Cambridge City held as Harleston Magpies stage comeback in Vitality Women’s Hockey League
Cambridge City were pegged back to a 3-3 draw at home by Harleston Magpies in the Vitality Women’s Hockey League, Division One South.
City got into an early groove at Wilberforce Road, with a high tempo and neat passing moves creating plenty of chances.
Emily McStea’s shot was blocked by Harleston keeper Georgie Flatt in the third minute, and Ellie Harrison’s attempt from the rebound was also thwarted.
Great vision by Victoria Hill saw a pass slice open the Magpies’ defence two minutes later, and McStea’s rising reverse-stick shot was padded away by Flatt.
The chances kept coming for City, and they got their rewards in the 14th minute when a well-worked penalty corner saw Hill push the ball to an unmarked Hannah Bloy to finish at the back past.
It was 2-0 to City before the end of the first quarter as Hill drove into the D and hit a low cross from the right which Harrison finished from close range.
Harleston’s first proper sight at goal came at the end of the quarter, with Poppy Beales kept out by City keeper Jenna Broughton Lloyd.
There was no let-up from the hosts in the second quarter, with Hill’s shot from a penalty corner going narrowly wide.
Five minutes later, Charlotte Rye’s injection from a penalty corner saw Hill and Vikki Franks exchange passes, and the former’s shot hit the back pad, with many of those watching thinking it had gone in.
It remained 2-0 at half time, but City increased their lead three minutes into the third quarter.
McStea seized on a good pass from Harrison to burst clear. She then passed inside the D to Kat Petch, who played the one-two for McStea to finish from close range.
City were in complete control of the game, but a five-minute spell changed the destiny of the result.
The Magpies upped the pressure to try to disrupt City’s passing patterns and it was having the desired effect. They were playing a bit higher up the pitch, and Anna Cogdell went close on two occasions.
They were given hope in the 45th minute when Amy Collison forced home from close range.
Almost immediately, Magpies had a second when Liv Thomas sent a pass through to Alice Woollatt who had got free at the back post to roll a shot in.
Three minutes later, an error in defence was seized upon for Beales to get Magpies’ equaliser with a smart finish.
Having lost their three-goal lead, City had to regather.
It did not take them long to get back into their rhythm in an attempt to break down the visitors again, but they stood strong in defence.
Their best chance came from Lisa Williamson’s reverse-stick effort, but Flatt was equal to the attempt.
There was no way through for City, and while they will be disappointed to have lost a three-goal lead, the draw maintains their unbeaten start to the season.