NORFOLK WOMEN’S LEAGUE: Leaders are made to fight hard for victory

Norwich City II were made to fight every inch of the way by visitors Evergreens before winning 1-0 to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the Marshall Motor Group Norfolk League Premier Division.

While City were the dominant side, and ensured that the ball was kept firmly in the opposition half, they did not always use possession well, while Evergreens defended stoutly.

Finally, well into the second half, City capitalised on a penalty corner opportunity, injected by Emily Francis to Sue Tomlinson for the strike and Lauren Lawrie to pick up and put away the rebound.

City, who were handed a walk-over win by Harleston Magpies IV on Sunday, are now looking forward to Saturday's clash with a Magpies III side who might be 14 points behind them but they have five games in hand.

UEA remain second in the table after winning 2-1 at Dereham II. The students were 1-0 up at the break but early into the second half Dereham got their equaliser when Bex Hazel crossed to Helen Kiddle-Morris who neatly slotted the ball past the keeper. Dereham defended hard to try and keep their point but UEA won a run of short corners and although Emma Milton made some fantastic blocks they managed to get another goal.

Thetford Ladies shared the spoils with Lowestoft Railway after a 1-1 draw. Played in freezing cold rain, this was an good natured battle between two evenly matched sides.

Thetford took the lead when a short corner was awarded. Sophie Kelly took it and drew all the defenders out to her before passing it to Charlie Harwood, who sent it to Kathy Hammond to score.

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In the second half, Lowestoft Railway turned the pressure up and equalised from a short corner of their own ten minutes from time.

The Division One match between Broadland II and Norwich City V was called off with both teams changed and ready to start. UEA II were one of the teams that did play, winning 3-0 against Sprowston II to further cement their second place behind runaway leaders Norwich Dragons III.

When Laura Goodbun scored her second goal five minutes from time, she secured a 4-3 win for Norwich Dragons V over Old Buckenham II in Division Two. Dragons' other goals were scored by Chiara Bond, Rosie Korn and Goodbun. On target for the Bucks were Susan Lansdell, Tara Laws and Abbie Thompson.

• Harleston Magpies won 4-0 at St Albans in the third round of the National Mixed Trophy competition.

Magpies led 1-0 at the interval courtesy of a Katrina Warnes strike from a short corner.

They extended their lead when Mel Ludlam finished off a fine move and an own goal made the tie safe before Harleston rounded off a great performance with a fine team goal finished off by Martin Fields.