On a rainy Saturday Marlborough Hockey Club’s Ladies First team drove down to Tidworth to play their home game against Bournemouth 2s (November 4).
There was a pause in the rain for the two sides to make the most of their game on a surface neither team was used to. A very heavy sand based pitch with little or no bounce.
Bournemouth came out strongly in the first half. Goalkeeper Vicky Moxham had to make some strong saves to keep the score at 0-0. The Marlborough defence managed to hold off the quick passing Bournemouth attackers but this pressure finally results in a goal from free play taking the score to 1-0.
The Marlborough team was not deterred by this and they fought back. Emily Carter-Davies managed to play some excellent passes from defence to Amy Davidson and Annabel Ashley out on the wing and Marlborough were now starting to create space.
Through some fantastic passing between Amy Davidson, Alice Thompson and Neve Beer the ball was driven from the left to Sophie Fynn at the top of the D. She took her time, saw space in the Bournemouth D and shot a superb strike scoring Marlborough’s first goal to level the score.
The game became a much more even affair for the rest of the first half and Bella Busby, Neve Beer, Tess Christmas and Milly Dawson all had chances in the D but Marlborough could not quite convert.
The second half saw Marlborough winning short corners and again making use of the wider space. However, Bournemouth soon started to dominate the second half and Marlborough were on the defence.
Bournemouth sent all of their players forward and they were applying the pressure forcing Beth Palfrey and Emily Carter-Davies to make some strong tackles to warn them off.
Marlborough had a few strong breaks during this period and Milly almost scored from the right post but she could not quite reach Jess Davis’ square ball. Marlborough stayed strong for the final ten minutes and worked hard defensively to keep the final score at 1-1.
The very well deserved Marlborough News Online Player of the Match was awarded to Alice Thompson.
Katie King reports on the Ladies Seconds home game against Royal Wootton Bassett Seconds:
With an enforced early start Marlborough Ladies Seconds were looking to consolidate their winning form from their previous match. The rain stopped and play started, Marlborough were on the attack straight away.
With effective interlinking play it wasn’t long before the first goal was scored by Meg Aujla. With a flurry of quick play, two more goals soon followed, and then Anna Strover completed a slick penalty corner with an accurate push finish.
Now with five goals scored, Marlborough allowed Wootton Bassett into the match and they capitalised with a goal from a long corner.
The second half continued with Marlborough on the attack again. Jaime Parsons and Rachel Cox added to the goal fest.
The last ten minutes of the match were more challenging for Marlborough with the loss of Charlie Bowman who was struck by a ball to the face.
This resulted in Wootton Bassett grabbing a second consolation goal. However the final result of 11-2 was just reward for some great team play and attacking moves by Marlborough.
Ed Watson reports on Marlborough Hockey Club’s Mens Second team’s game against Bristol University’s C Team:
With the College pitches out of action it was an intrepid group of explorers who converged on Tidworth Oval for our ‘home’ game against Bristol Uni.
Right from the off it was clear the game would be a tight tussle between youth and experience, and it was the younger side which opened the scoring after only a few minutes with some of their quick passing and off the ball movement (which was to prove ultimately decisive in the game).
After this early wobble, Marlborough settled down to some excellent team defence, ably marshalled by Rich Newton and the back four.
As Marlborough gained in confidence the scores were levelled by a goal straight from the Strictly dance floor: Ed Watson’s reverse shot ballooned up off the keeper’s boot to find Will Hodge controlling the ball chest high, pirouetting and lobbing the keeper with a reverse dink back over his head.
It was hard to say who was taken more by surprise: attacker or keeper.
The second half saw a regular pattern of Marlborough defence soaking up pressure and counterattacking, sadly without that final pass or piece of skill to sufficiently challenge the excellent Bristol keeper.
The best chance of the half fell again to Will Hodge who was clumsily tackled from behind in the process of unleashing a thunderbolt from the middle of the D. But Marlborough were unable to convert the ensuing short corner.
At the other end a series of short corners and goal mouth scrambles were well defended – including a sharp triple save from Rich Newton. But the inevitable goal came for Bristol from a successfully deflected short corner routine. A third goal near to time was denied the visitors by a fantastic save from Rich Newton, leaping like a salmon to parry a smart shot around the post with a big left glove.
Plenty of positives in defence for Marlborough, but ultimately lacking in cutting edge. Marlborough News Online Man of the Match was awarded to Rich Newton for a string of excellent saves.
Darren Crawford reports on Marlborough Hockey Club’s Mens Third team away game against Bath Buccs G Team:
The Mens Thirds travelled to Bath for another top of the table clash – Bucss sitting above Marlborough on goal difference.
Marlborough started the game slowly struggling to gain any shape.
Bath Buccs had a mix of ‘old guard’ and some promising youngsters with good pace and took control early on.
Despite some desperate defending, Bath Buccs managed to score two scrappy goals taking them into half time two up.
After what was reported to be a ‘stirring’ half time team talk, Marlborough made some adjustments to their shape which brought them back into the game.
Marlborough defended well with a great outlet down the right hand side from Luke Padfield. This resulted In Chris Newton turning Marlborough pressure into a well-deserved first goal for Marlborough.
The fightback was on. Marlborough continued to defend well but had multiple attacks on the break. Phil Gill hit the post twice. This pressure was rewarded with another goal for man of the match Chris Newton who scored his second with a goalmouth scramble.
A well deserved draw against a good side with good pace.