Lansdown vs Marlborough
Marlborough win 3-0
Newly promoted to the North Division of the West Clubs Women’s Hockey league, Marlborough Ladies 1st team had a huge task ahead of them for last weekend's away game (November 16), against top of the league Lansdown from Cheltenham.
The pressure was on and Marlborough needed to raise their game and show their true resolve, or were Lansdown going to be a step too far?
The game plan came together for Marlborough with an early goal from Becky Hewlett, which unsettled Lansdown and gave Marlborough the confidence to get fully into the game.
Another goal by Becky Hewlett before half-time, boosted everyone's morale.
Skipper Becki Marnane said: “We knew that stepping our game up again was imperative to keeping our hard fought lead. Lansdown to date hadn't been a high scoring team, so we just needed to keep our heads and our composure".
The second half started with a new found momentum, Lansdown came out fighting to keep their top of the league position.
Marlborough however, were not going to give up the fight and a fantastic strike by Kate Batty in the last 5 minutes, sealed a very satisfying victory and ensured that Marlborough would end the weekend victorious and top of the league.
You can find the full league table here.
Marlborough vs Bristol and West
Marlborough win 5-1
(November 9) After a hugely frustrating start to the season during which they had put in some decent performances but without the desired results, Marlborough welcomed fellow relegation zone members Bristol and West. The team knew this was an excellent opportunity to kick start their campaign.
From the opening push back Marlborough asserted themselves against their opposition and with the use of a new defensive press devised by defensive rock and player coach Matt Way, kept their opponents in their own half and under huge amounts of pressure.
The pressure soon told and after a somewhat fortuitous bounce, Marlborough striker Charley Hoarley pounced and slid a precise reverse stick shot into the bottom corner of the goal.
High on confidence and knowing their opponents were finding it difficult, Marlborough pressed on further and were soon rewarded with a second goal from the ever sprightly James Richardson.
The second half began with Marlborough 2-0 up and looking comfortable in all areas of the pitch.
After more sustained pressure, captain Rich Holman made it 3-0. A high deflected pass into the D looped over many defenders and Holman audaciously deflected the still airborne ball deftly in to the bottom right corner leaving the Bristol goalkeeper with no chance to save it.
Marlborough remained on the attack and were soon awarded a penalty stroke after an illegal goal line stop. This was despatched by Anil Sud making the score 4-0.
To their credit Bristol did not give up and were rewarded with a goal following a scrap close to the Marlborough goal. Marlborough made the score 5-1 after a reverse stick strike from Sud and closed out the contest in a confident manner.
Marlborough vs Swansea Marlborough lose 5-0
(November 16) With their first league win of the season behind them, Marlborough made the trip down the M4 to Swansea with a positive attitude - ready to attempt another 3 point gain.
The game began in a very open manner with both sides making some errant passes but Marlborough enjoyed the better of the chances and were highly unlucky not to score on several occasions.
Swansea fought their way back in to the game and soon took control by scoring the opening goal from a short corner routine. The rest of the half played out much like the beginning of the match with both sides enjoying some free flowing attacking moves.
The second half started with Swansea dominant in their play, having rejigged their formation somewhat to best deploy some of their more attacking and skilful players.
The lead was further extended after a lightning fast breakaway which Marlborough were unable to cope with. The game further slipped away following the awarding of a penalty flick which was converted.
A special mention must be made to goalkeeper Brian Marnane for pulling off several spectacular saves to keep Marlborough hopes alive.
In desperation to regain some hold on the game Marlborough pressed as high as possible and once again created chances they were just not able to convert.
The game was put beyond their reach after the awarding of another penalty stroke which was despatched ruthlessly in to the top right corner of the goal - simply unstoppable.
Swansea made the score 5-0 in the final minute after another breakaway to run out the deserved winners leaving Marlborough despondent but with the bonus of a lengthy trip home in the dark to hit the reset buttons.
The bottom of the twelve team Davis Wood Hockey League Conference North table now features Marlborough, Bridgend and Bristol & West – in that order. Marlborough’s next fixture is their home game against Bridgend on Saturday, November 23. Vocal supporters needed.