Dereham’s disastrous day
NATIONAL LEAGUE: Dereham's tough start to the season hit a new low with a 10-1 mauling at Ipswich in Women's Conference East.
Last season it was Dereham who were able to rack up double figures against East League opponents, but having stepped up to the National League, the boot is now firmly on the other foot.
Dereham had a goal disallowed early on because of a foul and produced some of their best hockey of the season so far in the first half – but the visitors still found themselves 4-0 down at the break.
That did not prevent them driving forward and pressurising the Ipswich defence and Georgie Edwards converted from a penalty corner routine.
But there was no way back as Ipswich moved the ball around the pitch with stunning pace to leave Dereham dazed. Goalkeeper Jess Purser had to make some fantastic saves to keep the hosts' score down to 10, including keeping out a penalty stroke.
To their credit, Dereham's heads did not drop in the face of the onslaught and they can at least look forward to a slightly less daunting task this weekend when they face fellow strugglers St Albans.
Harleston Magpies Ladies moved out of the bottom two with a 2-0 win at Cambridge City.
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Magpies took control from the outset and the defence of Katrina Warnes, Louisa Greenacre and Bryony Lund thwarted the home attack.
The visitors' pressure was rewarded when Jess Howlands' pace took her past the City backline before she shot home from a narrow angle for her first National League goal.
Ten minutes later, Debbie Francis won Magpies' first short corner of the game and Frances Sumner converted to give the visitors a 2-0 lead going into the break.
Magpies continued to dominate in the second period as Charlotte Harrison and Ellie Bale posed problems down the flanks.
Next up for Magpies are Dereham's destroyers, Ipswich.
Two late goals saw Harleston Magpies' men lose 4-3 at home to Wimbledon on Sunday.
Magpies took the lead when Andy Hipwell forced a mistake from a defender and lifted the ball over the keeper.
The hosts then failed to make their chances count and Wimbledon equalised from a well-worked move as the sides went in level at the break.
Early in the second half, Wimbledon broke down the Magpies' left before scoring from close range.
Magpies responded well to that setback and Duncan Graves fired a low shot into the net to restore parity.
Hipwell then found James Fanger free at the back post to put Magpies ahead with 15 minutes remaining.
The lead was shortlived as Wimbledon quickly equalised, but Magpies spurned a chance to go back in front when a penalty stroke was saved.
They paid the price for that miss when Wimbledon cut through late on to score the winner.