Rachel Cox makes a run towards goalMarlborough 5 Swanage & Wareham 1
Marlborough were all fired up to maintain their winning streak as they entertained Swanage and Wareham for the final home game of the season.
Marlnborough started strongly with making great passages of play - with streaming moves down both left and right sides of the pitch from Annabel Ashley, Sophie Fynn, Rachel Cox, Ness Pickford-Smith and linking passes to forwards Jess Pugh, Alex Crosby-Jones and Milly Dawson.
There were plenty of attempts on goal and a rush of short corners. Marlborough were unfortunate not to find the back of the net on a number of occasions and the opposition's goalkeeper was keeping them in the game.
Keeping the pressure high and executing their passes well, Marlborough finally got their first goal. A hard reverse shot from Jess Pugh, rebounded perfectly to Sophie Fynn's stick and with a clean finish it was 1-0 to Marlborough.
Defending Swanage & Wareham's breaks, the Marlborough defence were on top and reducing their passes into the D. Hard work from Beth Palfrey Tori Williams and Annabel Ashley out wide, and Anna Scott and Emily Carter-Davies transferring around the middle, allowed Marlborough to utilise the space.
That's a goal for Marlborough ...and that's another
With an unlucky bouncy ball into the D hitting one of the Marlboroughs' defenders foot, the opposition had their first short corner. They got a glimmer of hope, but with a cracking save from Vicky Moxham, and the follow up clearance, Marlborough were back on the attack.
At half time Marlborough were only 1-0 and the second half started hard - but a little bit rockily.
With great play from Rachel Cox in the middle linking to all players, Neve Beer, Ness Pickford-Smith, Lou Griffiths, Milly Dawson, and Sophie Fynn were putting lots pressure on the opposition defence.
Another strong strike from Jess Pugh and the defender stopping the ball on the line with their foot, Marlborough were awarded a penalty shot. The team had time to have a little chat and get their composure back. With a perfectly executed flick from Jess, the keeper had no chance, and it was 2-0 to Marlborough.
Jess Pugh takes the penalty shot...with a fine flick ...job done
Taking advantage of the momentum, Marlborough were pushing hard and fast. There were cracking hits from Neve Beer and Ness Pickford-Smith across the D, but no sticks could finish them off. All the hard work finally paid off with a short corner that allowed Rachel Cox to score her first goal of the game, with a perfectly placed shot in the corner.
The opposition were not giving up just yet, with a few breaks and some fast players, meant the Marlborough defenders had some work to do. But with solid work from the back, Swanage & Wareham were finding it difficult to get into the D. When they did Vicky Moxham was ready and waiting to make sure nothing was getting in her goal.
With some great linking passes through the defence, midfield and forwards, another goal was looming. A whopping strike from Rachel Cox from the top of the D which no goal keeper could save, increased Marlborough's lead to 4-0.
There was excellent composure throughout the team. Marlborough were playing hockey their way and the opposition were none too happy .
Swanage and Wareham's short corner goalAnother Marlborough attack followed and Sophie Fynn slotted the ball home.
The game was not over just yet, with Swanage & Wareham still persistently looking for the break. They were awarded a short corner for their efforts. With a perfectly performed move and a good bending slap from the right slip, they scored their first goal of the game.
How did the supporters sum up the morning's work? "A really brilliant result for their last home game of the season."
A much-deserved Marlborough News Online Player of the Match went to Sophie Fynn, for her fast, skilful play throughout the game - and two excellent goals.
Marlborough ladies first team travel to Warminster next week to play West Wilts for a clash between the second and third teams in the league.
Team Bath Buccaneers III 0 Marlborough 4
After last week's resounding victory over Wimborne which saw the team rise to third in the league, Marlborough were positive from the off, applying pressure to Bath Buccs’ push back and turning the ball over before they could gain purchase on the game.
From then on, Marlborough created a sustained period of pressure on the Buccs’ defence, moving the ball with increasing confidence and making probing runs into the D.
A driving run from Vanessa Pickford-Smith down the right opened up a channel into the D through which she threaded a well weighted pass to Catherine Manley who was able to slot the ball past the keeper.
As play restarted, Marlborough maintained their drive to move the ball forwards with the defensive line of Anna Scott, Torie Williams, Annabel Ashley and Beth Palfrey mopping up any attempts from Bath to push towards their goal and transferring the ball away from trouble towards the midfield.
A string of passes from Sophie Fynn and Rachel Cox provided Catherine Manley with another opportunity to score which she did with a neat and controlled spin to front up the keeper and ease the ball past into goal.
Penny Bowen, Rachel Cox and Vanessa Pickford-Smith continued to hound Buccs’ midfield whenever they gained possession, making them step up their accuracy and supportive runs in order to work the ball through their attacking half. As well as tracking back tirelessly when Marlborough lost possession, the forward line of Anna Strover, Milly Dawson and Catherine Manley were working hard with their forward runs, drawing the defence and creating space for the midfield to drive into.
Vanessa Pickford-Smith, who was putting in some serious leg work to close down any Bath player within her vicinity, began to make some excellent drives into the D, firing off a number of shots before one finally crossed the line for a goal.
Despite going into half time 3-0 ahead Marlborough still had areas of their game to work on. With renewed focus Marlborough picked up the attack once more and continued to dominate the game despite Bath moving the ball well between their players and making some dangerous attacking play towards and around the goal.
The defensive back line, now including Emily Carter-Davies, was transferring the ball confidently around the back and picking some great forward balls. During the middle of the second half, play moved rapidly up and down the pitch as both teams attempted to break the deadlock once more.
Marlborough won three short corners over the following few minutes finally converting the third with a clean strike from Sophie Fynn. Minutes later, a great save from Vicky Moxham ensured a clean sheet was kept and Marlborough were able to walk off the pitch with three points secured.
The 4-0 victory has seen the team rise to second in the league and ensure that Marlborough continued to put themselves in contention for a top two finish as the season draws towards its climax.
Marlborough News Online player of the match was deservedly awarded to Anna Strover whose work rate both on and off the ball was terrific.