Hockey: Marlborough men back to winning ways - despite a team thinned by injuries
Marlborough 3 Wootton Bassett 1
Marlborough put last week's surprise defeat behind them in an efficient and professional manner in their home game against Wootton Bassett (December 3).
Injuries were beginning to mount leaving the squad thin on the ground. The lack of fit defensive players forced Marlborough to make a tactical shift away from the formation which has served them so well in the season to date.
Marlborough started the game in a slightly shaky way as they adjusted to the new passing angles and defensive responsibilities. Some intelligent covering defence keep the scoreline level.
As they began to find their feet, Marlborough started to dominate both possession and territory. They opened the scoring when Matt Way took a quick free hit just outside the attacking 25, he played the ball in towards the P spot where Rich Fynn had found space inside the circle and deftly turned the ball into the far corner of the goal - one straight off the training ground.
Their lead was extended following good play down the right hand side of the pitch. The Wootton Basset keeper made the first save, but the rebound was gathered by Will Radnedge who calmly rounded a last ditch tackle before flicking the ball into the goal from a tight angle.
Marlborough's two goal lead was held into half time thanks to several smart saves from Brian Marnane who once again showed his value to the team.
The message at half time was simple: don't drop standards and the game would be won.
Marlborough started the second half well with their adapted press forcing Bassett to rush their attempts at clearing ball and allowing Marlborough to win several high turnovers.
It was from one of these where they extended their lead in a carbon copy of the first goal - with Matt Way once again playing the ball into Rich Fynn. This time their keeper made the initial save, but Rich Fynn collected his own rebound and slotted it calmly into the net.
Marlborough continued to press for another, but then conceded a goal from a well taken dragflick. This meant there were some nerves through the last ten minutes, especially when reduced to 10 men following a very harsh Green card for vice captain Will Radnedge.
Marlborough held firm with some intelligent game management and got themselves back on track in their bid for promotion. They now go into their top of the table clash away at Bath Buccs full of confidence and look forward to seeing several players back to full fitness.
Marlborough News Online man of the match was awarded to Brian Marnane for some very timely saves to preserve the two goal lead going in to half time.