Harleston Magpies get their points tally moving

WOMEN'S EAST CONFERENCE: Harleston Magpies broke their run of defeats with a richly deserved 1-1 draw at home to Old Loughtonians, picking up their first point of the season in a hard fought match.

The team worked well as a unit, with excellent pressure from forwards through to defence, with Bryony Lund, Katrina Warnes and Louisa Greenacre producing good performances at the back.

In the first half Magpies enjoyed the majority of the possession and were rewarded after 27 minutes when Frances Sumner's short corner strike took a deflection into the corner.

Magpies were unfortunate not to go 2-0 up just before half-time after Charlotte Harrison's shot went wide of the keeper.

In the second half Magpies were forced to dig deep as Old Loughtonians' Adele Sammons converted a penalty corner in the first five minutes of the half. Magpies stepped up the pressure, with Debbie Francis constantly pressing from midfield, which often provided the home side with a quick release to the forwards.

Magpies were forced to reorganise after going down to 10 players in two spells due to yellow cards.

They managed to absorb the pressure well and the opposition only occasionally broke through, with Charlotte Lee-Smith pulling off an impressive one-on-one save to keep Magpies on level terms at a key point in the second half.

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Overall, this was an excellent team performance from Magpies, who will be looking to pick up their first win on Saturday away to Cambridge City.

Newly promoted Dereham remain the only side below Magpies in the table after four games.

They are still without a point after losing again at the weekend, although they pushed Cambridge close before slipping to a 2-1 home defeat.

The visitors went in front after just two minutes through Kellie-Lee James but Dereham, who had lost 6-0 in their opening home fixture, competed well and there was no further scoring before the break.

Cambridge stretched their lead on 61 minutes when Sophie Nehammer got on the scoresheet but Dereham kept battling to the end and were rewarded just before the final whistle when Hannah Palmer converted a penalty corner.

Dereham face another tough fixture on Saturday when they travel to Suffolk to take on Ipswich.