Redland 2 Marlborough 2
Marlborough ladies's first team set out with high hopes of winning this fixture against Redland. Although they knew that Redlands had a strong side, the ladies believed they could come away from Bristol with a good score.
Marlborough started the stronger of the two sides driving forward in numbers and were very unlucky not to score on a number of occasions in the first quarter of an hour.
Then Redland started getting a grip on the game and the first half became a well- balanced match seeing the pendulum of play swing several times. Marlborough's pressure paid off with a well-executed goal: Rachel Cox driving the ball to Becki Marnane, who then slipped it across the goal to a waiting Catherine Manley.
However Redland fought back hard and won a short corner which was blasted into the D and took an unlucky deflection off a Marlborough stick from close range, rocketing past goalie Vicky Moxham.
The game took several turns and was played at a frantic pace. The defence of Sarah Kendal, Ness Pickford, Beth Palfrey and Phillippa Brown held firm and the dynamism in midfield of Penny Bowen, Rachel Cox, Sophie Fynn and Rachel Jackson gave a solid platform for the forwards to cause the Redland defence all sorts of problems.
The score at half time was 1-1 and Marlborough ladies where ready to fight hard for victory.
Unfortunately, not long after half time, Sarah Kendal took a ball to the foot resulting in a lot of swelling and some tissue damage and had to sit out the rest of the game. This injury then pushed Penny Bowen back into defence where she played very comfortably.
Despite this setback, Marlborough took the lead again through a goal side scramble by Becki Marnane and a super set up from forward Rosie Curling. It looked like they would hold on to the lead but a late equaliser from another Redland short corner poured cold water on the Marlborough hopes.
The ball was driven along the base line and knocked across the goalmouth only for a Redland forward to slip it in on the back post. Despite Marlborough's best efforts in the last five minutes they were unable to score another goal.
Marlborough had hoped to come away with the full 3 points but 1 point will still help them in their bid to avoid relegation.
Congratulations to both Marlborough News Online players of the match: Philippa Brown and Rachel Cox.
The team's replay against Swindon due to take place at Marlborough on Thursday evening (February 25) was cancelled because the pitch was likely to be frozen. The previous fixture at Swindon had been cancelled because their pitch was flooded.
A Jaspers' goalMarlborough 3 Jaspers 4
Marlborough Ladies set out for this home league game (February 20) in high spirits - hoping to leave the pitch with a win. They were in full knowledge that they could beat Jaspers in this rearranged game - even though they had previously lost 6-1 to the Bristol-based team earlier in the season.
They were desperate to not have another final score like that one - unless of course, it was the other way around.
Unfortunately Marlborough were slow starting and Jaspers capitalised on this leading to a quick attack and a deflection around the keeper (Vicky Moxham) within the first couple of minutes. 1-0 to Jaspers.
This woke Marlborough up with a start and they began playing some good hockey - especially some fantastic balls up the sideline from Philippa Brown. One such play resulted in a lovely ball through the Jaspers' defence from Rachel Cox which almost rolled off the back line, but Becki Marnane swooped in and took a 'rocket shot' which flew straight over the keeper's head into the back of the net.
A Marlborough goal? Yes...a Marlborough goal
A couple of unfortunate mistakes later and Jaspers scored again - taking them back into the lead.
But more cracking pieces of play from the Marlborough defence and midfield gave Rachel Cox some brilliant opportunities to smash the ball forward to the hopefully waiting Milly Dawson, Sophie Fynn or Catherine Manley. But these just would not go into the goal.
That must be a goal - just
With ten minutes till half time, Jaspers scored another goal. This time it was from a very well worked short corner routine - putting the home team 3-1 down at half time.
Marlborough knew the score line did not reflect how well they had played in the first half and knew they could turn the game around in the second. They stepped up their attack and a couple of chances later the ball was slipped across the face of the goal by Ness Pickford-Smith and Becki Marnane was on hand at the back post to tap the ball in.
Marlborough kept up the pressure and after a succession of short corners Rachel Cox produced a fantastic drag flick straight into the back of the net. Level pegging with only ten minutes to go. The game swayed back and forth between the two teams' goals - each team desperate for a winner.
Unfortunately it was not Marlborough's day as Jaspers sent the ball across the goal mouth and an unlucky deflection from a Marlborough stick sent the ball into the back of their own net.
It was a hard fought......very hard fought game
With a large portion of the second half being played in Marlborough's attacking half of the pitch it seemed they should win. They fought hard for another five minutes, but nothing came from their efforts.
With less than one minute remaining on the clock Sophie Fynn got hit by a high ball to the head resulting in a nasty split to her forehead.
Once the clock was back on, Marlborough fought on, but to no avail. Final score 4-3 to Jaspers.
Marlborough News Online player of the match was Philippa Brown for some outstanding defending in her first game for Marlborough.