READING 4-1 Harleston Magpies
Despite the score line this was a much improved performance by Magpies and the game in the end was turned by some crucial decisions. Magpies made a shaky start in the opening ten minutes and were saved by some excellent saves by goalkeeper Lucy Hayman.
Unfortunately the first penalty corner conceded saw Reading taking the lead with a drag flick. This Magpies side were not phased by this early set back and in fact improved their performance considerably as the strikers Angie Wheelhouse and Cherry Seaborn received much better support from midfield this week with Artemis Clark on the right playing much higher as wells good play from Jess Hull, Laura Parker and Sarah Cave. This positive response saw Magpies equalise before half time when Angie Wheelhouse made it 1-1.
Reading were 2-1 up immediately after the break on a hotly disputed goal which was clearly never touched by an attacker in the circle but the goal was confirmed by the second umpire 40 yards away. This probably had an impact on the third goal which was conceded within minutes from a penalty corner to make it 3-1. Within the space of 5 minutes a tight game had once again slipped away from Magpies.
Again Magpies produced a strong response and Angie Wheelhouse was denied three times by the Reading goalkeeper who made some good saves after the Reading defence had been opened up.
The attitude of the Magpies team was excellent and Debbie McAllen produced a real battling performance in front of the defence. Reading added a fourth goal near the end but Magpies can take great encouragement.