Marlborough Men’s 1st XI vs Cardiff UWIC Marlborough lose 4-2
Saturday, October 6: After a tough loss the previous week, Marlborough travelled away hoping to replicate their battling performance the previous year in a hard fought game against Cardiff & UWIC.
The game began at a break neck speed with Cardiff dominant and displaying masterful control and passing accuracy on their quick, bouncy pitch. Within minutes they had opened the scoring from a tight angle after a series of shots and defensive clearances.
With Marlborough yet to find their feet in the game, Cardiff pushed on further and soon doubled their lead after a drag flick from a slick short corner routine.
With plenty of time of the first half yet to play Marlborough were in danger of losing the game before it had barely begun. After their shaky start, they settled down to a much better rhythm and began creating chances of their own with good play down both flanks. Unfortunately the finishing ball was not put away and the Cardiff goalkeeper remained untested. However this changed just before half time when Will Seward scored a drag flick from Marlborough’s only shot of the half -cutting the deficit in half.
The second half began in a continuation of much of the first half action with Cardiff enjoying the majority of possession and creating the more open chances. Their quick, decisive play was rewarded with another goal direct from a short corner after a pinpoint drag flick found the bottom right corner. To their credit Marlborough pulled another goal back, somewhat against the run of play, with Seward again the scorer after a goal mouth melee. This led to a rather nervy final few minutes for Cardiff, who were desperate not to surrender their lead.
The result of the game was finally settled after another brilliant drag flick from Cardiff ended Marlborough’s hopes of a comeback. The game ended 4-2 with Cardiff the deserved winners and Marlborough’s Alex Milton voted Man of the Match for great work under constant pressure.
Marlborough Men’s 1st XI vs Truro Marlborough lose 4-1
Saturday, October 13: Despite having yet to register a win this season, Marlborough went into the third game with some confidence against a strong Truro outfit who had won their previous game 5-0. The home game started off evenly with Truro showing no signs of lethargy after their long journey to Marlborough and they soon took the upper hand and started dominating possession and making some sharp attacks down both flanks.
Their efforts were rewarded when they took the lead after a snap shot finish from a tight angle. The lead was soon doubled after some fortuitous play in the ‘d’ allowed the Truro striker an open goal just on the stroke of half time.
The half-time break allowed Marlborough skipper, Rich Holman, to rally his troops in an attempt to mount a comeback. Marlborough started the second half brightly and as the game became stretched due to fatigue, had several chances of their own but unfortunately were unable to convert them. Truro pressed their advantage home and with further sharp work up front made the score 3-0 before ending any hopes of a Marlborough comeback with a fourth.
To their credit Marlborough continued to press forward without giving up and were awarded a penalty flick after Holman had a shot illegally stopped on the line. Anil Sud converted to make the score 4-1 with two minutes remaining. The last couple of minutes were played out with both sides scrapping for the ball in midfield leaving the final result a 4-1 win for the visiting side.
Marlborough 1st XI vs Robinsons A Marlborough lose 7-4
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.