Magpies’ month of misery is complete

St Albans 5, Harleston Magpies Ladies 0: Harleston Magpies finished a demanding month of league action with defeat away at second-placed St Albans in Women's Conference East.

Magpies have now suffered defeats in November to all of the top three as well as bottom side Horsham and they struggled to contain St Albans in the first half on Saturday.

The home side started the game confidently and moved the ball at speed, forcing Magpies to defend in numbers. Before half time St Albans forward Samantha Archer scored two goals to put the home team ahead.

Magpies did improve their performance in the second half and created a number of attacking opportunities which troubled the St Albans defence, but the visitors were unable to find the net.

A clinical St Albans team extended their lead with a further three goals to complete a comprehensive victory.

Magpies do not return to National League East Conference action until February and will now turn their attention to playing indoor hockey.

This year sees the team return to the National League Premier Division after a successful campaign last year, when they won the first division title.

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• Harleston Magpies Men 0, City of Peterborough 1

Magpies went into the Men's Conference East winter break with a home defeat on Sunday.

The hosts were without Stuart Leate, Simon Hipwell and Mark Stacpoole through work, sickness and injury respectively but welcomed back top scorer Ben Wright as they looked to avenge their 8-2 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Magpies started the brighter, looking to pressure a potentially shaky defence into a mistake. Their early efforts were rewarded with short corners but unlike last week these were left unconverted.

Peterborough started to find their feet in the game and began to exert pressure of their own. Despite creating some good chances the away side's efforts were rebuffed by the Magpies defence.

However with just three minutes left in the first half a short corner was awarded to the away side. The initial effort was saved, but Ross Booth bundled home the ball and the goal stood despite Magpies' claims of a foul.

After the break, Magpies again started impressively and the game flowed from end to end.

Midway through the second half Magpies had their best chance to equalise when Richard Gill shot following a corner move, the keeper got something on the ball but Peter Bale contrived to miss from less than a yard with the ball striking his foot instead of his stick to cross the line.

At the other end, young goalkeeper Reece Leonard had a man of the match performance, keeping Magpies in the game whenever the away side broke and threatened.

Late in the game Magpies captain Mark Wheelhouse and his Peterborough counterpart were both sent to the sin bin for an altercation as the visitors held on for victory.

• Watton reached the third round of the Investec Women's Trophy with a 4-1 victory against Waltham Forest.

Charlie Paine gave Watton a fifth minute lead before Waltham Forest pulled level 10 minutes later.

Paine restored Watton's lead and Sammy Jeffrey added a third before half-time.

Paine completed her hat-trick in the second half to send Watton into the last 16.

They will be joined in the draw by Norwich City, who received a bye against Bexleyheath & Belvedere.