INVESTEC WOMEN’S LEAGUE CONFERENCE EAST
Harleston Magpies 2
Harleston Magpies travelled to Berkshire on Saturday to face a Maidenhead side in desperate need of a result to improve their chances of avoiding relegation.
The visiting Magpies started brightly, but were unable to convert any of their early chances.
As the game went on, both teams had opportunities to break the deadlock, yet it was Maidenhead who took the lead.
After breaking through the press and catching Magpies on the break, the scorer was left with an easy tap-in at the far post.
Following a hail storm and the half-time interval, Magpies came out knowing they needed to up their game if they were to come away with a result.
Having applied some early pressure, five minutes into the second half they managed to level up the scoreline.
Abby Gooderham was the scorer as she converted a short corner with an expertly taken drag flick.
However, Maidenhead continued to fight back and, among other chances, they hit the post before eventually regaining the lead.
With a quick turn at the top of the circle the Maidenhead forward’s early strike deceived everyone and went straight into the bottom corner of the Harleston goal.
Magpies did not allow their heads to drop, though, and just 60 seconds later they were back on level terms.
Youngster Gooderham, who was yet again in fine form, made the goal when, after a driving run, she pulled the ball back for a well positioned Maria Andrews to sweep home.
With both teams hoping to find the vital winner, going into the closing stages it looked as though the game was going to play out as a draw.
However, during a goalmouth scramble in the final minute of permitted play, Maidenhead were given a lifeline when the umpire awarded them a penalty flick.
Despite Charlotte Lee-Smith’s best efforts in goal, the ball was well placed into the corner of the net.
While it was not regarded to have been the best performance of the season from the Magpies, having shown good character to fight back from being behind twice, they were disappointed to make the trip home with a defeat.
On Saturday, the team return to action with a trip to Wimbledon Ladies I.
n Harleston Magpies Ladies II also tasted defeat when they played host to Maidstone I.
It was a 2-1 loss for the second string, who are second from bottom and have already been relegated from the Premier Division.
This Saturday, they are due to play Bedford I at home.