Aldershot and Farnham Hockey Club’s ladies’ first team ended their South East Women’s Premier Division campaign with a 1-1 draw against Folkestone at Heath End.

The match was hard fought, with both teams finding it hard to break through for much of the game.

Home goalkeeper Lucy Cochrane made some crucial saves, while Aldershot and Farnham were unable to open the scoring at the other end.

Phoebe Bryant controlled the A&F team from the back, finding spaces through the Folkestone press, occasionally straight through to forwards Tammy Davis and Emily Desmond – giving them some good chances.

Folkestone managed to build a few attacks, creating confusion with an overloaded right-hand side. One of these attacks led to a scrappy goal just before half-time.

The second half saw a similar battle, with the A&F defence remaining solid.

Ella Chaplin, who leaves A&F for university in September, stepped in to scoop up any breakaways from Folkestone.

Joey Taylor built some promising attacks, switching the play through centre midfielder Louise Laws.

Davis beat the Folkestone defence for pace on a few occasions, but was unable to find a breakthrough.

The patience from A&F finally paid off when a fifth penalty corner was neatly plucked from the air by Fiona Stewart, who dispatched her effort into the back of the net to draw the home side level.

The rest of the match remained close, with Hannah Wrench unlucky not to score on the volley. Folkestone had a goal disallowed for dangerous play in the moments beforehand and also picked up a couple of green cards.

Aldershot and Farnham finished in ninth place in the South East Women’s Premier Division, with three wins and six draws since Christmas securing the team’s status in the league for next season.

New coach Matt Aldrich joined the team in September, and his positive approach – putting the responsibility firmly with the players to take the lead – was a big change.

Wins against Oxted, Maidstone and Eastbourne, as well as draws against Brighton, Sevenoaks and Woking, provide plenty of optimism going into next season.

Louise Laws