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Ladies 1s Vs. Marlow 2s - Sunday 29th January 2023

What could’ve, should’ve been….

BHC Ladies 1s - 1,Marlow Ladies 2s – 2

This was a Sunday game as the original fixture was postponed, but Banbury had still managed to pull together a strong team and it seemed that we faced a rather young and inexperienced Marlow side so this looked a good chance to get back to winning ways after a very hard fought and well earned point at home the day before.

It was a bit of a cagey start by both teams and Marlow had the bulk of the ball for the first few

minutes and played in the Banbury half, but they were nonetheless not posing much of a threat to the Banbury D or goal. It soon changed and the Banbury team up’d their game and forayed forward and on 9 mins, Tash Roberts got a shot on goal which was blocked. What became apparent was that Marlow were well organised and content to sit back and hit Banbury on the break. Their youngsters were very fast and clearly had a plan. After 12 mins and an unfortunate clearance from the back going to a Marlow stick, it was a 3 v 1 chance for them, and despite Sammy Bates narrowing the angle, the Marlow youngsters calmly played the ball around her and put it into the empty net; 1-0 Marlow. Banbury had most of the ball and tried desperately to penetrate the Marlow line, but they sat back, defended in numbers, content to hit on the break. But Banbury persevered and after 15 mins with some good work by Tash, Banbury earned a short corner, however it was cleared by the Marlow defence. Banbury continued to poke and prod at the Marlow line, but they stood firm. After 32 mins and only Marlow’s 2 nd attack at the Banbury goal, they earned a short, which Banbury defended well. Banbury continued to possess the ball, but struggled to find any clear cut chances and the teams went in with the score still 1-0 Marlow. Could Banbury turn possession into goals?

After a minutes play, Tash, Libby Haden and Molly McCusker linked together fantastically and the

end effort just went past the post. Two minutes in, Banbury earned their first short of the half and this was well executed resulting in a great drag by Vic “Pagey” Coombs into the top of the net; 1-1.

A few minutes of Marlow possession followed and they earned themselves a short after 8 mins, and with what was probably their 3rd attempt on the Banbury goal, they rocketed a shot onto the post – and in! 2-1 to Marlow. Despite all the Banbury possession, they were now up against it. Marlow started to control the midfield and sit back even deeper making Banbury run after the ball in order to start an attack. The Marlow team had a few old heads moving and instructing the youngsters and their tactics were frustrating the Banbury team. The Banbury team did seem to lack a sense of urgency and it wasn’t until the last 5 minutes that they moved up and decided to throw caution to the wind – everyone up, let’s get the ball! The Banbury ladies were all over Marlow in the last few minutes and earned 2 shorts (which were going well), but unfortunately, Marlow coped with these last gasp chances, and the game finished 2-1 Marlow. Very frustrating for our team.

MVP – Several players were nominated, but Rosie Gowing received the most and was MVP today.

“Banbury had the bulk of possession and more chances, but found it difficult to get the ball at times and couldn’t break down a team very much concentrating on defending in numbers. This is

the second time that we have faced a team happy to sit back and hit on the break and that perhaps suggests that we need to work out how to deal with this. Banbury played some very good hockey this weekend, so it is disappointing to only take away 1 point from a possible 6”.

Bryce Wilkinson

Ladies 1s Manager 29/01/23

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