It’s a blank weekend as Letchworth, Stevenage and Blueharts are beaten
LETCHWORTH Ladies emerged beaten but unbowed from an enthralling game at runaway East Premier League leaders Cambridge City. Missing several key players in this 6-3 defeat, Letchworth could not have got off to a worse start, conceding from a brilliantly-t
LETCHWORTH Ladies emerged beaten but unbowed from an enthralling game at runaway East Premier League leaders Cambridge City.
Missing several key players in this 6-3 defeat, Letchworth could not have got off to a worse start, conceding from a brilliantly-taken goal in the first minute.
Two down after eight minutes, following another great strike which gave keeper Emily Whiting no chance, Letchworth could have fallen apart.
But they hit back just two minutes later when Sarah Parkhouse netted from a penalty corner.
The game then flowed end to end at a furious pace with both sides creating chances.
Cambridge's clinical finishing proved the difference, however, netting twice more before half time.
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Neither side could maintain the furious pace in the second half though possession and attacking play was evenly shared.
Two more Cambridge goals just over 10 minutes from the end sealed the result but Letchworth again hit back with excellent goals from Charlie Gibson and a second from Parkhouse.
And with the home defence increasingly rattled, Gibson looked set to score again in the closing moments until she lost her footing on a slippery surface.
Letchworth face local rivals St Albans at home this Saturday (1.30pm pushback at Whitethorn Lane).
Other scores: Letch Ladies II 0 Bedford II 1; Letch Ladies III 1 (Alex Caunce) Stevenage III 3; Letch Ladies IV 0 Vauxhall Chiltern II 1.
Stevenage Ladies endured league and cup disappointment over the weekend despite being the better side on both days.
They were beaten 1-0 by Maidstone 2nds, a side new to East League Division Two South.
Maidstone sneaked the early advantage with a lucky deflection from a short corner.
Stevenage had their share of penalty corners where they came close to equalising but Maidstone held firm.
In the second half, Stevenage had all the play and possession and continued to pressurise but could not find that elusive equaliser.
When Lucy Harvey was brought down in the D, a penalty flick was awarded. Kate Chapman had her stroke saved by a competent keeper.
Stevenage's best chance came soon after when player of the match Holly Mould - celebrating her 21st birthday - hit the bar with a looping effort. This summed up the day for the team who just could not find the back of the net.
Sunday saw them in EHA Vase first round action against Bishop's Stortford and they went down 2-1.
Despite playing in the league below Stortford, Stevenage gave their opponents a real run for their money.
Two penalty corners saw them denied an opening goal by strong Stortford defending.
Stortford were held out of the Stevenage D until the final play of the half when three penalty corners were awarded in succession. Stortford got a lucky deflection on the third and went an undeserved goal up at the break.
Stevenage continued to dominate in the second half and played some textbook hockey throughout the team.
The midfield of Carly Seaton, Hannah Finch, Jude Weston and player of the match Chapman worked tirelessly to equalise but disappointment came when Stortford broke to go two ahead.
Stevenage rallied and a superb ball from skipper Seaton put Harvey through on goal.
Harvey held her nerve and calmly slotted the ball beyond the goalkeeper.
Stevenage maintained their pressure but time ran out before they could find the elusive equaliser.
Other scores: Stev Ladies II 4 (Harriet Richards, Steph Fanthorpe two, Debbie Church) Chess Valley II 1; Stev Ladies III 3 (Nicki Reynolds, Viv Hamilton, Louise Brazier) Letchworth III 1; Stev Ladies IV 0 Vauxhall Chiltern III 0; Stev Ladies V 1 (Daisy Mould) Hertford IV 1.
Blueharts Ladies were unlucky to lose 1-0 to the second placed team in the league, St Neots.
They started the game confidently but lost their sweeper, Becky Gardner, within 10 minutes due to a nasty injury.
The team battled on with 10 players and held their own against St Neots for the best part of the match.
Rho Keen had an outstanding game in goal with several crucial saves and the rest of the team raised their game to surprise St Neots with some strong attacking play.
In the end, it was only a last minute goal following a contentious umpiring decision that led to defeat.
The seconds were 6-2 winners over Harpenden as goals from Gina Joseph (four), Helen Sadler and new girl Hannah Williams saw them come from two goals behind at the break.