Magpies suffer heavy defeat

HARLESTON MAGPIES 2, OLD LOUGHTONIANS 5: Magpies never recovered from the early loss of Andrew Hipwell to a head injury as they slumped to a heavy defeat against Old Loughtonians in Men's Conference East.

Hipwell's misfortune when the ball rebounded up was a sign of things to come for Magpies as sloppy defending led to a gift of a penalty corner which was blocked on the line by a defender. A penalty stroke was harshly awarded but despatched expertly by Alex Jennings of Loughts.

Magpies responded well to that setback by winning a penalty corner of their own, but this was defended well, leading to a fast break the full length of the field for Alex Jennings to convert past the exposed Richard Harms.

Harleston had no option but to continue to attack Loughts and they created a few scoring opportunities without finding the net.

Loughts continued to look dangerous in attack, stretching the Harleston defence at every chance.

As half-time approached, the task got even harder for Harleston with Carl Sitch also injured. The home side went in 2-0 down at half time.

As in the first half, Magpies started slowly in the second period, allowing Old Loughts to press Harleston high up the pitch once more.

Most Read

The pressure worked as they were rewarded with two quick goals from James Steadman and Leroy Phillips, both from open play as Magpies left holes at the back.

The double blow seemed to galvanise Harleston and midway through the half Pete Bale found space at the top of the D then lashed the ball home, making it 4-1.

Magpies continued to push up, resulting in a penalty corner after 68 minutes which was scored by Gareth Furlong, reducing the deficit further.

The home side could sniff a comeback and continued to push forward, but this left gaps at the back for the Loughts attack to exploit and Leroy Phillips put the game to bed following a penalty corner.

• HARLESTON MAGPIES 1, ST ALBANS 1

Magpies gained a crucial point at fellow strugglers St Albans on Saturday in Women's Conference East.

For large parts of the first half Magpies were stretched as St Albans broke through at pace. Their counter-attacking ability was a constant threat for Magpies, but the visitors still managed to create chances and Jess Howland had a first time shot saved following a pinpoint cross from Verity Blyth.

St Albans seized the advantage after 30 minutes with a scrappy goal following a free hit.

Magpies continued to work hard in the second half and Charlotte Harrison posed problems for the hosts down the left. Ellie Bale was narrowly denied an equaliser, but Magpies did draw level after 56 minutes from a short corner, when Bryony Lund reacted quickly to net from a rebound.

St Albans pushed hard for a winner but Magpies held firm with Charlotte Lee-Smith producing an excellent save in a one-on-one to ensure a point.

• SEVENOAKS 7, DEREHAM 0

Dereham crumbled to another heavy defeat after keeping the hosts at bay for more than half an hour.

It took 31 minutes for Sevenoaks to force a breakthrough, but Katy Hornsby broke the deadlock. Three minutes later Jet Van Zalen doubled the lead and Sevenoaks piled on the agony for bottom side Dereham – who are still without a point – with further goals from Kathryn Barnett (44), Heather Batten (51 & 63), Cathy Gilliat-Smith (57) and Van Zalen (58).