Marlborough vs Gloucester City Marlborough lose 8-5
After back to back wins had galvanised their season, Marlborough welcomed Gloucester who were one place above them in the current league standings and out of the relegation zone. The game began at breakneck speed with both sides having chances to score within the first couple of minutes, a clear omen for what was to come.
Marlborough opened the scoring after a Chris Jones drag flick found the net following a short corner routine. With the lead established Marlborough looked to settle the game down but Gloucester had other ideas.
They equalised barely a minute later and then scoring a further two quick fire goals to lead 3-1 with the game only ten minutes old. The frenetic nature of the game did not stop there as Marlborough pulled a goal back after some sharp play down the right wing by Matt Ashton which led to striker Will Hughes finishing from close range.
The scoreline 3-2 became 4-2 as another lightning fast Gloucester break away restored their two goal advantage. Not to be discouraged, Marlborough hit back with a goal of their own via skipper Richard Holman and shortly after levelled the playing field with Matt Osbourne finishing a flowing move once again created down the right hand side.
The first half ended 4-4 with several players on both sides somewhat bewildered at the number of goals and the frantic action.
The second half started at a much slower pace with both teams happier to let the ball do the work with quick, snappy passing mainly in the midfield areas. With little happening in the first fifteen minutes of the second half, a slight lapse in concentration by Marlborough allowed Gloucester to re-take the lead at 5-4.
Desperate for their earlier efforts not to be in vain Marlborough reasserted themselves and were soon piling forward in numbers which led to a penalty flick being awarded in their favour which was despatched by Anil Sud.
With the game once again level one could have been forgiven for thinking that with ten minutes left to play, the scoring might have been finished for the day. However the Gloucester forwards again broke free and with two more goals left Marlborough in dire straits with little time remaining.
Marlborough pressed as hard as they could but were unable to convert any further chances before Gloucester closed out the game with their eighth goal leaving the final score 8-5.
A bizarre, frenetic game with both sides wondering what on earth is in store for the return fixture after Christmas.
Marlborough vs Bath Buccs B Marlborough win 4-2
After their recent improved results and off the back of the previous week’s first win of the season, Marlborough went in to their game against Bath Buccs B believing they had a good chance of securing all three points.
Level on points with the visitors, Marlborough knew that this and the return fixture later in the season could prove vital in their bid to stay in the league.
The game started with Bath Buccs entirely dominant and Marlborough were very fortunate not to find themselves one or perhaps two goals down after the first ten minutes. Marlborough struggled to string together any meaningful periods of possession and Bath deservedly took the lead after a short corner routine.
Shortly afterwards Bath were fairly awarded a penalty stroke after a Marlborough foot on the line denied a clear goal. Bath converted the stroke leaving several Marlborough players wondering if they were in for an extremely difficult day.
Fortunately the 2-0 deficit seemed to galvanise the team and soon Marlborough were creating chances of their own with quick breakaways after breakdown in Bath play.
Right on the stroke of half-time Matt Osbourne finished off a flowing move through the midfield and attacked with a slap shot which found the far left corner. A perfect end to the half for Marlborough.
The second half began quite differently to the first - with Marlborough enjoying a lot of possession and with creative play exhibited by both sides. Mid-way through the second half attacking midfielder Will Seward found himself unmarked several yards out from goal and took his opportunity to level the scores by powering a shot between the Bath goalkeepers legs.
With the game finely in the balance Marlborough had several ‘heart in mouth’ moments with Bath unlucky not to retake the lead after some lightning fast attacks.
The game finally swung fully in Marlborough’s favour when Seward scored his second after some brilliant instant control and a precise reverse stick strike that left the Bath goalkeeper helpless once more.
With six minutes to go Bath pressed their players higher, desperate to equalise having held the lead earlier in the game, but Marlborough seemed to be holding firm with some composed play through the defence and midfield.
The result was finally put beyond any reasonable doubt when newly acquired right back James Richardson scored his first goal for Marlborough with a thunderous undercut strike in to the top left corner after further great set up play by man of the match Seward.
The game ended 4-2 with Marlborough deserved winners after showing determination, doggedness and zeal - after a somewhat hesitant start.