Epic win for our L1s
By Emily Carter-Davies
Written Anna Scott
With Marlborough and Gillingham lying equal on points but Gillingham ahead on goal difference, this was a critical fixture and one that the Green Army could not afford to lose. Having been soundly beaten by Gillingham away from home, three points was a tall order, but Marlborough were up for the challenge.
The aim in the first ten minutes was to keep possession and protect the ball, which Marlborough managed to do pretty effectively, with midfielders rachel cox, Jess Davis and Kitty Cleaver working hard in the middle of the park. Some excellent attacking play down the flanks by Annabel Ashley, Beth Palfrey and Amy Davidson saw a number of D entries for Marlborough, and after fifteen minutes one was rewarded with a short corner. The ‘V’ Ball short corner was called, which saw the ball slipped right to Catherine Manley and returned to rachel cox who put it away at close range; 1-0 Marlborough! The goal woke up a sleepy Gillingham, who came at Marlborough with some fast runs through the middle of the field. Full-backs emily carter-davies and Anna Scott did their best to stem the tide, but some quick ball down the right was slotted away on the left post, and Gillingham drew level. The rest of the half saw Marlborough on top, but despite some excellent runs from forwards Milly Dawson, Alice Thompson and Catherine Manley, they were unable to convert any of their chances.
After a rousing half-time team talk from captain emily carter-davies, Marlborough found themselves playing into a strong head wind, with the whole team raising their work rates to stay on top of both the opposition and the weather. After fifteen minutes, a turnover ball at left midfield found rachel cox, who made another fantastic break resulting in a short corner. A drag from the top of the D found a defender on the goal line, resulting in a penalty flick that was cooly slotted away by rachel cox. 2-1 Marlborough! Again, Gillingham came back hard, with Marlborough down to ten players at one point after Anna Scott was sin-binned after breaking down play with an ‘accidental’ foot. Marlborough defended hard, absorbing a number of Gillingham short corners, with Issy Davies making some fantastic saves which included stopping a rising ball struck from the top of the D. With five minutes to go, emily carter-davies made the tackle of the match on her reverse stick to prevent a goal scoring opportunity and Marlborough clung on top their 2-1 lead, to take 3 points back from Gillingham.
6 players received Man of the Match nominations, which reflected the massive team effort. The award went to forward Alice Thompson, who worked tirelessly throughout the game and gave the skin from her backside for the sake of the Green Army!