Harleston Magpies 1 Holcombe 3

Harleston Magpies Ladies went into this game knowing it would be a very difficult match to get a result from – and so it proved to be.

Holcombe, who were promoted to the National League after winning the East Premier Division last season, made their intentions clear during the summer by splashing the cash with a massive recruitment drive. Among the more notable acquisitions were England players Laura Unsworth and the current England goalkeeper Maddie Hinch.

Although Magpies were playing on the break the first real chance fell to the home team when the goalkeeper went down early, but Magpies could not take the chance. After 11 minutes Holcombe won their first penalty corner and Magpies appeared to have cleared the danger, but after a series of passes Nicci Daly managed to score the opener.

After 22 minutes Holcombe dispossessed the defence and in trying to recover the situation Magpies conceded a penalty flick which was scored by Megan Frazer. After 24 minutes Charlotte Whelan made it 3-0.

This was a very harsh half-time scoreline as Magpies had kept their shape exceptionally well and had worked extremely hard limiting Holcombe to the three chances they had taken.

The same pattern continued in the second half as Holcombe patiently tried to create their openings but from Magpies' first penalty corner Emma Lee-Smith scored with a fierce strike past the England goalkeeper.

Magpies battled away in the second half and they will know that they played well against quality opposition. It is hard to see how Holcombe will not win this league.

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After two tough opening games Magpies have still to record their first point but they know their season starts next week against Wimbledon at home.