Letchworth girl Hayley's a Payne for Southend

A Hayley Payne goal five minutes from time maintained Letchworth Ladies winning start to their East Division One season with a deserved 4-3 victory against Southend. After a scrappy opening period, Letchworth took the lead on 11 minutes through a fine so

A Hayley Payne goal five minutes from time maintained Letchworth Ladies' winning start to their East Division One season with a deserved 4-3 victory against Southend.

After a scrappy opening period, Letchworth took the lead on 11 minutes through a fine solo goal from captain Leonie Cherry, weaving her way through several defenders to slot home.

Letchworth failed to capitalise on their lead, however, and the visitors equalised after 25 minutes from a break down the right.

The equaliser sparked Letchworth back into action with Sarah Parkhouse restoring their lead just three minutes later; and when Helen Hewlett scored from a penalty corner 10 minutes after the break, the game looked to be tied up.

However, two Southend goals within six minutes set up a nerve-wracking final period and Letchworth were indebted to keeper Tracy Gateson for some excellent clearances before Payne bundled the ball home for the winner.

After two games Letchworth lie second in the table behind leaders St Albans only on goal difference. This Saturday Letchworth travel to Wapping hoping to extend their winning form.

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Other scores: Letchworth Ladies II 4 (Deborah Wren, Haidee Castle, Leanne Gateson, Heidi Wehrmann) Cheshunt 2; Letchworth III 2 (Kate Nicholson, Lorna Tyrtania) Royston 8; Letchworth IV 0 Queenswood 2.

Stevenage Ladies shared the points against Harpenden in a 1-1 draw.

Their defence put up a valiant fight against a strong Harpenden attack who themselves have been promoted this season, with player of the match, Jenny Harding, saving numerous shots from the Harpenden frontline.

The Stevenage goal began from defence with a pass from Claire Young to Heather Hemmings whose shot at goal was saved by the goalie but was expertly picked up on the rebound by Caroline Ayles.

The second half showed both teams tiring but Harpenden's sub managed to obtain a short corner in the last minute of the game. Their strong set routine that had failed them throughout the game suddenly came together with a perfect well picked spot in the back of the goal.

Other scores: Stevenage Ladies II 1 (Rosie McKewen-Smith) St Albans II 0; Stevenage Ladies III 0 Luton II 4; Stevenage Ladies IV 1 (Genna Thomas) Shefford and Sandy IV 0; Stevenage Ladies V 0 Royston III 10.

Blueharts Ladies lost a lead to Luton in their first league game.

Harts dominated the game in the first 15 minutes and a short corner was awarded. A brilliantly executed ball from Tamzin Wright allowed Kerry Ross to slip the ball left to Kate Chapman who scored the first goal of the season.

Although Luton began to pressure Blueharts, the score remained 1-0 up to half time. But in the second half, Luton fought back, scoring three late goals for a 3-1 victory.

The seconds are hopeful of a fourth successive promotion after beating South Herts 3-0. Amy Belletty opened the scoring and added to her tally before Sharon Martin made the half-time score 3-0 which remained unaltered.

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