Hockey: Marlborough men firsts achieve an 'awesome' victory - seconds lose and thirds draw
Marlborough 3 Bath Buccs B 0
Marlborough men’s first team continued their impressive start to the season with a superb performance against Bath Buccs B. Both teams were undefeated, so Marlborough knew it would a close contest.
Marlborough were without four regular players: coach Matt Way (with his second child on the way), captain Anil Sud (injured during training), Ollie Davies (at an Open University day) and Charlie Hawley (watching storm Brian in Ireland).
So, they were understrength, but full of confidence. Within the first minute that confidence delivered as James Richardson, making his debut at centre half, played a nice one two with Alex Renwick and slotted the ball passed the advancing keeper.
The game settled settled down a bit, with Marlborough pressing well and Buccs trying to break down a well organised unit.
Marlborough continued to press forward and won a free hit on the half way line, a quick hit was taken by Rich Holman, who found Matt Osborne in acres of space on the left, he drove hard and fired the ball into the ‘d’ to find Will Hughes racing in to deflect the ball home - a simple goal well executed.
Bath pressed forward before half time, but Aaron Holloway was in fine form and nothing was getting past him this game.
In the second half, Bath found it very hard to break through the Marlborough defence. Then Marlborough hit Buccs on the break, the ball finding its way to Osborne who took a fine shot at the acute angle, the ball fell to Hughes, who tapped the ball into an empty net, 3-0, game set and match...?
Marlborough began to tire and gave the ball away a lot in the last 10 minutes, losing James Richardson to a yellow card didn’t help matters, but Marlborough again defended well securing a truly deserved 3-0 win.
Marlborough.news Man of the Match was Rich Holman - with special mentions for Aaron Holloway for some outrageous saves during the game and also stand in skipper Berry who did a great job of organising and encouraging the team.
Ed Watson reports on the Second Team's home fixture againts Bath Buccs E team:
Bizarrely, this week's home game proved more popular than the Weston-super-Mare away fixture, so much so that a squad of 15 eager players were assembled to take on Bath Buccs E, who had yet to pick up a point this season.
After the first five minutes it was clear, however, that things might not quite go to plan as Buccs belied their league position to dominate with slick passing through their strong centre midfield combination. Despite some hectic defence, Buccs rather inevitably took the lead, eventually stretching out a three goal advantage.
Chances came and went at both ends with Marlborough beginning to find their feet in attack, with the evergreen pairing of Gareth Playfair and Dan Crossman showing off their skills. The closest chance to open our account in the first half fell after the breakdown of a short corner, with Keith Radnedge flicking the ball towards the net only to find Toby Sampson applying the deftest of late cuts just over the slip cordon.
After the second half opened with a rather dodgy first 30 seconds, Marlborough began to string passes together and finally exert some pressure on the Buccs defence.
A string of short corners finally provided the lifeline needed as Gareth Playfair ghosted on a right slip and netted inside the far post. Then came the sucker punch - as we pushed ever forward, a Buccs counterattack found the ball dribbling agonizingly across the goal to be tapped in from less than an inch at the far post.
Marlborough continued to push forwards and the slightest of glimmers was again opened by a smart strike from Ed Watson at the top of the D. But ultimately Buccs ran out deserved winners by four goals to two.
Marlborough.news Man of the Match was awarded to Charlie Ponder for his sterling work in both defence and counterattack.
Alex Ford reports on the Men's Third Team's home match against Chippenham C:
On a windy morning in Marlborough with the auburn leaves collecting in the corners of the pitch, swirling in the breeze...it was suddenly time for battle.
Chippenham started strongly pushing Marlborough into their half, with the Marlborough men encamped in defensive roles, stoic and defiant. They hit the post once and had a number of close calls, yet Tom Collins owned his goal and kept them out.
Twenty minutes into the first half Marlborough started to find their feet - more confidence, better shape and more aggressive. The home team were on top and had a number of chances with Chris Newton making some mesmeric runs supported ably by the fleeting Wayne Cranstone and the little legs of Gabriel Deller.
By half time Marlborough had the momentum, controlling the midfield and pushing further and further up the pitch. Despite the possession we were unable to convert finishing with a 0-0 score line - probably a fair result based on the balance of play.
Marlborough.news Man of the Match went to Tom Collins.