03:00PM, Friday 19 November 2021
Kerri Smith netted a hat-trick as Marlow Ladies 1sts held on for a 4-3 victory over Fareham 1sts in an entertaining first league clash between the sides.
Their opponents may have been unfamiliar to them, but Marlow settled well with Kerri Smith (two) and Jane Smith scoring to make it 3-1 at the break.
Fareham were more competitive in the second half and scored twice to put the outcome in the balance, but Smith’s hat-trick goal to make it 4-2 just pushed the home side out of reach.
Victory lifts the side to second in the table.
On an extremely positive day for the women’s side of the club, the 2nd team won 4-1 away at Newbury & Thatcham.
They dominated from the outset and took the lead through Helena Sykora’s first goal for the club. Newbury rallied to level the scores, but Sykora netted twice more to stretch the visitors advantage to 3-1 at the interval. They then controlled proceedings after the break and put the stamp on a commanding away win with Estelle Palmer’s goal.
Other results saw the women’s teams claim a clean sweep of victories. The 3rd team win 5-1 away at Yateley 1sts, the 4ths defeat Oxford Hawks 5ths 1-, the 5ths edge out Phoenix & Ranelagh 2nds 1-0 away, 6ths beat South Berks 4ths 1-0 and the 7ths hammer Slough 5ths 6-0.
Marlow’s men’s 1st rose to the challenge of Havant 2nds’ youthful exuberance and ambition as they won 4-2 to keep their title challenge on track.
Marlow initially found it tricky against pacy opponents, but they gradually got the measure of their hosts at the game wore on. Chris Sewell’s early goal was cancelled out, but the visitors hit back quickly through Callum White from a penalty corner. He netted again to make it 3-1 at half-time, and, although Havant made a match of it in the second period, scoring to make it 3-2, Marlow’s greater experience told as Sewell scored again in the 57th minute to make the points safe.
Marlow’s closest rivals at the top, Oxford Hawks 2nds, also won at the weekend to remain within two points, a result which raises the stakes ahead of Saturday’s intriguing match between the two at Pound Lane.
The 2nd team missed a host of chances as they were beaten 2-0 at home by Oxford Hawks 3rds on Saturday, a team they’d dismantled 8-2 just 12 months ago.
They went into the game confident of claiming victory, though perhaps some complacency crept in as they failed to put away several good chances. The Hawks took the lead against the run of play and grabbed a second after the interval to really put the home side under pressure. They forced a series of penalty corners in the latter stages but just couldn’t convert.
Other results saw the 3rds beat Eastcote 3rds 3-0, the 4ths draw 2-2 with Tring 1sts and the 5ths defeat Oxford 5ths 1-0. The 6ths drew 1-1 with Amersham & Chalfont 6ths and the 7ths got the better of Wallingford 5ths 4-3.