Hockey: Swindon go top of the table leaving Marlborough Ladies close to relegation
After weeks of trying to rearrange this postponed match, Swindon and Marlborough finally played this catch up league game under the floodlights on Thursday night (March 10.)
For Swindon, who were then sitting in second place in the league, a win would leap frog them over Newent to the top spot. Marlborough knew they had to get their heads in the game right from the start - and that’s just what they did with a tight cohesive warm up.
Marlbrough hit Swindon hard in the first ten minutes with a high and intense work rate form the forwards and especially from midfielder Rachel Jackson.
Then Swindon started to take control of the game putting together some very fast well controlled attacks penetrating into the Marlborough half. Fifteen minutes in, concentration slipped for a second and a skillful Swindon player managed to break through round the back, slipping the ball across the goalmouth to a player waiting in front of goal.
With Marlborough’s confidence shaken, their form and communication began to break up, leading to structural holes which Swindon capitalised on - producing two perfectly timed and executed deflection goals.
After a wobbly first half, Marlborough came together at half time with their coach, Peter Crook, who refocused them and put confidence back into the team.
Marlborough’s structure in the second half was much better with the defence being held by Vanessa Pickford's strong consistency and good balls from Julie Fellows that were picked up by the forwards.
From this, the team had some shots at goal - with a narrow miss from Catherine Manley and ruthless play from Penny Bowen which gained the team a short corner.
The team began to put the pressure back on Swindon’s defence with some attacking play and turnover balls from Heather Barnes, and a high and intense work rate from Rachel Cox upfront that did not go unnoticed.
Swindon had confidence around their backs which resulted in a long ball across from the right leading to a hard pass down the left side for a Swindon player to pick up. With a diagonal attack across the pitch and some tackles made in the D, Swindon managed to get a rather scrappy fourth goal.
So the game finished 4-0 to Swindon - a well-formed team with some great individual talent.
A frustrating game for Marlborough, but a good one none the less to move the #girlsingreen forward onto Saturday’s home game against City of Bath at 11:15 (March 12.) This is a crucial bottom of the table clash - one which Marlborough must win to avoid relegation.
A special mention and thanks must go to the Marlborough supporters who venture away matches and cheer the team on. They are much appreciated by the team.