There was a jubilant atmosphere at The Nest on Saturday as the club welcomed a huge crowd including many sponsors to watch both first teams play at home and secure their promotion to the restructured National Leagues next season. The Ladies took the lead against Sevenoaks through Emma Lee-Smith but it wasn’t long before the visitors drew level. Lauren Rowe and Lottie Summers took Magpies up to 3-1 but Sevenoaks upped the pressure and converted a short corner before employing a kicking back to add an extra outfield player. The Magpies defence were able to absorb the threat and add another goal through Lizzie Clymer to win the game 4-2.
Following last week’s defeat away to Bedford the Men’s 1s were determined to put on a good performance against local rivals Norwich City. Captain Thomas Ridley followed up James Gray’s shot and deflected the ball past the ‘keeper but Magpies lacked cohesion and sloppy play allowed City to equalise. Ben Gowing lured a Norwich defender into conceding a penalty stroke which Dave Gilbert slotted home to take Magpies ahead again, with Gilbert extending the lead to 3-1 in the second half. The Men travel to bottom of the table Saffron Walden next week in the knowledge that a win will secure 2nd place in the league before the visit of St Albans on the last day of the season.
Whilst there were losses for both second teams, Saturday saw wins for the Men’s and Ladies 3s and 4s with the Men’s 4s notching up an impressive 7-1 result against Norwich Dragons. Grace Collison, Cassie Ayms and Victoria Spouncer threatened the Evergreens ‘D’ early on for the Ladies 4s before Alice Evans Hendricks deflected Cathrine Kilbourn’s short corner strike to go 1-0 up. Sophie Meynall Anderson connected with Emily Woollatt’s pass to double the lead before Cassie Ayms added the third which takes them safely to fourth in the table.
The Girls Development team took a step closer to being crowned champions of their league with yet another emphatic win, this time against Norwich Dragons. Ellie (2), Grace and Amie gave Magpies a 4-0 lead before midfielders Evie and Kate got in on the act. Dragons continued to fight and score some well earned goals but Loulou, Ellie and Kate found the net and ensured a 9-3 result for Magpies. The Ladies 7s also scored 9 times when their young team hosted Dragons 8s, with goals from Anna S and Jess (2) taking the team into half time with a 3-0 lead. Ellen, Anna C (2) and Jenny Meyer got on the scoresheet and Anna S completed her hatrick to ensure the 7s remain in the top third of their league.
On Sunday our U16 Boys and Girls made the long journey for their regional finals having qualified from the county group. The Boys will be disappointed with two defeats (vs Canterbury and Southgate) and a draw with Cambridge meaning they won’t progress to the National Finals this season. The U16 Girls were also drawn in a challenging group but started strongly with a 6-0 win over St Albans and a 1-0 victory over Canterbury. Following a 0-0 draw in the final game against a well drilled Southgate side Magpies topped the group but devastatingly missed out due to goal difference when Southgate beat Canterbury 3-0.
The Men’s O50s travelled to Bury for the National Plate quarter final with a squad of thirteen due to injuries and lost trainers! Bury showed their class and youthfulness, taking the lead and responding immediately when Magpies fought back. Two goals from Jonathon Aldridge and one from Andy Catchpole weren’t enough to progress to the semi finals, final score 6-3.
The Men’s 2s have an important weekend ahead of them, facing Sudbury at home (1.30pm) on Saturday before travelling to Cambridge University on Sunday. Last weekends defeat away at Norwich City leaves the team in the thick of a relegation battle amongst Crostyx and Wisbech with a game in hand and everything to play for.