Football: Marlborough Ladies fall to top-of-the-league Chippenham
Chippenham 8 Marlborough Town Ladies 0
Playing at Stanley Park on a wet and windy day was bound to be tough. Chippenham are top of the league and for good reason; they play sensible football with lots of skill throughout the team.
It wasn't a surprise when they started the game with a quick movement of play that brought one of their strikers within a good distance of goal. Sensing the danger, Marlborough's central defender, Laura Crampton, moved in close and accidentally clipped the striker's heel. It resulted in a penalty kick and an early goal for Chippenham.
The goal did not deter Marlborough from their mission. Great determination moved them forward with some solid passing along the left hand side of the pitch. From Alex Sawyer in defence, up to Kerry Ash on the wing and then to Emily Sparkes at top, there was some intricate passing before Emily popped the ball across the front of the goal mouth towards Emma Brown. She was desperate to even up the score but inches from getting on the end of the cross.
Marlborough continued to attack. It was only a few minutes later that Kerry Ash had an opportunity and got a shot off which went just wide of the goal. Another great chance that went unanswered.
Chippenham took advantage. They gained possession and moved in a tight pack of quick passes. Twenty minutes into the game and they played a ball through the defence and into the path of their quick striker. She gained control and got a shot off to bring the game to two nil.
Marlborough battled hard to get the game back. Ffion Williams gained possession in midfield and moved forwards through a sea of opponents. Despite the pressure, she managed to get a shot on target but it wasn't to be.
The Chippenham's keeper scooped it up and the play switched ends again. Once again, the Chippenham striker got through the defence with skill and speed before striking the ball past Robyn Hill's wide reach and into the corner of the net.
With halftime nearing, Marlborough had one more opportunity. Kerry Ash and Emily Sparkes had some great play in the corner before crossing to Kirsty Miles who just missed the ball due to slick grass and a slip near the back post. Despite the miss, it ended the half on a positive note.
Marlborough wanted so badly to turn the game around. They came out with some more great passing but a slip in defence resulted in another Chippenham goal within 4 minutes of play. Again, the play swapped ends but the situation did not change. The wind and rain continued to pound and the goals could not go in for Marlborough.
A great ball in from Kirsty Miles gave Abbii Demir a chance but once again, the goalie came up strong. The ball moved down the wing to the other end and Chippenham punished Marlborough with a great lob and a fifth goal.
The game continued much the same. There were various attacks but no goals for Marlborough. There was a play down the wing by Alex Sawyer who took on two players but then made a shot which was short of the front post. Similarly, Abbii Demir made a great run and almost got on the end of a brilliantly worked ball from Ffion Williams and Emily Sparkes.
A minute later and Sarah Thomas picked up the ball in midfield and played a great pass to Emily Sparkes whose shot brushed the keepers hands before pinging onto the front post and out for a corner.
The lack of goals was frustrating and Chippenham did not ease up. Five minutes later and they worked around the defence again and beat Robyn at the near post bringing the game to six nil. Over the next fifteen minutes, Chippenham managed to get another two goals that were of similar play.
They worked together and took advantage of their midfield formation which was strong in numbers. A minute before the whistle and yet again, they wanted to punish Marlborough.
Their striker took a shot which Robyn Hill got a hand to before the ball bounded behind her and towards goal. Alex Sawyer managed to slide in and get a foot to the ball before their striker could put another one in.
The game ended and Marlborough were relieved. They had played another game to the very end; giving everything they had with little luck on their side.