Marlborough vs City of Bath
Marlborough lose 0-2
With an unusually late pushback of 5pm, Marlborough made the short trip to Bath to face City who were top of the league and had yet to taste defeat this season.
Historically Marlborough have always risen to the occasion and played better against top teams and after a rousing team talk from skipper Rich Holman, Marlborough were set to do the same again.
Both sides started the game positively and it became clear early on that this would be a game where both sides would be given the license to express themselves.
Marlborough’s early defensive work was resolute and it was clear that they were tactically sound as they restricted City to constant aerial through balls rather than playing the more conventional route of through the middle of the pitch.
However disaster struck as only a momentary lapse of concentration led to a quick taken goal by City. A clear reminder of why they are enjoying such a lofty position in the league so far.
Marlborough had several good chances to counter but were unable to supply that final killer ball to the right place for the finishing touch.
The second half began with Marlborough re-doubling their efforts and they soon had City rocking after several penetrating moves and close calls. City themselves responded robustly with a change of formation and personnel in several positions in a bid to retake the momentum from Marlborough.
The game ebbed and flowed with City noticeably nervous at having such a slender lead and their unbeaten streak on the line.
Their fears were finally put to bed two minutes before the end of the game when they were awarded a penalty flick for a clear foul. It was safely converted leaving no time for Marlborough to mount any response.
The game ended 2-0 in favour of City but Marlborough could definitely hold their heads high after a rousing performance which earned much respect from their opponents.
Marlborough Ladies vs Cheltenham CS Ladies
Marlborough win 4-1
Marlborough were keen to continue their winning run and planned to try for an early goal to settle the team.
However, it was not to be. Cheltenham Civil Service proved to be quite an imposing force, pressing us hard and made it difficult for us to dominate.
After what seemed an eternity, but was only 20 minutes, we finally scored our first goal. With excellent build up play from the backs, through the mids to the forwards, the ball was passed around the D and Catherine Manley neatly placed the ball in the corner of the goal.
The team gained confidence from this and with renewed vigour, promptly scored a second cracking goal just before half time. Helen Durrans intercepted the ball at the half way point, and skipping past two of their defenders, smashed the ball to Becki Marnane who was at the far post and Becki managed to deflect the ball deftly over the keeper’s foot into the net.
The half time whistle blew and overall, Marlborough were happy with the 2-0 lead, but certainly not in a comfortable position just yet.
Rotating the midfield to ensure fresh legs, Marlborough continued to press the opposition hard but to their credit they defended our advances and neutralised our efforts.
After 50 minutes, Marlborough stretched the play, produced some excellent link up passes and achieved a short corner. A well-practised set piece, saw Becki Marnane pick out Rosie Curling at the far post who chipped the ball over the keeper.
Almost immediately, Cheltenham CS counter attacked from their defensive D and won a short corner which they converted sweetly.
With a score line of 3-1, Marlborough were far from finished and applied consistent pressure on their opponents goal line. After a tussle in front of the goal, Rosie Curling managed to tuck the ball away.
The final 4-1 result to Marlborough was a great end to a fantastic first half of the season. Marlborough very much hope they can maintain this momentum - going into the second half of the season at the top of the table, with a four point lead and plus-45 goal difference.