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.
Note the new kit...Marlborough vs Firebrands A Firebrands A win 3-1
After two draws to start the season Marlborough welcomed Firebrands A from Bristol for the first home league game on the newly laid College pitch. The feeling within the Marlborough camp was one of optimism and determination knowing full well that Brands would provide the sternest test to date.
Marlborough started the brighter of the two sides with some precision passes and fantastic leading runs being made by the defence and forwards respectively.
However, completely against the run of play, Brands took the lead which left the throngs of Marlborough supporters stunned to silence.
Fearing the worst their encouraging shouts lifted Marlborough’s spirits and within only a couple of minutes the scores were level. A pinpoint pass from midfield maestro Dan Crossman found Charley Horley whose lighting fast turn left the Brands centre back floundering. He followed up with a precision reverse stick strike under the onrushing keeper.
The second half began with both sides looking dangerous as they attacked, but Brands just seemed to have the edge in almost all areas of the pitch.
Mid-way through the half they deservedly took the lead surprisingly in a somewhat fortuitous fashion. After a ‘hit-and-hope’ ball into the D took a wicked deflection and ended up in the back of the net – the source of this touch remains unknown.
Knowing they were running out of time Marlborough pressed as much as they could and were mere inches away from setting up several goal scoring chances.
Unfortunately for the home side the game was put beyond their reach five minutes before full time when a breakaway Brands move resulted in their third goal of the game despite the best efforts of Marlborough keeper Brian Marnane.
The game ended 3-1 with Marlborough desperately disappointed but knowing a lesson had been learned as to the levels needed to compete in the league.MARLBOROUGH HOCKEY CLUB - MEN'S 1ST TEAM: Back row l to r: John Bromley, Tom Palmer, Matt Way, Will Hughes, Brian Marnane, Charlie Hawley, Anil Sud, Chris Jones. Front row: John Duffy, Charlie Down, Richard Holman, James Richardson, Dan Crossman.