Harleston held to a draw as the new season commences

PROMISING DISPLAY: Sophie Sunderland, who made her Harleston Magpies debut in their 1-1 draw with Wimbledon
PROMISING DISPLAY: Sophie Sunderland, who made her Harleston Magpies debut in their 1-1 draw with Wimbledon

ENGLAND HOCKEY LEAGUE WOMEN’S
CONFERENCE EAST

Harleston Magpies Ladies 1

Wimbledon 1

Harleston Magpies Ladies were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after opening their campaign with a draw against Wimbledon.

Magpies got off to a flying start when Lucy Whiting opened the scoring after just a minute as she was on hand to force the ball over the line as the early pressure paid great dividends.

The visitors were rocked by this early set back and Magpies had chances to make it 2-0 but Emma Lee-Smith’s attempt went over the cross bar and the goalkeeper made another good save.

In the humid conditions Magpies found it more difficult to maintain this high tempo and gradually Wimbledon created their own pressure as Magpies had to defend three successive penalty corners.

After 21 minutes Lizzie Rae scored an excellent reverse stick goal to level the scores and Magpies had to recover their composure.

Both Hattie and Sophie Sunderland were making their debuts for Magpies and held their own in what was proving a tough encounter.

At the start of the second half Magpies again tried to take the game to Wimbledon and had a good opening period before the game became very end to end.

Amy Campbell in her final game for Magpies before going to University was doing a huge amount of work in the midfield in a very hard match for both teams.

Hattie Sunderland had the ball in the net for Magpies but unfortunately the finish was illegal.

In the final 10 minutes Magpies were reduced to 10 players due to a yellow card and had to dig in defensively to ensure Wimbledon did not snatch a late winner.

Both teams had chances to win it but in the end a draw was probably a fair reflection of the game.

The Magpies will be looking to secure their first victory of the season when they travel to Hampstead and Westminster on Saturday (1.30pm).

n There was disappointment for Harleston Magpies Ladies V who started the new Norfolk Empressa Hockey League Division One season with a 2-1 defeat against Diss Ladies II.

Diss took the lead halfway through the first half when new girl Jodie Allison had a chance which the keeper saved then as the ball came back to her she calmly reverse sticked the ball into the net.

Diss doubled their advantage 10 minutes later as Toni Glover took the ball past the keeper and smashing it in past a defender on the line.

With 15 minutes to go Magpies pulled a goal back to reduce the deficit but despite dominating the closing stages Harleston could not find an equaliser.