Football: Cup final place for Marlborough Ladies
Although Marlborough's season had begun with one disappointing result after another, they were finally settling into their stride; ten victories in a row and their confidence was growing.
Perfect timing. The semi-final of the Wiltshire Ladies League Cup was upon them and Marlborough were raring to go.
Marlborough Town had set their hearts on getting to the final and the ladies didn't disappoint. With a 7-1 victory against Mangotsfield on Sunday, they proved that they were a worthy opponent for the cup final for a second year running.
It was clear from the start that Marlborough meant business. The whistle blew and they gained control of play. They passed the ball well amongst the team and it didn't take long before Vicki Pope played a great ball into Emily Sparkes who threatened the Mangotsfield defence.
She played the ball to Ffion Williams who controlled it well and punished the away team with a neatly placed ball in the back of the net. Ten minutes into the game and a one nil lead was ideal.
Marlborough were elated but they knew that composure and discipline was what they needed to win the game. They came straight back into play with a fighting spirit. It only took two minutes for Vicki to spot another opportunity.
She played Ffion in for a one on one chance with the goalie. Having only just scored, Ffion was full of confidence. She dribbled close and then released a perfectly placed shot into the bottom corner of the goal.
After such a convincing start, it was frustrating when, ten minutes later, a jostle in defence led to a penalty kick for Mangotsfield. Their striker hit the ball cleanly and Marlborough's goalie, Robyn Hill, was just shy of reaching the ball before it flew into the back of the net.
2-1 but Marlborough were not discouraged.
Ffion had two more, similar opportunities before the half was up. On both occasions she went one on one with the keeper. Even with defenders at her heel, she kept control and knocked the ball into the net.
Half time and Marlborough were well in the lead.
Knowing that they had to continue their work rate, they came out strong and, within seven minutes, scored again. This time it was a great dummy from Emily Sparkes followed by a volley from Ffion.
The teamwork was seamless. From the goalie up to the strikers, the possession and passing was solid.
Another few minutes and Ffion crossed a ball into Emily who scored the team's 6th goal.
Despite already being so far ahead, it was only fitting that the game be finished with another goal from Ffion. 67 minutes into the game, a corner landed to her feet and she tapped it in for a 7-1 lead and the final goal of the game.
Marlborough had played some brilliant football and were well-deserving of the win and their secured place in the final on May 8.