Harwood's superb solo effort helps Havering upset leaders to go into Christmas on high
PUBLISHED: 10:30 15 December 2017
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A superb solo goal from Sue Harwood saw Havering upset East Two South East leaders Canterbury at Campion.
Having lost heavily to their rivals on the opening day of the season, Havering expected a tough test in the return meeting.
But they soon settled and won a host of short corners, with Harwood, Emily Gilkes-Tarsey and Emma Isherwood all denied.
Midfielders Harwood, Charlotte Chamberlin, Louise Burgess and Nic Earle took charge, making it hard for Canterbury to build any attacks, although the visitors did have a short corner effort ruled out as the ball was not taken out of the D before the shot.
A great drive by Burgess earned a free hit which Harwood took quickly, dribbling past several defenders before lifting the ball over the diving keeper.
And that proved decisive as the hosts continued to control play, with keeper Sophie McCoy rarely brought into action.
Bukki Olodo was solid in defence, intercepting passes by Canterbury, as Wendy Schofield, Sam Cash and Hollie Dawkins ably supported her.
Chamberlin remained strong in midfield as the runs of Burgess, Harwood and Katie Griggs kept causing problems for the visitors, and Havering went close to a second as Isherwood played in Burgess, whose shot was saved.
Canterbury won several short corners late on, but Havering adjusted their defence to keep them out for a deserved win going into the Christmas break.
The seconds lost 3-0 to East London thirds in their summit meeting, after conceding twice in the first half.
Nicki Cast sent a number of good balls into the D from the right but Havering were unable to convert and, although Kim Clarke made some incredible saves in goal, East London added a third.
The men’s thirds saw Noel Thoufick miss an early penalty flick at Chelmsford fifths, but good runs from Bill Birbeck and Amar Mangat saw the ball reach stalwart Barry Marler to tap in.
Chelmsford scrambled an equaliser from a counter attack but Graham Walker pulled off some fine diving saves to keep Havering in the game.
Richard Cast held off defenders to slot home midway through the second half and restore Havering’s lead, but the hosts hit back despite Thoufick’s attempt to clear off the line as the match ended in an entertaining 2-2 draw.