Marlborough Town Ladies 7 Mangotsfield Ladies 1
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.
Marlborough LadiesMarlborough Town Ladies 2 Warminster Sky Blue 1
After seven wins in a row, Marlborough were keen to finish their regular season games on Sunday with an eighth win at home.
It only took a minute before they were on the attack. Alex Sawyer ran onto a great ball from Ffion Williams. She controlled the ball well and managed to get a shot beyond the keeper's reach but the ball hit the post and bounced into the goal mouth. Kirsty Miles ran through the defence and popped it into the back of the net to bring Marlborough into an early and well-deserved lead.
They continued to play a good attacking game but a slip in concentration allowed a free kick to Warminster in a dangerous area. Going straight for goal, Warminster pounded the ball beyond the wall and the keeper and into the top corner of the goal. 1-1 and a frustrating set back.
But Marlborough went straight back into the attack.
Kirsty and Chloe Buller both had some great shots on goal but were denied by the Warminster keeper who was solid. It was only through great perseverance that Marlborough were able to get back into the game properly. Kirsty gained possession inside the box and struck her foot through the ball for an amazing goal and a 2-1 lead.
For the rest of the half, Marlborough just had to keep composure. They defended well and Alana Turner was forced to make some great saves.
They kept the game at a consistent tempo for the remainder of the game. Possession was quite evenly matched but Marlborough kept their discipline and came out of the game with their eighth win in a row.
The result was a good one and will only help to spur them on for their upcoming chance in the cup for the semi-final against Mangotsfield.
Marlborough Ladies in action against FromeMarlborough Town Ladies 7 Frome Town Ladies 2
After Marlborough's great run in the Wiltshire Cup last season, they were rearing to go for their quarter-final against Frome on Sunday. From the whistle, they came out strong and pushed into the Frome end.
It was only a few minutes into the game when some good pressure and a cross in from Kerry Ash resulted in a Frome defender messing up a clearance and creating an own goal. An easy start, but Marlborough did not let up the pressure. They were straight back in; causing havoc for the Frome defence.
It was a few minutes later that Kerry Ash had another good opportunity in which she crossed the ball into the centre for Ffion Williams to tap into the net.
Two-nil and Marlborough's confidence was growing. They passed the ball around well and maintained most of the possession. It allowed play to move from defence, through the midfield and up to the strikers for some great team play.
About 15 minutes into the game Kerry dribbled the ball beyond the keeper to find an open goal. She placed an easy ball into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
The first half allowed many chances throughout the team. Chloe Buller made a great run from defence and took a long range shot which was just wide of the goal. Everyone on the team was getting involved in the play. Before the half another two goals were scored; a great shot from Emily Sparkes as well as a well-placed header from Kirsty Miles.
Five-nil at half time was a great effort. Marlborough came out from the changing rooms eager for more.
Ffion gained possession in midfield and played a quick pass to Alex Sawyer who placed a through ball for Kirsty to run onto. She dribbled down the pitch and placed it perfectly behind the goalie for her second of the game.
Marlborough were playing well but a lack in concentration allowed Frome to take a short corner which resulted in a good goal.
Marlborough dusted themselves off and went again.
Twenty minutes later Ffion made an amazing run through the Frome defence and placed a calm ball into the back of the net.
Towards the end of the game, Frome managed to get another goal from a penalty kick but the end result was 7-2. Marlborough had dominated play and maintained composure through most of the game. It was a great team result and secured them a well-earned place in the semi-final of the cup.
Marlborough LadiesMarlborough Town Ladies 6 Trowbridge Wanderers 0
After having a couple weeks break, Marlborough ladies were excited about playing their first game at Elcot lane in 2016.
They started straight from the whistle; gaining possession and moving the ball around well. It was only 3 minutes into play when Kerry Ash dribbled down the right wing, cut in and flung the ball into the left corner of the goal. It was a great start to the game and Marlborough were able to settle into consistent possession from then.
They passed the ball from the defence through to the front, dominating play throughout.
It was only fifteen minutes later that Kerry got her second with a powerful shot into the back of the net. Marlborough had camped into the Trowbridge end. Before the half, Ffion Williams was able to get their third of the game.
Marlborough seemed a little shaky when they came out for the second half.
It took five minutes, but they regained their composure and Ffion got another two goals in quick succession.
Marlborough settled into the game again and had some good passes through the middle of the pitch. It wasn't long before Kerry made another run down the wing and scored her third goal of the game.
Marlborough had played some great football, gotten two hat-tricks and secured their sixth win in a row. When the final whistle blew, it felt like a great victory and a welcome return to Elcot Lane.
Marlborough LadiesFrome 0 Marlborough Town Ladies 3
An away game to Frome proved to be another tough game but another victory for Marlborough. Five wins in a row and another clean sheet was the ideal result.
Marlborough started the game with the wind on their side but playing uphill on an uneven pitch. For thirty minutes they concentrated on keeping the ball on the ground, passing it well and splitting up the Frome midfield.
It was 32 minutes in that Kerry Ash played a great ball in from the corner which Becky Knox flicked on with her head. The ball landed in a chaotic sea of bodies but Marlborough's Captain, Sarah Thomas, pushed through and knocked the ball into the back of the net.
With the lead on their side, Marlborough continued to pass the ball quickly through the middle and up the wings. After another ten minutes Alex Sawyer made a quick throw in to Emily Sparkes who shrugged off her defender for a one on one with the keeper. She played it calmly to the side and knocked it in for a 2 nil lead.
Despite the wind against them, Marlborough came into the second half of the game with optimism. They maintained a well disciplined defence and midfield and concentrated on playing the ball up the wings where Dani Hull made some amazing crosses into the box. The continuous hard work and attempts paid off.
The Frome defence were forced to deal with a tricky play with a hand ball in the box. Sarah Thomas stepped up for the penalty kick and calmly placed the ball in the bottom right corner.
Three-nil and Marlborough spent the last 15 minutes keeping their calm until the whistle blew for a well-deserved clean sheet and another win.
Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town Ladies 1 Laverstock Ladies 0
It was on the third attempt to play, that Marlborough were finally able to settle the score against Laverstock. It was last September that the two teams initially met and the game had to be abandoned due to a bad injury and resulting ambulance.
Despite the unfortunate circumstance, both teams were eager to play and it was to Marlborough's delight, when the one-nil lead from the original game, turned out to be the final scoreline for the re-match.
It proved to be a tough game. There was a constant drizzle along with the muddy conditions that Marlborough were becoming accustomed to in their January matches. Both teams would have to slog through the increasingly difficult terrain.
Despite the circumstance, Marlborough wanted to prove that they could win against a team who are four places above them in the league. They started strong and played the ball down the wings. They were able to create some good opportunities in the first thirty minutes but no goals.
The teams seemed quite evenly matched and Marlborough knew that they would have to take advantage of a moment of weakness if they were to get ahead.
It was 34 minutes into the game that the opportunity arose. Emily Sparkes played a great ball through the defenders which Alex Sawyer ran onto.
The defender managed to keep her body between the ball and the striker but the pressure caused her to move too close to the goal before Alex stuck her foot in between and popped the ball past the keeper.
1-0 to Marlborough and it proved to be a long remainder of the game. There was an hour left in which some good chances for both teams occurred but no true threats on goal. The pitch became tougher to play on and the real challenge was to maintain the discipline of solid passes and good defence. Marlborough's goalie, Alana Turner, had to be especially strong in the back. Her quick response to play kept Marlborough in the game on a couple of occasions.
It was especially tense when, a few minutes before the final whistle, a quick attack from Laverstock resulted in a ball thundering into the crossbar. It was still rattling when Alana scooped up the ball and cleared it out of danger.
It was a great relief when the whistle blew a few moments later and Marlborough had secured their fourth victory in a row.
Marlborough Ladies 2016Warminster Sky Blue 1 Marlborough Town Ladies 4
It was in the very first game of the season that Marlborough had felt hard done by, in a frustrating loss to Warminster.
As it was now the first round of cup games, Marlborough were determined, more than ever, to put in a good performance. A 4-1 win and a place in the next round of the cup matches was the perfect outcome.
Marlborough came out strong from the start. They took control of the ball and passed it well despite the incredibly uneven and muddy surface.
Only four minutes into play, and a brilliant pass split the Warminster defence where Emily Sparkes ran through and finished cleanly. Unfortunately, the ref called the play offside and the goal did not stand.
Although Marlborough maintained most of the possession and continued with strong attacks, they were unable to affect the scoreline. It was a frustrating turn of events when Warminster had a free kick 42 minutes in and took advantage of Marlborough in a momentary lapse in concentration.
Warminster fumbled around the six yard box unmarked before popping the ball in the back of the net and bringing the game to 1-0 just before the half.
The annoyance spurred Marlborough to an immediate attack. A through ball was played to Kirsty Miles who knocked it into the back of the net as the ref blew his whistle for a free kick to Marlborough.
Advantage should have been played but the ref was slow in his response. The goal was disallowed and the ball brought back for the free kick. Luckily, Kerry Ash took the ball calmly and found a clean shot to the goal through a sea of players.
1-1 and the whistle blew for half time.
Marlborough were encouraged. Some decisions from the ref had been against them but they were still level and had gained most of the possession; their confidence was growing. 57 minutes into the game and Marlborough were making some great passes in the Warminster half.
Kirsty got the ball just inside the box and held it up before playing it off to Vicki Pope who took a low and hard shot straight into the back of the net.
It only took another three minutes before Marlborough were attacking again. Ffion Williams took a great shot that ricocheted off the post and into Kirsty's path who popped it into the goal. 3-1 and Marlborough were playing a disciplined and well-executed game.
From the goalie up to the strikers, they maintained composure and passed the ball around smoothly. After 75 minutes of play, Dani Hull made a great cross into Vicki at the top of the box.
She trapped it well and played a great ball to Kerry who took it around a player before smashing it into the top left corner of the goal.
The game was a huge success. Not only had Marlborough secured a place in the next stage of the cup games, but they had proved how capable they are of playing much better football than the first time they had met Warminster.
Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town Ladies 11 Lavington Ladies 0
Following a six week break, Marlborough bring in the new year with their first game back and a welcome victory of 11-0 against Lavington.
It was a slow start but a couple of good runs up the wing created confidence up front and some good attempts at goal. It took twenty minutes in a cold and constant drizzle but Marlborough's eagerness paid off when Kerry Ash passed the ball into Vicki Pope from the wing. Pope controlled it well and played the ball into Kirsty Miles who popped the ball easily passed the goalie.
Two minutes later and Ffion Williams created another opportunity; playing a ball out wide to Kerry, who dribbled to the edge of the 18 yard box before putting her foot through the ball and sending it flying to the back of the net.
Two goals and Marlborough were settled into the Lavington half. The tempo was slower than usual but they moved the ball around well across an increasingly muddier pitch. The strikers had to battle through mud and defenders but their perseverance paid off.
After positioning herself well, Abbii Demir popped two goals into the net in the span of ten minutes. Emily Sparkes also got herself on the scoresheet with a great move around a defender and a well placed shot. It brought the game to 5-0 when the whistle blew for half time.
Marlborough were pleased with the lead but knew that they could be better in their execution. They warmed themselves as best they could and went out for the second half with a desire for more goals. Five minutes in and Ffion started them off by moving around a defender and placing the ball in the back of net.
A couple minutes later and Kirsty followed with a shot to the post which ricocheted in. Ffion managed another two in the half whilst Vicki Pope and Emma Brown also added their names to the scoresheet.
It was a cold and muddy game but it felt worth it when the final whistle went. A clean sheet and lots of goals was the perfect start to a new part of the season.