Disruption costly for Harleston

Harleston Ladies 2, Old Loughtonians 2HARLESTON Magpies were unable to make it four league wins on the trot as they were unable to hold on to a 2-0 lead.

Harleston Ladies 2, Old Loughtonians 2

HARLESTON Magpies were unable to make it four league wins on the trot as they were unable to hold on to a 2-0 lead.

They lost key defenders at a critical stage of the game in the second half and this disruption to the team gave Old Loughtonians the lifeline they needed to snatch a draw.

This was very disappointing as Magpies had started the game well as Old Loughtonians really struggled to handle Magpies in the first half.

Continual early pressure on the Old Loughtonians defence forced a critical error as early as the fourth minute as Verity Blyth intercepted a poor clearance and fed the ball immediately to Angie Wheelhouse who made no mistake.

Magpies continued to dominate the first half and had they taken a few of the chances they created including penalty corners, the match would have been wrapped up in the first half.

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Old Loughtonians certainly came into the game in the second half but Magpies looked very comfortable as the visitors were unable to create any real scoring chances.

Unfortunately the game was turned on its head by an unfortunate sequence of events.

After 48 minutes the visitors won a penalty corner and from the resulting strike defender Debbie McAllen was struck on the head by a lifted shot and was unable to continue because of a serious head injury.

This meant Magpies had to reorganise their team but responded immediately when a cross from the right wing from Emily Wilford was deflected superbly by Angie Wheelhouse into the roof of the net.

Although Magpies now had a two-goal cushion the game turned on a critical decision on 56 minutes when Louisa Greenacre made an excellent flat tackle in the circle and the umpire judged it to be a penalty corner and a yellow card.

Old Loughtonians made the most of this opportunity and pulled a goal back from the penalty corner.

With Magpies reduced to 10 players and critically two key defenders at the heart of the defence out of the game Old Loughtonians could sense the disruption this had caused to Magpies and really went for it.

Magpies battled hard to hang on to their lead but right at the death Old Loughtonians equalised. Magpies can regard themselves as unfortunate.

Next week Magpies play league leaders Ipswich away on Sunday.