Last season Marlborough gained promotion in the David Wood Hockey league. So their first league game of the new season presented Marlborough with a huge challenge: they were to play Robinsons A, one of the mainstay teams of the ‘Championship’.
The game started somewhat nervously with Marlborough and Robinsons exchanging errant passes and struggling to find any rhythm against one another. The game was mainly contested in the centre of the pitch until some skilful work saw Robinsons awarded a penalty corner which was duly dispatched. This galvanized the home side into action and a matter of minutes later Matt Osbourne opened his goal account for the season with a deft finish from an unlikely angle.
Roared on by the home supporters, Marlborough soon took the lead through Osbourne in a nigh on identical goal after some sharp work by Will Seward and skipper Rich Holman. However the lead did not last for long as Robinsons answered with a sharp goal of their own. With barely 20 minutes gone and the game already tied at 2-2 one could be forgiven in to thinking the teams might play it safe until half time but amazingly the opposite proved true.
Osbourne completed his hat trick with yet again another goal - bursting run down the right-hand side before slotting past the keeper as he rushed the attack. Midfield starlet Will Seward capped a superb first half performance with a mazy dribble and goal after the break down of a short corner routine. 4-2 up at half time.
The second half began and Marlborough soon realised that Robinsons were not even slightly daunted at the score line as they pressed harder and soon found themselves level after two incredibly quick goals. With Marlborough reeling Robinsons set about further punishing the home team and soon found themselves in the lead after a scrappy goal mouth melee. Unable to live with the intensity, and greater experience in the current situation, Marlborough had no answer to the visitors who had greatly raised their game after the surprise of the first half.
Soon the score became 6-4 leaving Marlborough no choice but to launch an all-out attack leaving more gaps for Robinsons to play through. Marlborough had several opportunities via short corners and shots from distance but were unable to further test the Robinsons’ goalkeeper. With only minutes remaining Robinsons ended any thoughts of a miraculous comeback by Marlborough, slotting home a seventh goal and ending the game as deserving 7-4 victors.
While disappointed at having squandered a good position in the game, Marlborough skipper Rich Holman reflected that there were plenty of positives to take from the performance as well as lessons to be learned.
There's more information abou the 1st team and the Club's other teams on the Marlborough Hockey Club website.