Away-day defeat for first team

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Harrogate Ladies I 1 Morpeth Ladies I 0 North Hockey Women’s League, Division One

MORPETH deserved a draw from their game in North Yorkshire on the balance of play, but missed chances proved costly.

They knew that the home side had yet to lose this season on their own pitch, but the girls in green and gold started with plenty of flair.

Blades and Corish worked well down the right to carve out the first real chance of the game. However, the Harrogate goalkeeper dived across her goal to parry the ball away to safety with her stick.

The visitors also had a couple of short corners, but they were easily cleared.

The new look midfield of Pollock, Blissett and Blades blended well together very quickly and reduced Harrogate to only one or two sporadic attacks, although Rose had to react quickly to deflect one crisp strike, which came through a crowd of players, around the post.

McLean and Corish then combined well to set up O’Mahony in front of goal. But the ball cruelly bobbled on the bouncy pitch and she was unable to make the right contact to send the ball over the line.

Harrogate started the brighter in the second period, but Watkins and Hindmarch were quick to break up the play before the forwards could penetrate the circle. On the one occasion the hosts managed to get a striker clear, Rose charged out to block the ball away.

Despite a few decent counter-attacks for the away side, Harrogate started to build up some pressure and won a few short corners.

From one of them, the ball was played short and a cross was hit to the back post, where their winger was on hand to lunge forward and deflect the ball into the net.

Morpeth lifted the pace again and went in search of an equaliser. Blades and Watkinson looked threatening, but were unable to create enough space to get a clear strike on goal and the home side played out time to achieve a 1-0 victory.

Player-of-the-match: Anne Blissett.

• Morpeth Ladies II played well to break their recent run of defeats with a goalless draw at home to Newcastle University Ladies II.

Wardle and Simpson managed to open up the visiting defence with a slick move down the right, but Beardsley’s shot was comfortably saved.

At the other end, the home side had one or two scares in their own circle, but Dixon and Hendy were both in fine form and were able to clear the ball to safety after some well-timed tackles.

The game opened up a little in the second half and a fast break from the visitors looked certain to break the deadlock, but the quality of the final pass let them down.

The final opportunity fell to Morpeth, with a short corner being awarded in the final seconds, but it was well defended by the University side and the game ended 0-0.