Cambridge City 3
Harleston Magpies 0
A depleted Harleston Magpies Ladies’ first team were soundly beaten on the road at Cambridge City I on Saturday.
With an ever increasing injury list and school fixtures making some of the younger players unavailable, Magpies called up Laura Tibbenham and Olivia Locke to the team to make their National League debuts.
The game started slowly, however, but as the first-half progressed Cambridge’s Olympic gold medalist Helen Richardson-Walsh inevitably began to take control of midfield.
After 15 minutes, Cambridge worked a great move down the left, carrying along the baseline and the resulting cross was put past Magpies’ goalkeeper Charlotte Peet.
For the remainder of the half Cambridge continued to control the game and created several half chances without really putting Peet under too much pressure. Meanwhile, Emma Lee-Smith continued to probe with some strong injections into the Magpies’ attacking circle.
But the forwards were unable to get on the end of any of the probing passes.
For the first 10 minutes of the second half, Magpies controlled the game and created several chances to score.
They won a number of short corners and a Lucy Whiting effort was denied by the post but, despite all the pressure, an equaliser was not forthcoming.
And further salt was rubbed into the wound when midway through the second half, Cambridge broke down the right and following a quick free hit on the edge of the D, penetrated the circle and was well deflected into goal by the Cambridge forward, to make it 2-0.
Keeping their heads up, Magpies continued to attack and after a quickly taken free-hit, a fantastic through ball to Lee-Smith drew a foul, resulting in a penalty flick to Magpies.
However, the firm shot towards the bottom left hand corner was well saved by the Cambridge goalkeeper.
This appeared to really spur on Cambridge, who then took control of the remainder on the half and forced a number of short corners one of which was stopped on the line by a Magpies’ foot and a penalty flick was awarded.
Richardson-Walsh stepped up and coolly converted to complete the scoring, with Magpies set to host Sevenoaks tomorrow (2pm).
n In the East Women’s League Division 1N, Harleston Magpies Ladies’ II ran out 2-1 winners over Dereham on home soil.
The slender victory leaves the unbeaten Magpies third in the league standings ahead of tomorrow’s trip to second-from-bottom Watton I (1pm).