Harleston march on with win at leaders

WOMEN'S EAST CONFERENCE: Harleston Magpies maintained their 100pc record for the second half of the season as they won 1-0 at league leaders Ipswich to make it five consecutive victories.

The first half was played at a high tempo, with the ball being quickly switched around the pitch. Emma Lee- Smith intercepted the ball in the middle of the park on several occasions to force the Ipswich defence to make some desperate tackles to prevent Magpies from going ahead.

Ipswich also looked dangerous going forward and had some fast and skilful forwards who came close to scoring a couple of times. However, good defending and some important saves from Charlotte Lee-Smith prevented Ipswich from converting their pressure.

What was to prove the only goal of the match came on 14 minutes.Frances Sumner put a ball through into the circle from a free-hit for Emily Wilford, who calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.

The second half produced no further goals but the defending from both teams had to be sharp, with both attacks looking dangerous.

Katrina Warnes had a superb game in defence, intercepting the ball on numerous occassions to release the forwards for attacking opportunities.

Emma Lee-Smith and Sarah Brook had several passages of excellent link-up play and were unfortunate not to put Magpies 2-0 up.

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This was another strong team performance from Magpies, who showed commitment and work rate right until the final whistle to take a much deserved three points. The win moves them into fifth place in the league and only two points off third.

At the other end of the table Dereham suffered their 13th defeat in 14 matches when they lost 1-0 at third from bottom St Albans.

Dereham, who had won their previous away game at fellow strugglers Cambridge City, were always in the game and were level at half-time.

But Donna Pringle struck midway through the second half and the visitors were unable to respond.

Dereham remain four points adrift at the foot of the table, with just four matches left to play.

• Wisbech's good run in the Women's National Trophy came to an end at the weekend when they were beaten 3-2 at Teign.

Wisbech's long trip to Devon looked like being a profitable one when they went in at half-time two goals to the good, with Joanne Gomme and Eric Burrell scoring in the first 20 minutes.

But Teign came storming back after the break, with a hat-trick from Jackie Brooks securing them a place in the semi-finals.