Women’s East Conference: Harleston Magpies return to action with a hard-fought derby draw


- Credit: Archant

Harleston Magpies Ladies returned to action after their winter break with a home match against local rivals Ipswich and had to be content with a goalless draw.

Magpies were under the cosh in the first half, with Ipswich looking strong and creating chances, some only narrowly missing the target.

But Magpies soaked up the pressure with some great defending by the back three of Lucy Belsey, Kath Johnson and Katrina Sitch while some good saves from Charlotte Lee-Smith kept them in the game.

Just before half-time Magpies started to work as a team going forward, pushing higher up the pitch and creating some breakaway chances.

Maria Andrews got a sight of goal which forced an Ipswich defender to make an extremely good tackle and deny her a shot. Susan Wessels also broke in to the defending circle with some quick skills but the reverse stick shot did not come off cleanly and the Ipswich goalkeeper saved it easily.

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Magpies came back out in the second half with a new determination and it was there for all to see in their play.

They fought for the ball harder and ran faster, allowing the midfielders to take control and push higher up the pitch and the forwards to make some good runs to penetrate Ipswich's defence.

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Ipswich did the same and also caused Magpies some problems but both teams battled hard and with few shots from either team on target and some comfortable saves it left the final scoreline goalless, with both teams satisfied to come away with a point from a local derby.

Magpies are at home again in the East Conference on Saturday, with East Grinstead providing the opposition (2pm).

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