Hockey: Marlborough ladies' determined performance - but they are beaten by a freak goal
Marlborough ladies went into Saturday's game in a relaxed mood knowing that they had nothing to lose against Newent - who were unbeaten and were sitting comfortably at the top of the league.
The Marlborough game plan was simple - play the team's own game and trust each other.
The match soon settled into an even affair with plenty of opportunities for both teams. The statistical gulf between us in the league was not apparent on the pitch with both sides breaking through and attacking each other's goal.
Mid-way through the first half Newent made the first break through - working the ball way round the Marlborough defence to a waiting forward who slammed it into the back of the net.
Marlborough knew the game was not lost and responded well and within five minutes an attacking break led to a Marlborough short corner. Up stepped Rachel Cox for a fantastic straight drag flick strike scorching the back of the net. Newent looked rattled!
The team went into half time 1-1 and feeling buoyant knowing that if they continued to play as well as they had then the team could come away with points.
Newent decided to take us seriously in the second half and came out strongly. However they could not make the break through thanks to solid defending from the back line and midfield.
Marlborough were getting stronger and more determined by the second with Lottie Colquhoun and Rachel Cox making lots of searing runs up the pitch and putting Newent's defence under considerable pressure. Would the break come and in Marlborough's way?
It turned out to be one of Newent's attacks which led to an unfortunate freak goal. A strike on the goal was well defended, but a very awkward deflection sent the ball high in the air, over the Marlborough's goalkeeper's head and - somehow - dropping into the goal. Once again luck was not on Marlborough's side.
Marlborough's heads didn't drop and for the last ten minutes the side desperately attempted to score another goal resulting in some very near misses and valiant efforts - but even with a fantastic determined team performance we were unable to equalise.
The Marlborough News Online player of the match was awarded to Rachel Cox for a fantastic goal and tireless work up front.