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‘Perfect result’ as Marlborough Ladies wreak revenge on Warminster

Marlborough Ladies 2016Marlborough 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.

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11-0 victory for Marlborough Ladies in first match after break


Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough 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.


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Marlborough Ladies return from mid-season break to win 15-0

Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town LadiesLavington Ladies 0 Marlborough Town Ladies 15

After a couple weeks’ break, Marlborough jumped back into it with their final game of the year and a triumphant win of 15-nil against Lavington.

Despite the dreary weather, it's a great end to the year and a real success for everyone on the team.

Not only do they keep an important clean sheet through faultless discipline from the goalies and defenders, but they gain some much-needed confidence through great teamwork creating a multitude of goals. Coming from defenders up to the strikers, they started the goals early on.

It was only 18 seconds in when Emily Sparkes popped the ball into the back of the net from a great run and cross from Kerry Ash.

With the goal under their belt and confidence on their side, Marlborough began to settle into the Lavington half and work the ball around.

The goals became constant. There were six in the first half and nine in the second. Five came from Ffion Williams, four from Emily Sparkes, two from Emma Brown, two from Lucy Bush, one from Aimee Rayner and one from Kerry Ash.

Everyone played their part but it was especially great to get some new names on the score sheet. Emily, Emma, Lucy and Aimee all had their first goals of the season. It was a great relief for some and an opportunity to gain the confidence and experience to take into the next year.

Marlborough were thrilled to be finishing 2015 on the high of a well deserved win.

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Well-deserved point for Marlborough Ladies

Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town Ladies

Marlborough Town Ladies 3 Melksham Town Ladies 3

Following a series of losses, Marlborough finally gained a well-deserved point from their 3-3 tie against 2nd place team in the league, Melksham Town.

Marlborough started with strong wind in their favour which they immediately took advantage of. 28 seconds in, and a loose ball outside of the 18 yard box was picked up by Vicki Pope and curled over the keeper's head.

Fifteen minutes later and Kirsty Miles trapped a cross from the wing in front of goal. Composed, she made a great turn and shot the ball into the back of the net.

It was a great start to the game and laid a foundation of positive play and brilliant possession. Throughout the team, Marlborough worked hard. Over the next 20 minutes Ffion Williams and Emily Sparkes both made some positive runs and resulting shots; forcing the keeper to make a couple of great saves.

It was 40 minutes into the half when a superb pass from Sarah Thomas cut the Melksham defence and allowed Ffion Williams to scoop up the ball and go one on one with the keeper. Again, composure paid off and the ball ended in the back of the net.

The whistle blew for halftime and Marlborough knew that the wind would make the second half twice as difficult. They came out strong but Melksham had the ability to settle into their game and make more attacks.

It was 54 minutes into the game when they crossed a ball which Robyn Hill's fingertips just brushed before the ball landed to the feet of a Melksham striker who put her foot through and scored their first goal of the game.

Ten minutes later, and a miss-catch from Robyn Hill landed perfectly for another striker to take advantage of and bring Melksham their second goal.

Marlborough continued to play well but the elements were difficult and the pressure on their defence became relentless. Another ten minutes and Melksham took a shot on goal which beat the keeper at the front post and into the net.

3-3 but Marlborough continued their battle. It was with great frustration that five minutes before the end of the game, Marlborough were cheated out of what would have been a winning goal of the game. Sarah Thomas was fouled outside the box but the ball landed perfectly to Kirsty Miles who calmly popped the ball into the goal.

A huge delay from the Ref meant the whistle was blown for the foul after the ball was already in the back of the net. He reversed the opportunity for an advantage play and took the goal back for a free kick to Marlborough.

It was a frustrating end but Marlborough could be proud of themselves for the great determination and skill they portrayed throughout the game. A tie against the second place team and they could hold their heads high.

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Football: Marlborough Ladies fall to top-of-the-league Chippenham

Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town LadiesChippenham 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.

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Marlborough Ladies struggle away to Highworth

Highworth Town 5 Marlborough Town Ladies 0

An away game against Highworth Town would always be difficult for Marlborough. Their last few meetings have been both mentally and physically tough.

Marlborough came into the game prepared for a challenge. From the kick off they gained possession and moved the ball wide. The midfield worked well to give constant options for quick passes around the Highworth players. Marlborough had a couple early opportunities but the Highworth keeper proved to be quick in reacting.

After seven minutes of play Highworth found some space in the centre of the pitch and moved it forward. From outside the eighteen yard box, they lobbed a ball which flew over the defence and goalie to bring the game to one nil.

The following ten minutes continued similarly. Marlborough took control of the ball and looked dangerous moving forwards. Their defence, midfield and strikers all worked well to have positive play with some great passing.

Again, it was unfortunate when the Highworth keeper made a great save, scooped up the ball and blasted it down the pitch. With the sun in their eyes, Marlborough didn't attack the ball. It bounced past three players and was picked up by a Highworth striker who went through the defence for a one on one with the keeper. From the edge of the box she struck the ball and managed to get it over Robyn Hill's fingertips and into the net.

Despite the hot day and the rising pressure, Marlborough did well to maintain composure. They played continuous passes and created chances. From runs down the wing to corner kicks, Marlborough had plenty of crosses into the box which weren't able to be converted. Ffion Williams had one opportunity from just inside the eighteen yard box which ended with the ball smashing forcefully into the crossbar.

Soon after, the game changed ends and Highworth got another great chance. A cross into the box skimmed Robyn's fingertips before landing perfectly at the feet of a Highworth player. She took it calmly and brought the game to three nil with only a minute left in the half.

Marlborough knew that they had played the better football. Despite the score, they were determined to go into the second half with the same focus of playing good football and creating more opportunities.

They were determined to test the goalie. After a great display of passing down the wing by Emily Sparkes and Abby Easter, Lucy Bush picked up the ball and made a terrific attempt at goal. The Highworth keeper just managed to bring it down and squash the threat and a minute later the game swapped ends. Highworth did some intricate passing through the Marlborough defence and created a fourth goal. Marlborough were quick to respond.

They pushed forwards and had another great opportunity when Ffion Williams shot the ball into the top left corner. Again, the keeper managed to get a hand to it.

Highworth managed another goal soon after and it seemed it wouldn't be Marlborough's day. The last twenty minutes of the game had a lot of swapping ends but no further goals. Marlborough finished the game feeling deflated but they could be proud of their performance and continuous hard work.

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An early own goal leaves Marlborough with an uphill battle


Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town Ladies 1 Swindon Town Development 2

The second home game in a row, and Marlborough were keen for another win. It was very unfortunate when a mistake in defence led to an own goal in the first minute of the game and a mountain to climb.

As frustrating as the start was, Marlborough proved their determination and kept their heads up. Eight minutes in and Sarah Thomas did some good work in the middle, setting up an opportunity for Ffion Williams who shot just wide of the target.

It was just a few minutes later that a corner from Vicki Pope was flicked on by Alex Sawyer to Ffion again. Her shot went just over the bar.

Unfortunately, after a few more minutes of play, Ffion had to go off due to a hamstring injury and there was a swap around of players.

Swindon moved to the other end of the pitch. They're a young team with quick players. They worked the ball well and Robyn Hill was forced to make a spectacular save to keep Marlborough in the game. It allowed time for one more attack before half time but Kirsty Miles' shot went wide. Marlborough came into the second half a goal down.

After seven minutes of play, a free kick to Swindon allowed them to pass the ball through a dangerous area until they got a shot off and went two nil up.

Marlborough picked themselves up and moved play to the other end where Kirsty and Vicki made some great passes. They managed to get a shot off but it was scooped up by the Swindon keeper. Ten minutes later, more determination and intricate play gave Vicki another chance which went just over the bar.

Again, Vicki got the ball. This time just outside the eighteen yard box where she put her foot through it. She didn't make the same mistake again. The shot was on target and just over the keeper's head, bringing the game to 1-2.

There was still 25 minutes to go but repeated efforts went unanswered and the game eventually ended with frustrating loss.


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Football: A win at last as Marlborough take on Frome


Marlborough Town Ladies 2015Marlborough Town Ladies 2015Marlborough Town Ladies 4 Frome Town Ladies 0

Going into the game, Marlborough knew that this would be a good opportunity for their first home win.

They were beaten by Frome last season but felt that they were more evenly matched than the score line had dictated.

As kickoff neared, it became evident that Frome’s team were two players short. Playing a team with less players can be difficult to command, but Marlborough focused their attention on playing the same game that they always play.

The whistle blew and Marlborough took possession and passed the ball through the wings. There was great movement and communication throughout the team which meant that Marlborough were able to get off a few shots on target in the first half.

Unfortunately, a ball to the crossbar and multiple shots into the keepers hands, meant that the chances were not converted into goals.

As the second half began, Marlborough passed the ball better and settled into the game.

They took advantage of the oppositions’ tiring players and camped in Frome’s defensive half.

This allowed Marlborough to gain confidence in their attack. After many missed chances, Frome cleared a ball outside of the eighteen yard box which was picked up by Alana Turner. She trapped the ball and swung her foot through, firing it over the defence and over the Frome keeper’s head for the first goal of the game.

Not long after, Sarah Thomas had some great movement through the middle of the pitch. She set up Kerry Ash who made a great strike that stayed low and flew past the goalie for a second goal.

Marlborough were gaining possession and confidence. Their passing was better and they dictated the game. After a run down the wing, Alex Sawyer got the ball into a danger zone at the top of the eighteen yard box, where Vicki Pope shot first time for another great goal.

With their quick midfielder, Frome had an opportunity but it was quickly squashed and cleared up to Ffion Williams at the other end of the pitch. She took the ball through the defence and faced the goalie alone until she calmly placed the ball at the back of the net.

Marlborough spent the final five minutes with their heads screwed on. They knew they'd secured the win but they wanted the clean sheet as well. It was with great joy that the final whistle blew and Marlborough could celebrate their first home win of four nil. A great team effort and a much needed win.


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Football: Marlborough Ladies fall to Spitfires

Marlborough Town LadiesMarlborough Town LadiesSwindon Spitfires Utd 4 Marlborough Town Ladies 1

Marlborough Town Ladies were to meet Swindon Spitfires Utd for the first time since the Cup Final last year. Swindon had won that game but it was a close call and Marlborough were expecting another battle.

Right away Swindon proved their eagerness. They gained possession and moved the ball into dangerous areas, forcing Marlborough into desperate defending. They conceded an early corner and struggled to get good formation. The cross came in and landed perfectly to the feet of an experienced Swindon player who controlled it well and popped it into the top left corner of the goal.

Going down within three minutes was the last thing Marlborough wanted. They picked their heads up and focused on the game. The possession became more evenly matched but with this came a quick turnover of play. The control went from one end of the pitch to the next. For about ten minutes there were continuous opportunities on both ends.

It was during a defensive period for Marlborough, that Sarah Thomas put her body into an attacker and unintentionally knocked her down. A penalty kick resulted and, despite Robyn diving in the correct direction, the ball was kicked cleanly into the back of the net.

2-0 to Swindon Spitfires and some of the Marlborough players were getting riled. The game continued similarly but it wasn't long before the Marlborough defence were challenged again and there was a scramble of bodies in the 6 yard box. Sarah landed on the ground with a Swindon player kicking towards her leg. The battle for the ball ended with a heated argument and yellow cards for both players.

It was becoming frustrating but Marlborough showed character in getting their focus back on the game at hand. They gained better composure in defence and moved the ball forwards. Kerry Ash made repeated threats down the right wing and eventually got a corner. She lobbed the ball to the top of the 6 yard box where Alex Sawyer met the ball and flung it into a mass of bodies. Pouncing at the opportunity, Ffion Williams put her foot through the ball and managed to find a clear path to goal.

Marlborough were more settled in their play but the talent and perseverance of Spitfires meant that there was still the continuous change of ends. After even more pressure in Marlborough's defensive half, Sarah passed the ball back to the keeper and it bobbled, going through the keeper's legs. With the halftime near at hand, it was an unfortunate goal to concede.

When the whistle blew, it felt like a chance to re-group. Marlborough came out strong for the second half. They were more disciplined and had less momentary lapses in concentration. After ten minutes, they made some changes which made them stronger in the attack. Sam Marsh made some great runs down the left wing and she was backed up by Chloe Buller who crossed a few great balls into the box.

Marlborough weren't able to convert any of the opportunities into goals but they played much smarter football for the remainder of the game. There was only one slip-up in which a Spitfire player shot the ball and Robyn saved it on the line. It was a close call but the linesmen called it as going across the line for a 4-1 score.

Again, Marlborough did not get the result that they wanted but they worked hard until the end and there was a lot of strength in character to take them forward for a home game next week.

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