Chippenham 'A' dominate Marlborough 'A' and grind out victory
By Mark Knight
Home win puts Chippenham in second on goal difference
This week Chippenham A hosted Marlborough A, looking to capitalise on last week’s victory and cement their position near the top of the division.
The match started with Chippenham A seemingly asleep and a little quiet.
Marlborough were a good strong team, and would prove difficult adversaries, belying their position at the bottom of the table.
Marlborough set up with a half court press looking to soak up pressure and strike on the break when opportunity presented.
Chippenham dominated possession and territory for much of the match, however, as with last week found it difficult, at times, to convert chances into goals.
Chippenham broke the deadlock after about 20 minutes, when midfielder Dave Thomas drifted past a couple Marlborough defenders, committing the Marlborough keeper, and then tucked the ball back to a waiting Henry Price to fire the ball home from short range. 1-0 to Chippenham.
Chippenham continued to enjoy the majority of the possession and territory, however, were undone by a searching pass from the Marlborough defence from their own 23 yard line to their lone striker on the Chippenham 23 yard line, who manoeuvred past the Chippenham defence and from quite an acute angle blasted the ball into the far corner of the goal. 1-1 which remained the scoreline until half time.
In the second half, Chippenham continued to press the Marlborough defence, but to no avail. Chippenham needed to be wary of the Marlborough counter attack though, which they effected at pace.
Chippenham scored their second goal from a penalty corner - after a number of attempts from 4 or so consecutive penalty corners Nigel Stonham drag flicked the ball past the flailing Marlborough keeper into the roof of the net. 2-1 to Chippenham.
Chippenham’s third goal came when Thomas picked up the ball just outside of the Marlborough D, took it past a Marlborough defender and struck home with a thunderbolt of a shot leaving the Marlborough keeper standing as a spectator as the ball struck the back-board. 3-1 to Chippenham.
The final 15 minutes saw end to end hockey, and few more chances for Chippenham as Marlborough stepped up the pressure in an effort to bring themselves back on level terms.
A slack defensive and unforced error in the Chippenham defence conceded a penalty corner a few minutes from time, which Marlborough dispatched with a strike to the left side of goal. 3-2.
Chippenham regained their composure and saw out the remaining minutes by retaining possession of the ball whenever possible , pushing into the Marlborough half and controlling the play for the last few minutes, preventing Marlborough from the opportunity of any further chance to score.
A tough and hard fought match ended with Chippenham the victors. A fair result given the domination of Chippenham’s possession and territorial advantage.
This result leaves Chippenham in second in the division, level on points at the top, but just a couple goals behind first place.