Harleston Magpies I 1
Sevenoaks I 0
Harleston Magpies closed the gap on leaders Sevenoaks by beating them at home by a slender margin on Sunday.
The hosts made a positive start as they found gaps and made the Sevenoaks players, who had previously not tasted defeat all season, rethink their positioning.
The pressure saw Magpies force a number of short corners during the opening exchanges, but the Sevenoaks goalkeeper kept them at bay.
It appeared the deadlock was going to be broken soon after when Maria Andrews picked out Lucy Whiting, only for her effort to be hacked clear off the line at the last second.
Further chances came and went for both sides as the half drew to a close, with neither able to find the clinical touch.
Sevenoaks started the second half brightly, yet it was Magpies that scored the crucial opening goal.
Victoria Findlay was pushed off the ball by the last visiting defender and after some debate Andrews stepped up to sweep in the penalty flick.
The goal forced Sevenoaks to push the majority of their players forward and as a result Magpies found themselves pegged back in their own half for large parts.
The defence stood firm and when the away side did break through they found Magpies goalkeeper Charlotte Peet in good form.
She particularly excelled two minutes from the end to turn away a penalty flick, preserving her side’s victory in the process.
Third-placed Magpies travel to second-placed Wimbledon tomorrow (2pm).
n Harleston Magpies Ladies II picked up a 3-2 win over Lowestoft Ladies I on home soil.
Tomorrow, they are on the road at Cambridge City II (12.30pm).
n Bottom-of-the-table Dereham Ladies V inflicted a 3-0 defeat on hosting Harleston Magpies Ladies VII in Division Three of the Empresa Norfolk Women’s Hockey League.
Magpies have the chance to bounce back at Norwich Dragons Ladies VIII tomorrow (11.45am).
n Harleston Magpies I made it five East Men’s League Premier A wins on the bounce by beating Cambridge City II 6-1 at home.
Cambridge drew first blood through ex-Magpie Zum Akhter, who converted a penalty flick.
After that it was one-way traffic, with Ben Wright (2), Jack Knight and Matt Richardson all scoring before half-time.
Wright and Donnie Archer added goals after the restart for Magpies, who travel to Saffron Walden tomorrow (2pm).