Hard work for Havering women

Havering's women celebrate a goal (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Havering's women celebrate a goal (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Single goal is enough to stay top

Havering’s women maintained their hold on top spot in the Essex Premier Division with a hard-fought win at Harlow.

The visitors made a determined start, having been somewhat fortunate to win their earlier meeting, and dominated play, but the goals would not come.

Amelia Acreman, Rhiannon Goulden and Emily Gilkes-Tarsey all saw shots saved or fly wide, while Harlow rarely got out of their own half.

Havering defenders Steph Prowse, Monica Dubb, Wendy Schofield and Sue Harwood were quick to close down the home side on the few occasions they did venture forward, leaving keeper Sophie McCoy as a virtual spectator.

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But the scoreline remained blank at the interval and the second half followed a similar pattern.

Havering continued to find gaps in the home defence, but could not find the target.

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Dubb made some good runs from the back, but Havering’s forwards could not get on the end of passes.

The breakthrough eventually came, though, from a short corner after Harwood’s mazy run along the wing.

Catherine Semon slipped the ball to Emma Isherwood, who fired across goal and saw the ball come off the keeper’s pads for Anna Webb to slot into the corner.

Havering kept the pressure on in the closing stages, with Semon, Acreman, Webb, Lauren Earle and Chris Noller controlling midfield.

Isherwood had a great chance to double the lead late on from Earle’s cross, but it remained 1-0 as Harlow sent a late chance wide.

The men’s second string remain top of Division Five after a 5-1 victory at Colchester thirds.

The visitors began well, taking the lead with a powerful short corner drag flick from Roger Hiett.

But Colchester always looked threatening and equalised soon after, stealing possession from a Havering defender and producing a clinical finish.

Havering had the lion’s share of possession but the home defence held firm, with their keeper making several fine saves.

The stalemate was broken midway through the second half when Josh Cipa tapped in from another short corner and Ryan Lee made it 3-1 with a deft touch at close range.

Cipa added a fourth, before Joni Ishikawa completed Havering’s nap hand ahead of a difficult run of games.

The first team had a free weekend and were replaced at the top of the East Premier B table by rivals Ipswich, but visit Waltham Forest tomorrow.

The women’s seconds fell to a late winner against Crostyx, but the thirds shared the spoils with a tough Phoenix seconds.

The fourths struggled against a strong Harlow seconds, going down 5-0 at home.

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