Hockey: Marlborough first team lose out just before the whistle

Written by Tony Millett.

Marlborough vs Exeter University 'C'  - Marlborough lose 2-1:       

After the previous week’s disappointment against a beatable Truro side, Marlborough travelled down to Exeter (Saturday, October 20) in search of their first points of the league knowing that they needed to kick start their campaign.

The game began at a fast pace with both sides utilising the quick, bouncy pitch to good effect to establish their respective rhythms of play.  The use of aerial flicks was to prove vital to both teams as the midfields somewhat nullified one another for the opening twenty minutes of play. 

Marlborough were pushed on to the back foot and Exeter capitalised on some sharp work in the ‘d’ to win several penalty corners, one of which was converted to give the home side the lead.

In response Marlborough pushed forward with several attacks of their own led by excellent play from centre back Chris Jones and front man Will Hughes.  Unfortunately the half ended before Marlborough were able to make their pressure tell but with plenty of encouragement for the second half.

The second half followed much of the same pattern as the first with both teams exchanging attacks but unable to gain any further ground with regards to the score line.  The game seemed to be drifting away from Marlborough before, mid way through the half, Will Hughes’ deft pick up and finish under the onrushing goalkeeper levelled the scores at 1-1.  A nervy last fifteen minutes ensued with both teams aware that after such a close encounter just one slip could cost them the match.  

Unfortunately for Marlborough fortune favoured the home side.  After what can only be described as a one off set of deflections and luck, Exeter found themselves 2-1 up with just minutes remaining.

Marlborough pressed hard in the remaining time but despite loading the mid field and attack they were unable to equalise.  It was a disappointing result after such an impressive rally, but the game provided plenty of positives to take forward to the next fixture against Swansea.