Bristol UWE 0 - 3 Marlborough
2 from 2...
Marlborough maintained their positive start to life in North Conference with a comfortable 3-0 victory away at Bristol UWE.
The game started in a very end to end fashion with UWE applying early pressure to the Marlborough back line without ever really threatening to score. After about 10 minutes, Marlborough began to settle into their normal pattern of play and started to take control of the game. UWE began to look very hurried at the back as Marlborough were able to press the ball into areas they felt confident they could win it, with John Berry looking particularly dangerous when carrying through the inside-right channel.
Despite their dominance, Marlborough were unable to take numerous half chances that came their way. However, the increasing amount of pressure eventually told when Marlborough were awarded a Penalty Corner. Unfortunately, the normal recipient of Marlborough's go-to routine decided he needed a head start and was sent packing to the halfway line for breaking into the D early (More on him to come later...). Matt Osborne stepped up confidently and turned Rich Fynn's pinpoint ball past the keeper for the opening goal.
All credit to UWE as they responded well to conceeding, perhaps Marlborough switched off slightly as the hopeful long passes UWE had been playing all game were suddenly finding players in dangerous areas. If not for the excellent reactions from keeper Aaron Holloway, Marlborough would have quickly found themselves pegged back level.
Half-time came with Marlborough deserving of the lead but UWE poised to pounce on any lapses in concentration. The message at halftime was simple, keeping pressing as we had been and they would become frustrated, turning the ball over in dangerous areas of the pitch. This was exactly what happened when Marlborough extended their lead 15 minutes into the second half. Charlie Hawley, dressed in his "new" shoes, pressed hard to their Left Half winning the ball and enabling it to be played to Rich Fynn who had led well ahead of the ball. From a narrow-angle Rich squared the ball for Rhys Davies, who managed to sit the UWE keeper down as he feinted to his reverse before casually turning strong and flicking the ball into the unguarded net, a very composed finish.
Marlborough put the game to bed with 10 minutes to go following another excellent piece of team pressing. UWE were forced to play a hurried pass into their midfield where Matt Osborne was able to rob them and carry hard towards the circle. He drew 2 defenders towards him before slipping the ball left to John Berry who took the ball in his stride, opened his body up and fired the ball into the far corner on his reverse.
UWE continued to search for a consolation goal but the combination of excellent work-rate and communication from the Marlborough defence managed the pressure well, snuffing out any half chances before they developed further.
It was a very professional performance from Marlborough, controlling long spells of the game and showing the sort of team-orientated play which has been the backbone of their success in recent years. They move into what they know will be a tough home fixture next week against Wiltshire rivals Swindon, who narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship last year and have also started with a 100% record.
Man of the Match was awarded to John Berry, for what can simply be described as a "Colossal" performance
D*** of the Day was 'awarded' to Charlie Hawley (who also maintains his personal 100% record) for a combination of his Painting and Decorating fancy dress on arrival and having to ask the awkward question of "What size foot are you? after his shoes gave up on him in the first half.