Marlborough Town were founded in 1904. They moved to their current ground, Elcot Lane just to the East of the town centre, in 1946 (to years before Pewsey Vale FC was formed). There is a decent sized car park adjacent to the ground and parking available on Elcot Lane, within a short walk of the ground. There is a good sized clubhouse that incorporates a food bar. The pitch itself has a slight slope from the car park end and across the pitch away from the Elcot Lane side. Dugouts are on the Elcot Lane side. There are no covered spectator areas (although there is a little cover on the clubhouse patio), so bring an umbrella if the weather looks bad. The club seemed to have a friendly, family atmosphere and there was a decent crowd for a Step 7 game, even considering the fact it was a local derby.
Less than 8 miles separates Marlborough and Pewsey, so this was very much a local derby. The home side started this season with a mixed bag of results. The opening day 0-0 draw at Odd Down Reserves was followed by a good start at home, thrashing Stratton Juniors 5-0. However, last time out they went down 7-0 at home to Royal Wootton Bassett Town Development, who went top of the league in the process. The Vale, who were top when last season was prematurely halted, have started as they left off. They opened with a 4-0 defeat of Wroughton then beat Shrewton United 4-1 and Salisbury Development 3-0, all at home. Last season, Vale's first back in the Wiltshire League, in a game that saw a player from each side red-carded, was won 3-0 by Pewsey.
Pewsey Vale, kicking towards the car park end in the first half, got off to a great start when after just 4 minutes they worked the ball down the left hand side. A deep cross came in finding two visitors unmarked at the back post. It was Zak Messenger who met it, planting his head wide of Jake Hull to make it 0-1.
Vale were well on top at this point but despite their dominance of the ball they could not add to their tally and, after 17 minutes, they put themselves in a position of danger when a clumsy challenge from Drewett was penalised on the edge of their area. The referee took some time to consult with his assistant, presumably because the offence was very close to being in the box. However, free-kick it was, and to the relief of the Vale defender Jake Woolliams put his effort over the bar. Marlborough would come to rue this as a missed opportunity as Pewsey once again took control of the ball. However, they were finding it difficult to threaten Hull's goal.
That was until the 34th minute when the game burst into life. A Pewsey Vale free-kick from the left was met at the near post by a group of players, the ball eventually going in off a defender for an own goal. 0-2. A minute later the visitors made it three when some great work out on the left by Marsden resulted in him slipping the ball inside for Messenger to grab his second of the game. 0-3.
Four minute after that Pewsey had the opportunity to make it four when leading scorer James Guthrie was put clean through, one on one with Hull. However, on this occasion the Town stopper came out on top, saving well with his legs.
HT Marlborough Town 0 Pewsey Vale 3. A comfortable half for the visitors who had, in the main, controlled possession and with it the game. A lot of work for Marlborough to do in the second half.
Just before the hour mark Ollie England picked the ball up on the halfway line, skipped past a couple of challenges and laid off a perfect through ball for Guthrie have another shot at a one on one with Hull. This time the striker gave the keeper no chance, sliding the ball into the corner of the net. 0-4
It has to be said that, despite the score line, and coming off the back of a heavy home defeat, Marlborough continued to stick to their football philosophy of playing it out from the back. There must have been a temptation to play the ball long to give the defenders some respite, but they stuck to their guns and you have to credit the team and the coaches for that. It was, therefore, unfortunate that the fifth goal came as a result of them losing the ball inside their own penalty area. Ollie England put the pressure on, nicking the ball away before rounding the keeper and slotting home a richly deserved goal to cap an excellent performance, especially in the second half. 0-5.
Shortly after going five down Town had keeper Hull to thank again for throwing himself full length to keep out a goal bound effort. The home keeper made at least three excellent stops in the second half and was certainly the main reason the defeat was not heavier.
FT Marlborough Town 0 Pewsey Vale 5. Vale leapfrog Wootton Bassett to go top of the league after a comprehensive victory. The host Calne Town Reserves, who climbed to second with a 1-0 win over Wroughton, on Saturday. Despite the fact that it was a second consecutive home defeat for Marlborough I think it is fair to say that both of their conquerors are expected to be right up there all season. Marlborough try to play football the right way and have the chance to put things right when they welcome Malmesbury Victoria Dev. to Elcot Lane on Saturday. Good luck to both teams for the remainder of the season.
Marlborough Town: Hull, Clappison, Pullin, Harland(c), Fraser, Hatch, Conway, Woolliams, Smith, Crame, Maidment. Subs: Symon, Terrett, Morris
Pewsey Vale: Latouche, Robb, Drewett, Edmondson(c), Marsden, O.England, Force-Jones, R.England, Guthrie, Messenger, Hoareau. Subs: Britten, Neale, Twin
Ground Number: 276