Hockey: Back in action after the snow interrupted fixtures, Marlborough lose a close game

Written by Anil Sud.

Marlbrough vs Exeter University  C            Marlborough lose 3-2

Back after a couple of weeks without any games due to the weather disruption, Marlborough welcomed Exeter knowing that the next few games would be the most crucial part of the season with their fight against relegation.

Exeter started the game in control and showed patience in their build up play not allowing Marlborough into the game in the opening few minutes.  This in turn flustered Marlborough - and when they were able to gain possession they were quick to give it away as they had not yet adjusted to the pace and style of the game.

Exeter deservedly took the lead after Marlborough failed to react quickly enough to an Exeter side line hit which was despatched with ease by one of the Exeter forwards with a pin-point sweep hit.

Marlborough realised that their current standard of hockey would not see them through with any kind of result and upped their game considerably.  This resulted in several chances through some slick moves down both the left and right flanks and the home side’s spell of pressure was rewarded when Captain Rich Holman drew his team level with a calm finish from close range.

With both sides evenly matched and with half time quickly approaching the next goal would almost certainly prove to be of great importance.  Exeter were the ones to take the lead once more after a short corner routine just on the stroke of half time.

The second half began as the first had ended with both teams playing at a high level with maximum commitment and effort being displayed in every position of the pitch.  Unfortunately for Marlborough several injuries sustained during the match forced their hand in changing their formation several times and as a result they were mainly restricted to playing counter attacking hockey.   

This tactical change lulled Exeter in to a false sense of security and soon Holman had his and Marlborough’s second goal of the game after a quick interception in the opposition area saw him slot the ball between the on-rushing goalkeeper’s legs.

Level at 2-2 with just seven minutes remaining the game looked as though it could swing either way. But once more Exeter forced their way in front after a defensive lapse in concentration.  

With the few minutes left Marlborough tried their utmost to score and earn a draw but were unable to fashion an open chance.

The game ended 3-2 in favour of Exeter with Marlborough disappointed having given their all. With several double header weekends coming up such application will need to be the minimum requirement in order to keep their hopes of staying in their league division alive.