Lee-Smith strikes twice as Magpies see off Southgate
Harleston Magpies 3
Harleston Magpies Ladies brought their recent winless run to an end with a classy 3-0 victory at home to Southgate at the weekend.
A brisk and bright Saturday at The nest saw Harleston take on Southgate in front of a large and supportive home crowd.
After a run of disappointing results, including a frustrating 1-1 draw at Bedford the previous week, Magpies had a few points to prove to both the supporters and themselves.
The home side started well with a positive and searching tempo, putting Southgate on the back foot from the first whistle.
The midfield line of Charlotte Harrison and Annie Nunn was superbly augmented, by the return of the ever influential Debbie Francis, with Lauren Barber driving through from defence to support.
An early flurry of chances were not converted, despite some excellent interplay from the forward line of Lizzie Clymer, Emma Lee-Smith and Lucy Whiting.
But the deadlock was broken by the introduction of Tor Findlay, who coolly slotted home after some strong running and an accurate cross from Whiting.
Further chances and a couple of short corners were created before half time, before Southgate had their first real chance of the game.
Harleston’s defence held strong with Charlotte Peet in goal making an important save, while Louisa Greenacre, Lucy Belsey and Katrina Sitch covered well and regained control of the defence.
The second half saw much of the same drive from midfield and space created up front with many more chances coming Magpies’ way.
Southgate players were getting punished for some illegal tackles and indiscipline and the visitors soon found themselves down to 10 players for most of the second half.
Harleston doubled their lead when Lee-Smith found herself in space to score her first from the top of the goalmouth, after another interception by the midfield and pressure on the defence.
Lee-Smith then finished off her brace, firing in a rebound after another positive run from Whiting down the right and a saved shot from Harrison.
By this time in the game Magpies had full control and were creating more chances on goal, but they were unable to add further to their tally.
It was a classy performance from Harleston and an important result, having gone three games without a win heading into the weekend.
Next up for Harleston (fifth) is a trip to second-from-bottom St Albans tomorrow (1pm).