Hockey: Marlborough ladies’ first league game - a tough one against relegated Chippenham
Marlborough Ladies 1 Chippenham Ladies 4
After an amazing win in last week's friendly against Wooton Bassett, Marlborough came out on their home ground ready to beat Chippenham (September 23) - knowing it was going to be a tough game against recently relegated Chippenham who would be out to get a morale boosting start to their season.
Marlborough came out strongly on the wings, but Chippenham settled first and began dominating the middle of the pitch with strong attacks into the home side's D. Marlborough held on even with the increasing pressure on their goal trying to move the ball away from danger and up to the other end of the pitch.
On one such attack the deadlock was nearly broken by the Marlborough forwards who beat the Chippenham goalkeeper - only for the ball to be cleared off the line by an incoming defender.
Chippenham really turned up the gas and they were soon rewarded with a goal from short range and this was closely followed by a second through a goal mouth scramble, then a third from some good work by the Chippenham forwards.
It wasn't all one way traffic in the Marlborough goalmouth with goalkeeper Vicky Moxham being called up many times to slide and kick the ball away from the pouncing forwards, Emily Carter-Davies playing some amazing aerials, Amy Davidson playing some great line balls passing on the reverse, Annabel Ashley making some strong tackles and line runs, and Beth Palfrey getting stuck into the tackles.
Rachel Cox, Jess Davis, Alice Thompson and Sophie Fynn all played superbly in the middle of the pitch taking the ball into the circle then tracking all the way back to help defend. Neve Beer, Bella Busby, Milly Dawson and Tess Christmas had a some good shots on goal, but the Chippenham goal keeper kept all the Marlborough shots out.
In the final minute of the half Marlborough slipped the ball across the goal hoping for a deflection, the whistle went for half time with Marlborough down 0 - 3.
In the second half Marlborough were determined to bring themselves back in with a chance. Rachel Cox carried the ball down the middle teasing the Chippenham midfield and had some super shots on goal.
The game was now a lot tighter with Marlborough plugging the gaps that Chippenham had exploited in the first half. Marlborough started spending more time in the Chippenham half but just couldn't get the goal to get them back in the game.
Chippenham kept up the pressure on the Marlborough goal with the defence and goalkeeper Moxham managing to thwart their attacks. Unfortunately for Marlborough, Chippenham saw an opening and squeezed a ball round the diving goalkeeper to make the score 4/0.
With five minutes to go the home side won a short corner from some good work by Rachel Cox who then drilled the ball into the bottom left hand corner. Marlborough played higher up the pitch hungry for another cracking goal, but despite their best efforts they ran out of time.
Amy Davidson was awarded player of the match for her amazing line balls and persevering in the top corner with her roll outs.
A great game but an unlucky score, which Marlborough are hoping to rectify when they play Chippenham again in January. Next week the ladies play Salisbury at home.