Ladies 1st v Wimbledon (Away (L) L 1-2)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents this week made the long trip to Wimbledon.
As expected Wimbledon came out strong and put Magpies’ defence under a lot of pressure.  The team worked hard to minimise any Wimbledon attacks conceding only three corners in the first half.  With some great running from Katrina Sitch closing down the intimidating figure and GB gold medalist Crista Cullen at the top of the circle, Magpies stood strong and kept the scores even.
With five minutes of the half remaining, after a quick move around Magpies’ defence Wimbledon found a player on the P spot who converted for them to take the lead.
On the stroke of half time, Emma Lee-Smith had a great run through the Wimbledon defence and was about to pull the trigger when the umpire blew the whistle for an earlier infringement and awarded Magpies a corner.  Despite Magpies’ corner routines looking sharp they were unable to capitalise. 

Going into the second half Magpies knew they were playing good hockey moving the ball well across the pitch and the game was all to play for.  The second half was much more end-to-end with hard work from the Magpies’ midfield led by Lauren Barber and Debbie Francis minimising any Wimbledon attacks through the middle of the pitch.  However, Wimbledon were able to add to their score from a well-worked short corner routine and an accurate strike into the corner of the goal.
Magpies did not let their heads drop and were further buoyed by some excellent saves by goalkeeper Charlotte Peet to keep Wimbledon’s tally to two.  They began to put Wimbledon under increasing pressure with some quick attacks of their own.  The forward-line also stepped up the pressure on the Wimbledon defence forcing them into making mistakes and winning a number of corners.
Magpies managed to pull a goal back with about 5 minutes on the clock with an excellent drag flick by Lauren Rowe, converted by Rose Winter on the left post.
Magpies dominated possession for the remainder of the game, with Lucy Whiting attacking at speed to win Magpies two more corners in the closing stages.  With the final whistle blown during the last corner of the game Magpies pushed their team forward.  Unfortunately Abby Gooderham’s initial drag was well saved by the Wimbledon goalkeeper and a powerful follow-up strike by Katrina Sitch eluded the Magpies’ post player.
Magpies walked away from this game with their pride intact knowing they performed well against a well-drilled and experienced Wimbledon side that really should be pushing for promotion into the top league. 

Next week Magpies host Cambridge City, a team which they lost to away from home and includes GB gold medalist Helen Richardson-Walsh. 

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.) Lauren Barber, Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Lottie Summers, Debbie Francis, Rose Winter, Annie Nunn, Lucy Whiting, Emma Lee-Smith, Lauren Rowe, Lizzie Clymer, Martha Lawrence, Abby Gooderham.