Harleston Magpies returned to national league action following the half term break with a 2-1 home win over Horsham which keeps them just a point adrift of Women’s Conference East leaders Sevenoaks – who they meet this weekend.

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After a frustrating first half of missed chances, Magpies were grateful for a couple of good saves by Siobhan Cleeve, making her debut in goal. But they looked more dangerous in the second half as the Horsham defence tired.

Angie Wheelhouse opened the scoring following a fast break down the right. This was soon followed by a superb shot by Emma Lee-Smith to extend Magpies’ lead.

Further goals could easily have been added before, in the final few seconds, Horsham were awarded a penalty corner which they converted to give a final score which left the impression of a game that was tighter than it really was.

Sevenoaks ensured they remained top at least until this weekend by winning 1-0 at Chelmsford. Third-placed Ipswich slipped further adrift, being held 1-1 by Sr Albans.

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