Bath Buccs B vs Marlborough Game drawn 0-0
After a disappointing campaign last season which saw them relegated from the Championship to Conference North, Marlborough travelled (September 28) to old adversaries Bath Buccs B who had also been relegated.
With decent pre-season training behind them, Marlborough planned to employ their new 4-3-3 formation to good effect and combined with their disciplined approach to their defensive press, looked to control and stifle their opposition.
Both sides began the game aiming for solidarity in defence and midfield although it wasn’t long before both sides were fashioning free flowing moves down both flanks creating an exciting spectacle for the numerous supporters on the side lines.
There were goal opportunities for both teams, with Marlborough coming closest when young striker Will Radnedge hit the post after a delectable dink over the onrushing Buccs goalkeeper.
The second half began with Buccs trying to further assert themselves given their superior number of substitutes. But although they controlled much of the possession, Marlborough were able to hold firm without their goal being directly threatened.
Marlborough themselves were not without chances and after several quick breakaway moves had a goal disallowed. And then just missed out on taking the lead after several goal mouth melees.
The game ended as a rare 0-0 draw with both sides playing some attractive and effective hockey. A fair result for the start of the season for both sides.
Bristol UWE A vs Marlborough Game drawn 2-2
After a goalless draw the previous week Marlborough made the short trip down the M4 (October 5) to face their second university side in successive weeks. Having played University of the West of England’s first team the previous year Marlborough, knew that they would be facing a capable, fit and youthful opposition.
The game began with Marlborough in the ascendancy making good attacking moves down the right and left hand flanks. They were very quickly rewarded after Rich Holman’s pinpoint pass across the goalkeeper was met by a diving Will Hughes to open the scoring.
For the remainder of the half Marlborough contained the opposition with ease, but disaster struck when player coach and defensive stalwart Matt Way was struck on the knee whilst bravely defending a UWE short corner routine. With Way unable to continue Marlborough slightly re-jigged their formation and were able to end the half 1-0 up.
The second half began with UWE in the ascendancy, having altered their attitude and formation.
Somewhat against the run of play Marlborough found themselves a further goal ahead after a short corner routine. Holman’s bullet like shot was miraculously saved by the UWE keeper, but Hughes was once again on hand and after several deft touches under pressure was able to slide the ball home.
In danger of losing on home turf UWE redoubled their efforts and were soon pressing Marlborough deep in their half. Their constant rotation of fresh attackers and midfielders opened wide spaces as the game moved on and after a short corner drag flick the deficit was reduced to 2-1.
The tide of the game had truly turned and with Marlborough under great pressure UWE found their equaliser after a top ‘d’ defensive mix up which was mercilessly pounced on. To their great credit Marlborough held strong for the remainder of the game with the end result being 2-2.
Will Hughes was deservedly named man of the match for his vital two goal contribution and his tireless running up front.
Following the close of the 2012-2013 hockey season, the Marlborough College all-weather astro hockey pitches on which Marlborough town hockey teams play their home fixtures, have been totally refurbished with a new and startling blue surface.
Photo right: Alex Crosby Jones on the new blue astro pitch
And for their first fixture of the new season – on Saturday, September 28 – the ladies’ first team also got to show their new kit to an enthusiastic crowd of spectators:
Marlborough Ladies’s First Team 3
Royal Wootton Bassett 1
Marlborough ladies' first team got off to a scintillating start to the season by beating Royal Wootton Bassett 3-1 at home on Saturday.
They were one goal up within the first 10 minutes from a short corner. The set piece resulted in a superb shot, from Helen Durrans on the post, into the back of the Royal Wootton Bassett goal.
Marlborough ladies kept good possession for the remainder of the half and their defence seemed impenetrable. Before the end of the first half Marlborough scored another goal from a great strike into the D by Rosie Curling which was finished by Kate Batty.
Starting the second half two nil up, Marlborough soon conceded a goal from a Bassett short corner. However Marlborough then continued to attack and had many opportunities before sealing their victory with another goal from Kate Batty on the reverse.
Overall it was a great match for players and spectators and a perfect start to the season for Marlborough ladies first team after being promoted last season.
Below: First team photo (click to enlarge):
Back row left to right:Helen Durrans, Clare Griffiths, Rachel Cox, Becki Marnane (captain), Rosie Curling, Becky Hewlett.
Front row l to r: Helen Way, Katie Morton, Phoebe Clarke, Vicky Moxham, Penny Bowen, Alex Crosby Jones, Kate Batty.
Marlborough Ladies Hockey - First team 28 September 2013