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Foxhole v Marlborough Town (Wiltshire)

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My build-up to this match was unusual. Just prior to leaving the house, I noticed a stranger purposefully march up our garden path carrying a huge screwdriver. I stood transfixed as I watched him through the kitchen window patiently unscrew the hinges of our rusty old gate near the greenhouse and then, with the gate under his arm, he strode back down the path. I thought of rushing out to challenge him but decided against it, in case he took offence.


Anyway, I just made kick off and saw Foxhole start well against their touring opponents from Wiltshire, who apparently play in the same league as some Western League reserve teams. Meens should have done better in the opening seconds but he got underneath Hill's cross, but this remained Wyatt's only genuine scare until just before the break.


Nevertheless, the Foxes played some tidy stuff, with Hayhurst's all-action style prominent, and debutants Meens and Ames also catching the eye, as Marlborough were made to look pretty ordinary, so it was against the run of play when the visitors opened the scoring on 24. Wainwright's long ball into the corner was not dealt with by Holland, who was dispossessed by Cripps, and the wing-back cleverly found the unguarded net from a tight angle.


Flanagan nearly doubled the lead moments later, seizing on Dillon's square pass, but the finish was weak; Hughes showed how to do it on the half hour when, running on to Mildenhall's searching ball, he turned Lean before firing into the far corner.


To find themselves 2-0 down was tough on the Foxes but the new look team nonetheless continued to impress and justly fought back to level by half time. After 37, May's early pass allowed Hill to outpace Anderson before finding the net and, on 44, the same player latched on to Lean's assist for the equaliser.


Hill was denied by the keeper's legs within seconds of the restart and the quickfire frontman continued to lead the ponderous Marlborough rearguard a merry dance with his speed, technique and awareness, and soon set up another opportunity for Meens, whose effort was blocked by a sprawling Deary.


Regrettably, Ames' general play was not matched by his finishing prowess as he nodded over Fairclough's deep cross before pulling another chance well wide but Foxhole's outstanding winner with 16 minutes remaining was well-deserved, as Hill spectacularly volleyed home Hawke's cross to complete his hat-trick. Substitute Nicholls proved wasteful on two occasions late on but his day will undoubtedly come, as optimism among the home faithful has been restored after Tuesday's debacle.

Foxhole(3-5-2):Ryan Holland 6; Dexter Lawrence 6, Jeff Dillon 7, Mark Rowe 7; Daniel Meens 7, Matthew Lean 6, Andrew May 5, Richard Hawke 6, Ryan Hayhurst 7; Scott Hill 9, Liam Ames 7.

Subs:Jamie Bullock 6, Liam Nicholls 6, Richard Fairclough 7, Adam Holland 6, Steve Panter 7.

Marlborough(3-5-2):Chris Wyatt; Kyle Mabberley, Pete Russett, Shaun Anderson; Dean Hughes, Simon Cripps, Andrew Deary, Tom Mildenhall, Adam Wainwright; Ricki Flanagan, Steve Deane.

Subs:Ryan Keeley, Duane Henry, Mark Sheekey, Dale Surridge.

Referee:Mr Malcolm West (Foxhole) 8.

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