Hockey: Marlborough ladies unlucky to lose a tough game by a single goal
Marlborough 3 Jaspers 4
Marlborough Ladies set out for this home league game (February 20) in high spirits - hoping to leave the pitch with a win. They were in full knowledge that they could beat Jaspers in this rearranged game - even though they had previously lost 6-1 to the Bristol-based team earlier in the season.
They were desperate to not have another final score like that one - unless of course, it was the other way around.
Unfortunately Marlborough were slow starting and Jaspers capitalised on this leading to a quick attack and a deflection around the keeper (Vicky Moxham) within the first couple of minutes. 1-0 to Jaspers.
This woke Marlborough up with a start and they began playing some good hockey - especially some fantastic balls up the sideline from Philippa Brown. One such play resulted in a lovely ball through the Jaspers' defence from Rachel Cox which almost rolled off the back line, but Becki Marnane swooped in and took a 'rocket shot' which flew straight over the keeper's head into the back of the net.
A couple of unfortunate mistakes later and Jaspers scored again - taking them back into the lead.
But more cracking pieces of play from the Marlborough defence and midfield gave Rachel Cox some brilliant opportunities to smash the ball forward to the hopefully waiting Milly Dawson, Sophie Fynn or Catherine Manley. But these just would not go into the goal.
With ten minutes till half time, Jaspers scored another goal. This time it was from a very well worked short corner routine - putting the home team 3-1 down at half time.
Marlborough knew the score line did not reflect how well they had played in the first half and knew they could turn the game around in the second. They stepped up their attack and a couple of chances later the ball was slipped across the face of the goal by Ness Pickford-Smith and Becki Marnane was on hand at the back post to tap the ball in.
Marlborough kept up the pressure and after a succession of short corners Rachel Cox produced a fantastic drag flick straight into the back of the net. Level pegging with only ten minutes to go. The game swayed back and forth between the two teams' goals - each team desperate for a winner.
Unfortunately it was not Marlborough's day as Jaspers sent the ball across the goal mouth and an unlucky deflection from a Marlborough stick sent the ball into the back of their own net.
With a large portion of the second half being played in Marlborough's attacking half of the pitch it seemed they should win. They fought hard for another five minutes, but nothing came from their efforts.
With less than one minute remaining on the clock Sophie Fynn got hit by a high ball to the head resulting in a nasty split to her forehead.
Once the clock was back on, Marlborough fought on, but to no avail. Final score 4-3 to Jaspers.
Marlborough News Online player of the match was Philippa Brown for some outstanding defending in her first game for Marlborough.