Marlborough Ladies' 1st XI vs Leominster Marlborough lose 3-4
There comes a time in every newly promoted team’s career when they will be out witted by a quick scoring team. On Saturday (October 19) the team travelled to Herefordshire to face Leominster Hockey Club.
The Leominster team was well organised and made the first break - resulting in an early goal. Marlborough found themselves on the back foot for the first time in a long string of wins.
It took some regrouping by Marlborough before the next goal was scored by Catherine Manley after a close scuffle in front of the keeper.
Leominster kept the pressure on and scored their second goal at the end of the first half.
Marlborough came out fighting in the second half, starting their reply with a goal scored by Clare Griffiths on a short corner and another shortly afterwards again by Catherine Manley, putting Marlborough ahead for the first time in the game.
Sadly, Leominster were too strong and the game ended in a 4-3 loss.
Marlborough are still in a strong position in the league (the North Division of the West Clubs Women’s Hockey League) and look forward to the return home game to settle the score.
Marlborough vs Newent Marlborough lose 4-1
Still searching for their first league win of the season Marlborough travelled to fellow strugglers Newent in Gloucestershire on Sunday (October 19) knowing that a win would lift them above their opponents and back into mid table territory.
The home side started brightly and Marlborough found themselves pressed back and needing to resort to long ball passes due to the structured pressure applied by Newent.
It wasn’t long before Marlborough got their rhythm and made several sharp attacking moves that really should have ended in goals- but no such luck.
Newent opened the scoring after a sweetly struck reverse strike took a mean deflection past Marlborough goal keeper Will Hughes.
Shortly after Newent were pressing again and only several smart stops from Hughes kept the deficit at 1-0 for the first half.
The second half played out in much the same way as the first half with both sides knowing that a decisive 10 minute period would most likely set the outcome of the game.
Unfortunately for Marlborough Newent were the ones to press this home and soon doubled their lead with a short corner routine. With time winding down Marlborough had to press higher up the pitch and found themselves 3-0 down after a quick Newent breakaway.
The result was put beyond doubt after yet another counter attack leaving the score 4-0 with only a couple of minutes remaining.
Marlborough picked up a consolation goal in the dying moments of the game when John Bromley swept home a well worked short corner routine to make the game 4-1 at the end.
A disappointing result for Marlborough but with the first game of the national cup the following day there was no better time to try and bounce back………
Marlborough vs Bridgwater Marlborough win 5-2
Still sore from the loss the previous day Marlborough looked to their first round cup match against Bridgwater (Sunday, October 20) as a way of restoring their hopes and fortunes.
It became clear from the start of the game that this would yet again be a hard fought battle against a team of similar standard and ambitions.
Marlborough were able to contain their opponents to great affect with some sterling defensive work and from this solid foundation were able to launch sustained attacks on Bridgwater’s D.
Marlborough were awarded a penalty stroke after a deliberate foot on the line from a Bridgwater defender which was duly despatched by Anil Sud. The lead did not last for long however after a quick move by Bridgwater led to an easy tap in at the far post to make it 1-1 at half time.
The second half began with Marlborough playing some of their best hockey of the season to date.
Crisp, fast and accurate passing with excellent control and a willingness to work off the ball which Bridgwater simply could not cope with. Marlborough restored their lead when John Bromley smashed home a rebound from a short corner under extreme duress from several defenders.
Marlborough were now in full flight and Bridgwater were unable to cope, the frustration highlighted by one of their number receiving a red card following several repeats of the same misdemeanour followed by an outburst at the referee.
The game was there for taking and Marlborough did not let up with the third goal scored shortly after.
After some mazy dribbling and excellent positional play within the D captain Rich Holman produced what can only be described as a once in a lifetime moment of pure hockey genius.
Seeing the goalkeeper barely off his line but advancing to close down his shooting angle, Holman changed his approach mid shot and calmly lobbed the keeper from the reverse stick side. Simply stupendous!
The relentless waves of Marlborough attacks continued and they were awarded another penalty stroke following a professional foul to deny an open goal chance. Sud once again scored to make it 4-1.
To their credit Bridgwater tried as hard as they could under such pressure and managed to pick up a second goal following a goal mouth melee. The result was finally put to bed when Sud combined with Gareth Playfair for an easy tap in leaving the result at the final whistle 5-2.
A thoroughly deserved win for Marlborough after an excellent performance - just the kick start they needed with an important few weeks of fixtures coming up.