A match report from Letcombe FC on their recent match against Marlborough Town Dev.
Danny Joyce continued to come `out of retirement` to deputise for the injured Jack North in goal for Letcombe. Greg Nutley returned, but played in midfield rather than his usual attacking role, with Kian Durkin partnering Josh Fowler in attack.
The Letcombe pitch was in excellent condition, but a strong swirling wind made ball control difficult. Letcombe dominated the first half with the wind behind them, but failed to take a number of early chances. Mikey Annetts headed wide from a Dam Pear free kick, and Josh Fowler was inches wide with a header from a right wing cross. Just when it looked as though it was going to be a frustrating day for the hosts, Josh Fowler picked up a loose ball and drove through the heart of the Marlborough defence to open the scoring. Fowler added a second on the half hour, spinning to hit a bouncing ball just inside the post from ten yards. A quick free kick on the half way line sent Fowler racing away on the left, and his low cross was turned into the net by Joe Blackwell. Fowler completed his hat trick as half time approached when an inswinging corner went directly into the far top corner of the net.
The second half was more even, and Marlborough reduced the arrears early in the half. Mikey Annetts appeared to win the ball on the edge of his own area, but the referee penalised the challenge for a raised foot and Sam Hammond scored with a low drive which took a deflection off a player in the defensive wall. Letcombe scored their fifth midway through the half, Joe Blackwell jumping in front of visiting keeper Scott Bowen to head a Dan Pear free kick past the keepers outstretched arms, and the hosts added a sixth with 15 minutes remaining. Fowler raced clear on the left before cutting inside and scoring with a low shot to take his personal tally to four. Marlborough scored a consolation goal in the in the dying minutes with the home defence looking for an offside flag that never came, allowing Alfie Dawson to drive the ball past the exposed Danny Joyce.
The result was never really in doubt after the first 30 minutes, but Marlborough deserve great credit for never letting their heads drop and for battling until the final whistle. Our thanks also to referee Jakub Kobrzynski, who was prepared to explain his decisions when asked at half time and after the game, rather than telling players and management to go away.
Letcombe entertain Clanfield development next Saturday, 5th February kick off 3.00, before they travel to Marlborough on 12th to renew rivalries. With todays match being played in a good spirit by both sides, it will be a game which they should be looking forward to.