Hockey: Marlborough ladies firsts in seventh heaven as Milly Dawson scores four
Marlborough 7 Devizes 0
After a slightly pedestrian start to 2017 the previous week (a three-all draw in a friendly against Wootton Bassett), Marlborough were keen to open the return leg of their league campaign in style.
Taking three points at home against league-strugglers Devizes was the only acceptable outcome, and after the pitch was given the ‘thumbs-up’, the team were raring to go.
A well-drilled warm-up led by Rachel Cox and team-talk from captain Penny Bowen got the team in the right mindset and they felt in control from the first whistle, demonstrating tempo and passion that Devizes were unable to match.
Possession was relatively even in the first quarter, but territory very much in Marlborough’s favour, and after a penetrating attack down the right flank, Ness Pickford-Smith slotted the first home to break the 0-0 deadlock.
Resident terrier, Lottie Colquhoun, was up to her usual tricks, hunting down every Devizes loose ball and placing their defenders under real pressure. Her efforts were soon rewarded with a goal - a fitting way to finish her season before she goes travelling.
Marlborough started the second half positively, attempting to improve their goal difference that could prove crucial in a tight league table. What followed was sensational.
In what can only be described as a bombing raid, Milly Dawson then slotted away four goals in quick succession, ably fed by a supporting cast of Neve Beer, Catherine Manley and new-comer Alice Thompson.
It didn’t all go Marlborough's way, with Devizes testing their defensive line on occasions. However, Anna Scott, Annabel Ashley, Amy Davidson, Beth Palfrey and Tori Williams all held firm and Devizes rarely troubled keeper Vicky Moxham.
Whilst her pads may not have been kept busy however, her vocal chords definitely were! The icing on a pretty successful cake was a final goal scored from a tight angle by Neve Beer, with a significant ‘assist’ from the unfortunate Devizes keeper. Neve had been unlucky not to score a few minutes earlier from an impressive undercut, and this final goal seemed just reward.
Marlborough News Online Player of the Match was shared between goal-demon Milly Dawson and centre-half Rachel Cox, who deserves the final shout out for her fantastic work rate, tackling and ball distribution throughout the game.
All in all, a very successful day at the office, setting Marlborough up for a meeting with top of the league Bournemouth next weekend.