Magpies slip to defeat in opener

Harleston Magpies Ladies found out how tough this season is going to be when they lost 1-0 away to St Albans in the opening game of the season.

The match started really brightly for Magpies in the opening 15 minutes with Angie Wheelhouse and Georgina Minta, who was making her League debut, starting together up front.

They caused the home defence plenty of problems and during this spell created two good chances.

At this stage it felt that if Magpies could take an early lead they would go on to win the match.

Whilst Magpies were dominating the game at this stage, it was obvious that St Albans' forwards looked increasingly dangerous on the break.

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Katherine Ridley started the game in defence in place of Lucy Miller, who unfortunately sustained a nasty ankle injury at training on Thursday night. Sophie Mullan made her league debut in midfield whilst Kath Johnson made her return to the Club in defence.

The game turned after 23 minutes when Megan Crowson scored with a terrific reverse stick shot.

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St Albans were visibly lifted by this goal and started to make life very difficult for Magpies with some strong tackles and were able to crowd out Emma Lee-Smith in midfield.

In the second half Magpies passing was not really crisp enough to open up the St Albans defence.

At times Magpies had five under 18s on the pitch, whilst St Albans had plenty of experience on the pitch and they knew how to defend a lead. Magpies pushed hard for the equaliser but became increasingly frustrated and St Albans were able to see the game out.

Hopefully Lucy Miller and Charlotte Harrison will return to the team next week to add that vital experience.

– Harleston Magpies men finished their preparations for the new season with a crushing 5-1 win over Cambridge University.

The university side took the lead in the first half but the Magpies were level at the break thanks to Mark Wheelhouse.

Harleston ran riot in the second period though and ran out worthy winners.

Sam Moore made it 2-1 after some fine work by Richard Larkin and they increased their lead when Wheelhouse's deflected strike found the back of the net.

Wheelhouse went on to complete his hat-trick with a composed finish and Magpies put a seal on victory late on when Fred Merritt's tireless performance was rewarded with a goal.

Magpies will be hoping to take this sort of form into their first match of the season on Saturday.

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