Picture gallery: Hockey reports
Lowestoft Ladies I 1, Wapping Ladies I 1
WITH Lowestoft seeking one more win to secure playing East Premier League hockey next year and Wapping fighting for survival this was always going to be a tense match.
The home side knew it wasn't to be their day when in the first minute a swift move saw Charlotte Holland turn her defender in the 'D' only for the officials to miss the foot infringement from the defender as the ball was cleared.
The visitors took the upper hand working tirelessly to keep the ball in the Lowestoft half but resilient defending prevented any clear cut chances. A rare foray into the opposition's half caught Wapping napping and Nic Pollard had a clear run on goal but pulled her shot wide. Again Wapping pressed and won three short corners in succession with Kate Bond, Alex Bond, Jess Holland and Charlotte Bond working ferociously to keep the scores level.
It proved to be third time lucky as Wapping finally broke the deadlock when they managed to scramble the ball home through a crowd of players. This spurred Lowestoft into life and they had the ball in the back of the visitors' net twice only for the play to be brought back for minor infringements. Lowestoft eventually levelled in the 29th minute when Katy Hands intercepted a pass and ran at the Wapping defence before playing a reverse pass to Chloe McMorran who squared the ball for Kate TG to finish firmly. Lowestoft finished the half with a flourish but couldn't apply the final touch.
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Hannah Pickess and Hollie Limmer played well on the flanks setting up chance after chance but Lowestoft couldn't convert the pressure into goals with chances being missed, the keeper saving or shots being hurried and pushed wide. The Wapping keeper saved well again on 67 minutes when Charlotte H ran through from her own half. This proved to be the last chance of the match.
Lowestoft now have a well earned two week break and restart their campaign away to Sevenoaks on March 5 when they hope to consolidate their league position.
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Dereham IV 2, Lowestoft Railway Ladies II 0
RAILWAY travelled to play second placed Dereham in game that was important to both sides if either were to stand any chance of promotion.
The home side took the game to Railway from the onset, pressurising the defence and successfully stifling the visitors usual flowing game. They were organised in their attack, passing the ball accurately and quickly. However, the Railway defence held firm with Sue Strachan and Katy Harris making some great tackles and Lily Palmer working really hard to mark the Dereham centre forward out of the game.
Keeper Beckie Edmeades was in top form marshalling her defence and making some great saves. Dereham's breakthrough eventually came when Edmeades was momentarily unsighted by the melee of players in front of her and the ball was struck with force to cross the line.
Dereham's second goal came just seconds before the break when they managed to successfully win a short corner which initially Railway cleared, only to be thwarted when the ball was sent back into the 'D'. The home side managed to slip the ball over the line from the tightest of angles.
Railway battled on and the midfield combination of Alice Oldman, Germaine Wood, Helen Sterry and Hannah Atkin passed the ball well to take play to the other end of the pitch. Jo Pallant, Megan McKinnon and Nicky Clark pushed the Dereham defence to the limit but couldn't find a way past a very strong back four. The second half was very finely balanced but unfortunately Railway just couldn't manage to do enough to redress the deficit from the first period.
Harleston V 1, Lowestoft Railway 1
RAILWAY dropped their first points of the season with a draw at Harleston in this top of the table clash but still hold on to their unbeaten record.
The visitors made a tentative start to the game and found it difficult to play their usual short passing game with the opposition marking tightly and keeping up constant pressure right across the pitch. Although Harleston dominated the possession in the early stages some solid defending from Railway kept their chances to a minimum with Jamie Ayers sweeping up any danger at the back.
Equally, chances at the other end were few and far between with Railway relying heavily on forwards Sam Daniels and Dave Berry using their pace to chase the long ball with only limited success. After a goalless first half the visitors settled more into their normal game in the second period and started to pass the ball more effectively, in particular making good use of the width offered by Troy Allen on the right.
The Railway goal in fact came from this area with a break along the wing. Elliot Gooch won the ball in defence then quickly released Troy Allen who used his strength and pace to out run his marker before crossing for Dave Berry to sweep in from the top of the D.
Railway didn't hold the lead for too long before Harleston replied following a lapse of concentration in the defence.
From the third short corner in quick succession, keeper Matt Brady saved the initial shot but was helpless as the loose ball was converted before a Railway defender could clear his pads. With the game finely balanced Railway missed a great opportunity to snatch victory when awarded a penalty flick.
Unfortunately the pressure of the moment proved a little too much for the penalty taker and his flick offered the Harleston keeper a simple save. The game flowed openly from end to end right up to the final whistle with both sides quite happy to accept the end result.