Hockey: Marlborough men take another step towards promotion with a 3-2 victory
Marlborough started the game reasonably well, controlling the tempo of the game and enjoying large amounts of possession. Several half chances were created and the Westbury goalkeeper made several smart saves to keep the scores level.
It was Westbury who took the lead after Marlborough turned the ball over in their own half and then failed to stop the breakaway.
The same pattern of play emerged with Marlborough creating more half chances and it was from one of these that they equalised.
The ball was carried strongly through the middle of the pitch by Captain Will Radnedge, he attempted to play the ball in for a deflection, but the Westbury keeper came out to smother the attempt. The ball bobbled up in the air to Alex Renwick who sent it towards goal, only to be saved again by the recovering Westbury keeper. The second rebound fell kindly for Matt Way who pulled the ball onto his backhand and played it into the corner of the goal.
With half time approaching, Marlborough looked ready to retake the lead, but were once again hit by a sucker punch following another defensive error, which meant they entered half time trailing 2-1.
Marlborough adjusted their tactics for the second half, swapping back to their normal formation and seeking to win the ball higher up the pitch. This plan paid off immediately with Marlborough winning the ball several times in dangerous areas.
It was from one of these that they equalised when John Berry carried the ball strongly through the inside left channel, he saw Matt Way lose his defender in the circle and played the ball in towards him - just outside the near post. Matt adjusted his body position to sweep the ball first time into the far corner of the goal.
Marlborough continued their increased intensity and managed to take the lead when John Berry, who was at the heart of everything positive, broke through the midfield. He played a one-two with Alex Renwick before firing the ball into the corner of the goal.
Marlborough saw the game out without any fuss, showing the kind of game management which is going to be crucial for them as they move up through the leagues. To their credit, Westbury kept playing right until the end in an attempt to get something out of the game but failed to create much to threaten the Marlborough goal.
With their nearest rivals surprisingly losing, Marlborough extended their lead at the top of the league table to nine points with only four games remaining. Marlborough now have their fate in their own hands and will hope to wrap up the title with two wins in their double header next weekend.
The Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to John Berry for a superb combination of direct, yet unselfish hockey and excellent pressing play.