Ladies 1st Team v Southgate W 3-1
Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents this week travelled to Southgate full of confidence after a battling performance against Wimbledon the previous week. Despite the delay in push back and the hot weather, Magpies started the game strongly, creating some good attacking opportunities and within a couple of minutes winning a short corner. Magpies took the lead thanks to a perfectly placed drag flick from Lauren Rowe in the bottom right corner.
Unfortunately for the rest of the half the intensity of the game dropped, probably due to the unexpectedly hot weather. Southgate won many of the 50/50 balls and were dangerous in their fast counter attacks. Magpies had a few chances but failed to convert them and eventually Southgate equalised from a short corner. The initial shot was saved by goalkeeper Megan Brown but Magpies were unable to clear their lines before the fast-thinking Southgate player tapped it in.
Magpies came off at half-time disappointed with their first half performance knowing they had not shown their full potential and had given Southgate too much space and time on the ball. With a motivational team-talk from injured captain Lucy Belsey and coach Clyde Camburn Magpies went into the second half with optimism. Starting with great intensity winning the 50/50 balls and quickly putting pressure on Southgate when they had possession. This led to many more attacking opportunities.
Five minutes into the second half Lara Taylor picked up a mis-trapped ball from one of the Southgate defenders, running it down the right to the baseline and lifting it past the Southgate goalkeeper into the net to give Magpies a 2-1 lead.
Magpies kept up their fast attacking mentality and less than a minute later some great individual skills and linking play between the attack and midfield won the team a short corner. A fast, accurate ball from Lauren Rowe was met on the right post by a diving Lara Taylor giving Magpies a 3-1 lead and Lara a well-deserved brace.
Towards the end of the second half, Southgate stepped up the pressure and were more physical. However, the Magpies defence kept strong and calm, making lots of good tackles and interceptions. They also distributed it quickly and accurately to the midfield who provided some great linking play to the attack. In the last few minutes Southgate had a couple of opportunities to get back into the game from short corners but the Magpies defensive short corner unit held firm.
Overall it was an encouraging performance showing resilience and the ability to up our game in the second half, despite not always playing their best hockey. A special mention also goes to Jess Bloom and Emma Lee-Smith who both worked tirelessly hard for the team with their experience helping Magpies to the win.
Squad: Lauren Barber (Capt), Megan Brown (GK), Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Debbie Francis, Fran Burrell, Charlie Harrison, Lucy Whiting, Lara Taylor, Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe, Lizzie Clymer, Jess Bloom, Tor Findlay, Emily Rash.