Hockey: Marlborough ladies convincing win over old rivals moves them to third in league table
Marlborough 6 City of Bath 1
After a three week gap since their last game, Marlborough Ladies saw this fixture as crunch time against old rivals City of Bath who were sitting right above them in the league table.
Right from the whistle Marlborough managed to gain possession and pass the ball around freely. Twice Marlborough attacked down the right with got some early shots, but both times Bath's goalkeeper stood firm. From a 16 yard hit out, City of Bath broke the press and began their attack down the left and penetrating the D and Marlborough's keeper was forced to make the save.
The defence cleared the ball and Marlborough were on the attack again. A one touch pass from Sophie Flynn into the middle of the pitch found Neve Beer who scored from the top of the D - lifting the ball into the top left hand corner.
Just what was needed to calm the nerves. Keeping up the intensity Marlborough pressed again resulting in a short corner. The ball was slipped to Sophie Flynn - her shot was stopped on the line by the defender's foot. Jess Pugh stepped up for the flick and calmly slotted it past the keeper.
Bath gave away possession from the whistle and Marlborough were on the attack again. A sweeping cross-field pass from Rachel Cox to Neve Beer, with a quick ball to Anna Strover who one touch passed it to Jess Pugh who calmly took it round the keeper - Jess's second of the game.
At 3-0 Marlborough sat back and Bath had a good period of possession favouring their right. They had some dangerous passages of play and the defence was caught ball watching several times.
Goalkeeper Vicky Moxham was called upon a few times, but their shots rarely troubled her.
Another attack from Marlborough and another short corner. This time it was saved on the post, but a poor clearance gave the ball straight back to Marlborough. Torie Williams slipped it to the P spot where Rachel Cox was waiting to sweep it into the goal. As the half time whistle blew there were smiles all round.
City of Bath came out strongly and took Marlborough by surprise. Within the first few minutes they were awarded a short corner. A straight strike fired into the top left corner. That was not supposed to happen.
Bath continued to press and break, but were held off by a solid defence. Marlborough struggled to move the ball around as smoothly as in the first half, trying for glory balls rather than keeping it simple. Attack after attack seemed to fall down with the last ball, and Marlborough were giving the ball away far too much.
Marlborough needed another goal to calm the game. Step up Jess Pugh for her third of the game - another close range shot leaving their goalkeeper helpless.
With ten minutes to go Sophie Flynn shot from left only for the ball to be stopped again by a defenders foot on the line, but as the ball rolled over the foot and over the line, the goal was given.
A great goal-filled game with some excellent passages of play. Even better was the news that this result leapfrogged Marlborough over City of Bath in the league table - into the third spot.
Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded jointly to Amy Davidson, Jess Pugh and Rachel Cox.