Hockey: Taunton Vale B end Marlborough men's unbroken run of victories
Marlborough's unbeaten start to the season came to an abrupt end after a disappointing performance in a late afternoon fixture at Taunton.
Marlborough started the game in a positive manner, retaining possession high up the pitch and restricting Taunton to long balls to clear their own defensive circle.
This pressure led to the opening goal when Freddie Hazlitt drove down the left wing channel before turning the ball square to Matt Way who played the ball in towards the back post. Mark Kinder had gone back towards the P spot where he expertly diverted the ball into the corner.
Marlborough extended their lead with a carbon copy of the opener with captain Anil Sud this time supplying the pass and Will Radnedge the finish.
So far this season at 2-0 up Marlborough have been routinely turning these situations into three points. This time it was not to be. The game swung when Taunton were harshly awarded a penalty stroke after Rich Newton was adjudged to have covered the ball following a rebound from an initial save. Taunton put the strike into the top corner.
Marlborough seemed rattled and their previous dominance over the game was lost as it became an end-to-end affair. Half time arrived with the scores even - Taunton had levelled the game with a straight strike from a short corner.
Marlborough tried to refocus on what had worked well this season, but were just unable to assert themselves. Taunton continued to play with more and more confidence and made Marlborough look rushed through the middle of the pitch.
The game was very much in the balance when Taunton were awarded another short corner. The initial strike was saved, but the loose ball fell kindly and was played back across goal. The ball was then turned in at the far post by the forward after he initially controlled the ball with his foot.
Unfortunately the near side umpire was unsighted and the umpire at the other end was busy watching a Taunton substitution so the goal stood.
With momentum against them Marlborough started to re-establish their territorial advantage and started to threaten the Taunton circle. Unfortunately they could not quite find the finishing touch and credit has to go to Taunton who defended their circle exceptionally well.
Marlborough had to resort to a chasing game pushing bodies forward. This allowed Taunton to secure the game when they scored their fourth goal from another penalty corner.
Marlborough were quite rightly disappointed with their performance, but need to maintain the positivity they have built over the start of the season. They will be looking to bounce back with a positive performance and result next week at home to Wootton Bassett.
Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Will Radnedge for being a constant driving force through the midfield.