Hockey: will Marlborough Ladies' win against Cheltenham be the League life-saver they needed?
Marlborough 1 Cheltenham Two 0
Going into this fixture while sitting at the bottom of the league table, this crucial game provided Marlborough with the opportunity for an important three points.
After a strong performance against Redland the previous week, the team were determined to convert this into a win.
The game started at very high intensity, with Cheltenham securing possession in the Marlborough half and getting some strong shots off towards the Marlborough goal. The centre-back partnership of Ness Pickford and Julie Fellows, combined with Vicky Moxham in goal, were resilient at keeping the Cheltenham attacks at bay.
Special mention should also go to Philippa Brown and Beth Palfrey for their half-back performances throughout the game - both provided excellent outletting and robust defensive performances.
It didn’t take long for the Marlborough team to find their rhythm with some impressively skillful play and fantastic jump backs from the midfielders Rachel Cox, Rachel Jackson, Penny Bowen, and player of the match Sophie Fynn.
Following a pacey transfer around the defence, an accurate pass was put through from the midfield to forward Rosie Curling who took the ball to the space on the baseline and executed a fantastic shot at goal from a narrow angle which hit the sideboard to great delight from all in green.
There was some end to end hockey played between the goal and half time, with both teams securing short corners, but neither able to convert the set-piece into a goal.
Play during the second half was much the same, with attacking free-flowing hockey from both sides. Marlborough’s revised press clearly played dividends, with forwards Catherine Manley, Becki Marnane, Heather Barnes, and Millie Dawson’s intensity offering an excellent platform and opportunities for Marlborough to counter.
Despite more pressure and goal mouth action mainly from the home team, Marlborough were not able to secure that cushioning second goal and the final score remained at 1-0.
A crucial three points for the #girlsingreen who have a very important week ahead with six points on offer.
On Thursday (March 10) the team travel to second in the table Swindon for the local derby which was postponed in February. On the back of this week's performance confidence is high that there are points to be earned.
Then next Saturday (March 12) City of Bath, who are only two places and three points above Marlborough in the league table, travel to Marlborough. This will be a crunch game - as both sides are seeking to escape relegation.
The Marlborough News Online player of the game was Sophie Fynn for her tireless play in attack.