Hockey: defeats for Marlborough's first & second men's teams - but thirds win again and go top of the table
The game started evenly, both teams pressing high. The first goal of the game was controversial to say the least. First the ball hit a West Wilts forward's foot, they then hit a reverse stick strike from outside the D - neither umpire saw any of that, so the goal stood. The score stayed 1-0 until half time. It was a good game so far.
The second half didn't start well for the home side. They gave the ball away in silly areas, and were punished with a short corner strike into the bottom corner.
Marlborough needed to continue the high press and look after the ball better. This eventually happened and Marlborough created chances, but couldn't put them away.
One Marlborough shot cleared off the line, one hit the post and an open goal missed - sums it all up.
Wilts scored two break away goals to make the final score 4-0. As one player said "It's a hard score line to take." Marlborough played well at times. But this was a lesson in being clinical in front of goal.
On the positive side going up a league and being fourth in the table after seven matches is a great start to the season. If they can play with that intensity for the rest of the season, then they will finish high up in the table.
Marlborough.news Man of the Match went to Rich Holman.
Ed Watson reports on Marlborough Hockey Club Men's Second team away fixture at Chippenham
Chippenham A 3 Marlborough Seconds 2
Having reached selection crisis point midweek, perhaps one of our strongest teams of the year arrived for a late game against an in form Chippenham A team.
With a minute silence respectfully observed (albeit rather incongruously given the noises wafting over from the terraces of Chippenham Town FC), Marlborough started the game with purpose and pace, midfield runners (especially Freddie Hazlitt) quickly proving threatening in the home team's half.
Frustratingly it was Chippenham who took the lead, but Marlborough heads did not drop and shortly afterwards Rob Hues was able to thread a long ball through to lone wolf striker Gareth Playfair who, one on one with the last man, promptly ghosted into the D and dispatched the ball into the roof of the net.
The scores remained at 1-1 until midway into the second half, where a concerted barrage of consecutive short corners were gamely defended until perhaps the sixth corner was finally converted with a smart drag flick.
The lead was then stretched to two by a snap shot just inside the left post. Marlborough continued to press forward with several short corners of their own and Ed Watson brought the deficit back to one with a strike from the top of the D.
The last 10 minutes were hectic to say the least, with end to end hockey as Marlborough pushed for an equaliser, but sadly the half chances that came couldn't be converted. It was another excellent performance - away from home against a top team.Marlborough.News Man of the Match could have gone to any number of players (not least the superb centre back pairing of Wills Hodge and Langton), but honours go to Freddie Hazlitt for his sterling work in the centre of midfield.
Alex Ford reports on Marlborough Hockey Clubs Men's Third team's away fixture against Chippenham D which saw Marlborough go top of the league table:
Chippenham D 0 Marlborough Thirds 3
It was a wet and windy afternoon and for a third time in a row Marlborough B we’re away from home for a game under flood lights as the push back was 16:30pm.
All that aside Marlborough Thirds were ready to go and the game started at a good pace. It was end to end action, but after the first 10 minutes Marlborough started to control the game with great work from their midfield supporting defence and attack from their on the pitch captain Phil Gill. Mark Banham, Tom Devenish and Dave Patterson were holding the midfield battle and supplying our forwards with plenty of balls into the oppositions D,
After a lot of attacking pressure from Marlborough we earned our first (and last) short corner. It was a slick injection by Wayne Cranstone to the top of the D stopped dead by Phil Gill that gave Chris Newton the time to flick it past the Chippenham defence and keeper.
This meant Chippenham pushed back hard to try and find an equaliser before half time but thanks to some great keeping from Tom Collins and some fantastic defending from James Lane, Angus Harley, Hugo Wright and Daniel Dix, Marlborough took the 1-0 lead to half time.
Second half began well for Marlborough. They found their rhythm early into the half with great runs and skills from Wayne Cranstone, Harry Strover, Gabriel Dellar and Alfie Marley causing the Chippenham defenders a lot of problems.
With the great amount pressure Marlborough put on Chippenham, Marlborough found themselves 2-0 up: Chris Newton received the ball wide down the right hand flank, running into the D drawing the keeper and remaining defenders onto him, meanwhile Harry Strover made a great run to the penalty spot where Chris Newton passes to him to put the ball away into an empty net.
After that goal there was some tough work for Marlborough - a lot of defending as Chippenham fought back forcing more saves from Tom Collins and his brick wall defence.
The last 10 minutes seemed more like short corner practice for Chippenham - racking up at least 10 short corners, but nothing was passing Tom Collins and his defence colleagues.
The game ended 2-0 with Marlborough Thirds extending their unbeaten run to six games.
The Marlborough.News Man of the Match: Tom Collins for his many saves throughout the game and keeping a solid clean sheet.