Harleston Magpies win Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference East encounter against Horsham by a single goal
Harleston Magpies first team tightened their grip on a position within the Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference East’s top six after Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Horsham.
With the National League set to be restructured at the end of the current campaign, Magpies need to finish in the top six places to ensure they have a spot in Division One for 2019/20.
And the weekend’s triumph has left them in fifth position and with a seven-point cushion over Horsham in seventh.
From the start Magpies were in no mood to allow Horsham to settle and seized the initiative immediately.
Within the first two minutes Lauren Rowe collected the ball on the right hand side and made a quick and decisive pass into the circle to a lively Lara Taylor, who went on to round the visiting goalkeeper before being upended.
From resultant short corner Rowe sent a trademark flick towards the top right which was parried, only for Taylor to react quickest and steer in the rebound.
Magpies only created half chances throughout the remainder of the first half, while on a negative note they lost the services of Lucy Whiting to a head injury.
The away side were much more on the front foot at the start of the second half and managed to force a number of short corners, but the combination of Magpies goalkeeper Jade Daly and her defence kept Horsham at bay.
The contest went from end to end thereafter, but despite late Horsham pressure, Magpies held out to record their seventh win of the campaign from 13 outings.
Tomorrow Magpies will make the trip to neighbouring Ipswich, who sit bottom of the table and are still without a victory to their name this term.
October’s reverse fixture proved to be a one-sided affair as Magpies ran out 5-0 winners with Rowe scoring all of the goals.
Magpies will be without goalkeeper Megan Brown for the rest of the season after she fractured her wrist, meaning Daly will continue to deputise between the posts, while Jess Bloom is also an injury doubt.
Magpies squad: Lauren Barber (C), Lizzie Clymer, Jade Daly, Katrina Sitch, Louisa Greenacre, Katherine Ridley, Debbie Francis, Frances Burrell, Charlotte Harrison, Lauren Rowe, Emma Lee-Smith, Lottie Summers, Georgie Cantrell, Jess Bloom, Rose Winter, Sarah Bracey and Annie Nunn.