Magpies beat leaders for fine double
NATIONAL CONFERENCE EAST: Harleston Magpies Ladies enjoyed a profitable weekend with six points from 2-1 wins in a home match against higher-placed Horsham and at previously unbeaten leaders Surbiton.
Magpies dominated the whole of the first half against Horsham. The opening goal came from a short corner strike by Louisa Greenacre just before half-time.
Horsham came out after half-time with increased momentum and started to look dangerous on the break.
However, Sarah Brook scored her first National League goal from a well-worked penalty corner from Artemis Clark after 44 minutes to double the lead.
But they faced a nerve-racking last eight minutes after Horsham broke away and converted a penalty corner.
Magpies started Sunday's game against Surbiton boosted by the return of Emma Lee-Smith and Emily Wilford. And it was this pair who scored the goals to earn a magnificent victory.
The game started at a quick tempo, but Magpies put together another all-round excellent team performace as they constantly hassled the league leaders and forced mistakes.
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Lee-Smith caused trouble for the Surbiton defence throughout the first half and was only denied from scoring by a superb save from the Surbiton keeper.
Charlotte Harrison and Artemis Clark both had excellent games down the right and left flanks and Magpies' defence of Louisa Greenace, Katrina Warnes and Lucy Miller rarely allowed Surbiton in on goal.
Magpies went into half-time ahead after Lee-Smith was rewarded with a goal after her reverse stick shot beat the keeper from the top of the circle.
Surbiton hit Magpies with a couple of attempts into the circle, however, Magpies broke quickly with a counter attack and Verity Blyth put Wilford through for a one-on-one with the keeper which she calmly converted to make it 2-0.
A rare defensive error allowed Surbiton back into the game after 45 minutes but Magpies continued to battle hard with several superb saves from Charlotte Lee-Smith helping them hold on to victory.
The misery continued for Dereham with a 3-0 home defeat by Old Loughtonians. It leaves them with 11 defeats from 11 games, seven points adrift of second-bottom Cambridge City.
Injuries and work commitments meant Harleston Magpies fielded a much-changed team in a 2-0 defeat at Oxted in Men's Conference East.
Sloppy play cost Magpies the first goal after six minutes when Neil Turk squared the ball only for it to deflect past the helpless Richard Harms off a defender's foot.
The Oxted goal keeper made several good saves as Harleston looked the livelier side in the second half.
But again Harleston had a hand in their down fall as they gave away cheap possession to allow Oxted to break and double their advantage through Jonathan Wilkes-Green.