sports (Cobdown)
Home or away: Away
Result: 5-0
Scorers: Joseph Furzer (1), James Grey (1), Jon McIver (1), Matt Smith (1), Borys Wowczuk (1)
Man/ Woman of the Match Nick Williams
Match Reporter Jon McIver

Final game of the first half of the season and New Beccs were keen to get another win and maintain
pressure on the top of the league, a win today would make it 5 in a row. We only had the bare 11
starting due to drop puts and sickness but it was a strong team particularly down the centre and we
started dominantly and continued that way throughout the match. Cobdown struggled to get out
their half, but defended resolutely and, with a strong keeper, caused New Beccs a few problems in
the first 20 minutes.

The break came when we started to move the ball to the wings and get behind the Cobdown
defence, a move from the back started by Pete Watt and finishing with Nick Williams down the right
slotting across a ball that the overlapping CDM pushed in majestically at the left hand post. A great
team move, but Cobdown still would not admit defeat and with the score at 1-0 at half time they
were still in the game.

Half time team talk focused on the lack of shots and eventually suggested that a few short corners
(we had had none in the first half in spite of circa 75% possession) might change the game. Sure
enough a few minutes into the second half Joe put the ball onto a defenders foot and from the short
James Grey pummelled it home into our favourite bottom left corner. Cobdown heads started to
slump and smiles disappear, as New Beccs continued to attack relentlessly. Another short corner
allowed New Beccs to demonstrate the feared Boris routine and indeed Borys Wowczuk did slot
home a fiercely spinning shot between the keepers legs and a defenders foot. However he had not
taken the ball out the D so it was correctly disallowed.

The 3rd goal wasn’t long in coming though with Matt Smith following up on some neat passing down
the right from Nick Williams and by then Cobdown knew they were going to be well beaten. Borys
did get on the score sheet a few moments later after exploiting the increasing freedom he was being
given by the Cobdown defence, he shot home from the top of the D. The final nail in Cobdown's day
came a few minutes before the end with Joe Furzer, who had run the Cobdown defence ragged all
day, doing a mirror image of Borys's goal. Unfortunately that made the score 5-0, which on paper
looks like a walkover, and the final whistle went before we had time to make it 6-0.

Special mention to Cube in goal, who for the first time in 40 years played an entire game without
touching the ball, and to the left and right backs (Hugh Willoughby and Vince West) who gave the
young Cobdown wingers virtually no possession all afternoon.

New Beccs 3s finish the first half of the season in 2nd place with 7 wins, 1 loss and 1 concession (the
last two over October half term, when we struggled to get a team out). Ignoring the walkover we
have scored 38 goals whilst only conceding 13 – top scorers so far Josh Slater on 8 and Leon Jackson
and Joe Furzer on 5 each.


Mens 3s v Gore Court

Match date: 16/11/19
Opposition: Gore Court
Home or away: Home
Result: 3-0
Scorers: Joseph Furzer (2), James Grey (1)
Man/ Woman of the Match Callum McIver
Match Reporter Jon McIver

It's often said that the mark of a good team is one that plays badly and still wins and this was certainly the case with the game against Gore Court at HSBC. We started with a strong team with a handful of first team players joining us for a leisurely 1.30pm push back but made hard work of youthful Gore Court team that clearly wanted to win the game.

As always we started like 11 strangers afraid of the ball and Gore Court exploited that with a number of attacks, none of which hit the mark. They seemed to have 4 or 5 players who liked running into the D from half way and putting a shot in, but without a recognised centre forward made it hard for themselves to get on the score sheet. A few substitutions midway through the first half gave New Beccs some forward momentum and we started to put a few attacks on the opposition's goal together. Our second short corner lead to James Grey slotting the ball neatly into the goal corner but the goal was erroneously ruled out for not exiting the D.

New Beccs started to dominate the game in the latter stages of the first half and Joe Furzer popped up with one of his trademark dribble and runs into the bottom left corner to give us a deserved lead at half time. Some excellent goal keeping by Calum McIver making his New Beccs debut had steadied our defence in the first half and he continued this into the second, making some fine saves that frustrated Gore Court, they were beginning to realise that they were probably never going to score.

The second half went pretty much the same way as the first, an early goal from James Grey for New Beccs made the score line safer and our goalkeeper continued to frustrate Gore Court in spite of some near suicidal passes by our defenders. With 10 minutes to go some smart substitutions put some renewed impetus in our forward line, and a simple "boris" (using Jeff pitcher, Boris is on holiday) routine short corner left Joe Furzer free in the D to slot home his second into his favourite bottom left corner.

All in, a frustrating game against good opposition, but a win (as they say) is a win, with a clean sheet as a welcome bonus.


Mens 3s v Maidstone

Match date: 09/11/19
Opposition: Maidstone
Home or away: Away
Result: 8-4
Scorers: Josh Slater (2), Andy Skipper (3), Jon McIver (1), Joseph Furzer (2)
Man/ Woman of the Match Joseph Furzer
Match Reporter Jon McIver

Another goal fest for New Beccs 3rd 11 against a Maidstone side who were better and more organised that we thought they would be. A 4pm push back on a wet and windy pitch wasn’t something for the faint hearted, but New Beccs were raring to go after a good home victory against Herne Bay the week before.

Things didn’t go entirely to plan with Maidstone taking the lead after about five minutes when some poor defensive passing lead to their wingers passing inside to a unmarked Maidstone centre forward to slot home. However Jeff Pitcher continued to roar down out right wing and after a few failed attempts put in a fine knee high cross which our overlapping CDM slotted into the bottom left hand corner – a beautiful move and a contender for goal of the season that was applauded all around the ground.

New Beccs then started to crank through the gears and completely dominate Maidstone – two goals from Andy Skipper (including a well taken and deserved penalty flick), a first New Beccs goal for Joe Furzer and a neat finish from Josh Slater made it 5-1 at half time and Maidstone appeared to be down and out. We always start badly and then get better and this match appeared to be heading for a comprehensive victory, particularly with Ed Lipscombe turning up to help out (after playing for the 2s at Ashford) at half time.

Maidstone however had different ideas and in the first 10 minutes of the second half proceeded to dominate us by rushing forward from midfield and overwhelming our defence. Two quick goals from them and some great saves from Cube made it 5-3 but the turning point came when they appeared to slot home at the left post and celebrated like banshees. Luckily the goal was correctly ruled out after an appeal by Cube and some honesty from Maidstone.
5-4 could have been fatal, but luckily we took heart from this and started attacking again. Three quick goals from Josh, Andy and Joe (who tormented their back line brilliantly all afternoon) put the game out of reach. Phil Cole played a blinder at left midfield and assisted on all 3 of these goals.

Special mention as well to Matt Smith who held the centre superbly all afternoon in spite of an ankle injury. At 8-3 we wound down a little bit and another defensive error enabled Maidstone to slot home a final goal, but this game was a majestic New Beccs team performance.

12 goals and a firework display, Maidstone hasn’t seen entertainment like this since VE Day.


Mens 3s v Tunbridge Wells

Match date: 12/10/19
Opposition: Tunbridge Wells
Home or away: Home
Result: 6-1
Scorers: Josh Slater (1), Leon Jackson (2), Boris Wowczuk (1), Henry Darley (1), Tom Merry (1)
Man/ Woman of the Match Jeff Pitcher
Match Reporter Jon McIver

Second game of the season and New Beccs 3rd XI continued their impressive start to the season. Tunbridge Wells were the opposition and they were far more skilled and energetic than Burnt Ash were the week before. We only had the bare 11 players due to some poor availability and late drop outs but most of the team were the same as the week before and were raring to go.

We started the game slowly as we always tend to do, but started to dominate from the 5th minute or so. However TW took the lead against the run of play as their goal hanging right forward was left unmarked in the corner and he slid the ball to the top of the D for their young midfielder to score. Still our heads didn't drop and the defence started to talk a lot more to avoid a repeat of any further break away goals. Midway through the first half Leon scored his first from a cross from the left, and towards the end of the half New Beccs's superb short corner routine lead to Leon passing to Henry for his first goal of the season.

The half time team talk sorted out a few issues and focused on the opposition's penchant for playing down the middle. TW came out reinvigorated with 2 new substitutes and played a different type of game. However every time they attacked we tended to go down the other end and score, which seemed to deflate them in the driving rain. Strangely their goal hanger who had caused so many issues in the first half swapped wings and became effectively anonymous. Leon scored his second a few minutes into the second half and that was followed by 3 more from Tom, Boris (with his trade mark top left of the D drive) and finally Josh picking up yet another Leon pass in the D.

The defence held firm in spite of almost 3 times the number of attacks in the second half compared to the first, and Jeff Pitcher playing his first game in 6 months grew in confidence against a wilting opposition.

Man of the match was Jeff for some resolute defending and amusing advice on how to play the game to his team mates.


Mens 3s v Burnt Ash

Match date: 05/10/19
Opposition: Burnt Ash
Home or away: Home
Result: 6-0
Scorers: Josh Slater (3), Leon Jackson (1), Andy Skipper (1), Tim Orman (1)
Man/ Woman of the Match Josh Slater
Match Reporter Jon McIver

Great start to the season for the New Beccs 3rd XI against our perennial favourite (as we always beat them) opposition Burnt Ash. We welcomed some new players Milo Darley, Joe Furzer and Tim Orman for their debuts at Lennard Road and they all played pivotal roles in our victory – in fact I thought that Joe scored and that the score was seven nil, but consensus says I was wrong. Never mind on this form his first goal will come fairly soon.

We also welcomed back Pete Slater, newly retired (from work) and ready to play his first game for in about 3 years. However after a promising start, a rather innocuous Burnt Ash tackle lead to him falling down and pulling his hamstring, cutting his debut to about 5 minutes. Still playing with his Dad invigorated Josh Slater who scored his first hat trick for the club, with 3 superbly taken goals.
The game started well - our first attack lead to Leon scoring with a divine chip into the bottom left corner after about 45 seconds. New Beccs dominated the first half but we struggled to break down Burnt Ash's tactic of having 11 players behind the ball until the last period of the half when we added two more, giving us a deserved 3-0 cushion at half time.
We started the second half inspired by a tactical team talk about releasing the ball earlier and getting more shots in and the game certainly livened up in the second half. Burnt Ash continued arguing amongst themselves and tackling with their shoulders, but made a few forays into our half, some of which involved our goalkeeper Cube (who had nothing to do in the first half) touching the ball for the first time.

The only thing that let us down was some poor short corner routines, we had about 5 in the first half and maybe double that in the second, none of which were converted. However we did manage to score from Burnt Ash's first short corner half way through the second half. A superb tackle on their receiver at the top of the D let to the ball being quickly passed up field for Josh to convert at the near post. Boris did put the ball in the net from one of our shorts but unfortunately the umpire blew for a Burnt Ash infringement just as he hit the ball, so it was disallowed.

We will face better opposition that this but if we take our chances we can always score goals. The key to this game was the midfield 4 (Boris, Milo, Joe and Josh) who refused to let the ball out of the opposition's half, a solid defence who didn’t get sucked up field too much, and a tireless front pair who both wanted more goals.

Goal of the match was Tim's reverse stick sweep from the top of the D in the last quarter, but man of the match has to be Josh for his treble.