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Marlow's men remain unbeaten after thrilling victory over Witney

Marlow Hockey Club

Marlow Men’s Hockey club resumed their campaign with a 5-4 win over Witney, maintaining their unbeaten start to the campaign and their place at the top of the league.

Having only conceded three goals in their first four matches, Marlow must have some concerns defensively, after conceding eight in their last two games. However, after four weeks without a game they could be forgiven for being a little ring rusty.

The home side took the lead twice in the first half, but Lewis Goodman replied on each occasion, his second coming on the stroke of half-time. Goodman scored his hat-trick just after the break and youngster George Evans tapped in from close range to make it 4-2. Matt Bilsland then added a fifth before Witney replied with two goals of their own in the last 10 minutes. Chris Jackson also made an impressive first team debut.

The men’s 2nds were held to a 2-2 draw at home by Wallingford 1sts. The visitors capitalised on some defensive hesitancy to score twice in the first half before coach Willars was able to make some adjustments to get Marlow back into the game. They were soon dominating possession and eventually had the ball in the net through Jacob Gunn.

Joe Haslehurst then grabbed a deserved equaliser for the home side, but they ran out of time to find a winner, while Wallingford also had some chances late in the game.

Other men’s results saw the men’s 4ths draw 2-2 at home with Witney, the 5ths beat Windsor 2nds 2-0 away and the 6ths win 1-0 at home against Ashford 4ths. The Strollers played out a goalless draw with Sunbury Red Lions.

The Ladies 1st team weren’t able to play their match in the South League, after the league cancelled all games until January 9. The women top their league.

The 2nds picked up where they left of to beat league leaders Wallingford 1sts 3-0. The goals were scored by Vic Allen (two) and Emily Gillespie. The 3rds were beaten 3-0 away at Windsor 1sts and the 4ths drew 4-4 against Windsor’s 2nd team. The 5ths lost 2-0 away to Thame 2nds.

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Windsor Hockey Club

Windsor Ladies First XI leapt to third place after a comfortable 3-0 home win against Marlow 3s.

As lockdown rules were eased in Tier 2, the team had a long awaited but last minute training session the previous night and were in the mood to play hockey.

They dominated from the whistle, pushing the visitors deep into their own half to launch a wave of attacks.

And it looked like captain Freya Hayter had put them ahead with a brilliant flick on the edge of the D only for a controversial decision to rule it out on grounds the ball was struck just outside the area.

But it wasn't long before the home team went 1-0 up following a well worked penalty corner with Ellen Taylor injecting and Clare McKinnel deftly deflecting it in.

And minutes later McKinnel doubled her and Windsor's tally with a clean finish from close range.

With Marlow still shaking off lockdown lethargy, Windsor also took control of the second half and a series of driving runs from player of the match Holly Banham caused problems for the visitors' midfield and defence.

Hayter was unlucky for a second time when she stepped up to take a penalty flick and easily beat the keeper only to see her shot hit the crossbar to give Marlow a moment of respite.

But a third goal was always coming and while Banham had her strike from a short corner saved, Mel Van Huffel was beautifully placed to neatly finish at the post.

Marlow had to dig in to prevent any more damage to the scoreline.

Even though Windsor were looking for a fourth with Jessi Nagi leading the charge on the right flank, the reds threw everyone behind the ball to thwart any more attacks.

Windsor have one more fixture before the Christmas break and travel to play Wallingford Ladies 2s tomorrow (Sat) in Trysports Premier Division 2.

And in an incredible 10-0 battering of opponents Iver and Burnham Ladies 1s, Windsor Ladies 3s picked up where they had left off pre-lockdown.

Playing at home, the purple and whites put on a spectacular, record breaking goals extravaganza to surpass the previous ladies record held by the second team when they beat Amersham and Chalfont 9-0 in 2012.

Striker Fiona Tsang opened the floodgates and within minutes had bagged a brace before Iver and Burnham had a chance to draw breath.

Windsor shifted through the gears at a rapid pace and Toni McFarlane made it 3-0 with a low strike that put the ball beyond the keeper's reach.

And it was 4-0 just before half time as both Holly Sampson and Vicky Thompson got a stick to the ball at the same time with both strikers claiming they had the final touch.

Despite the lead, rampant Windsor were far from done and the onslaught continued.

In a dazzling run, Sampson took the ball from inside her own half and picked out captain Natalie Morrison with a perfect pass that saw Morrison find the far corner with a slick finish.

With defenders now keen to get a slice of the action, centre back Emma Waller pushed forward and sprayed passes across the pitch to stretch Iver and Burnham further.

Sensing a chance to score, Waller took complete control and had racked up a hat-trick in 15 minutes with three similar goals - all unstoppable flicks from the edge of the D.

And Morrison was set up again by Sampson to score her second and Windsor's ninth.

The whistle could not come soon enough for the beleaguered opposition who conceded one more time as McFarlane ghosted in for a smart finish sending the team into the Christmas break in style.

They remain unbeaten in five out of five games and are three points clear at the top of Division 7.

* Windsor Ladies 2s had to sit their game out as rivals Amersham and Chalfont Ladies 4s called for a postponement after being unable to field a team because of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The Men's First XI away fixture against Osterley in MBB) Division 2 was also postponed while in Division 5, the second team lost 2-0 at home to Marlow Mens 5s.

And in Division 7, the men's third team lost 6-1 away to Wycombe Mens 4s.

There was victory, however, for the men's Vets who won 9-2 away against Woking Pitts Elders.

The remainder of all the men's games have been postponed until the New Year.

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