Hockey: in tightly fought contest Marlborough ladies first team just miss draw with West Wilts
Marlborough 3 West Wilts 4
After last weeks rain-drenched game at Swanage, Marlborough were very pleased to have a home fixture in the sunshine! The visitors were local rivals West Wilts who were sitting second in the league.
A strong start was required by Marlborough to exert great pressure on the opposition and get them on the back foot from the off - and this is what the home side achieved.
Marlborough's attacking formation paid off and with some great linking between the forwards and midfield more and more pressure was put on West Wilts which resulted in a goal within the first ten minutes, scored by Jess Pugh who skillfully out-manoeuvred the opposition in their goalmouth.
Unfortunately Marlborough's strangle hold on the game could not be maintained and the visitors started stringing together plays testing the home sides defence. However great team work and tackling from Emily Carter-Davies, Beth Palfrey, Amy Davidson, Victoria Williams and Annabel Ashley kept these attacks at bay.
Then two West Wilts goals in quick succession gave Marlborough a shock but spurred them into action. Marlborough were resilient and continued to work hard, mid field held the middle of the park and then connected with Lottie Colquhoun up front who skillfully moved the ball around the goalkeeper to put the ball in the back of the net.
The game then opened up with the play bouncing back and forth from one goal mouth to the other. Once more West Wilts took the lead and once more Marlborough counter attacked and with intense pressure on the goalmouth Jess Pugh scored her second goal of the game. Then the whistle blew for half time.
After a motivating half time team talk by Sarah Kendall, Marlborough knew on paper that their squad could beat this team, but they needed to modify their game plan to secure a victory.
The second half was a very edgy affair with both sides evenly matched. Both sides attacked with great set plays, both defences and goalkeepers held firm and the spectators were treated to some free flowing end to end hockey.
Unfortunately for Marlborough West Wilts were awarded a short corner in the final ten minutes which resulted in a goal. Despite their best efforts Marlborough just could not find the equaliser in the short time left. The closely fought game finished 4-3 to West Wilts.
Marlborough ladies finish the first half of the league season seventh in the league with a great team spirit evident. After a well-deserved break for Christmas, the team look to improve their league position in the second half of the season.
Marlborough News Online player of the match was awarded to Sarah Kendall.