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Upminster men clip wings of Magpies to join title race as women make valid point too

PUBLISHED: 14:30 18 January 2019

Upminster score their first goal during Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019

Upminster score their first goal during Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019

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Upminster's men got back to winning ways after the Christmas break in East League Division One with a 3-2 success over Harleston Magpies.

Upminster score their first goal during Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019Upminster score their first goal during Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019

The first goal came from a rare moment of quality as Alex Mitchell fed Nick Hull, who drove across the byline and returned a pass for him to slot home.

A second arrived soon after, following a turnover, as Steve Wright went through on goal and showed composure to round the keeper and fire into the net.

Harleston hit back before the break, when Phil Dixon made a save but the rebound was put away on the volley.

But Upminster restored their two-goal cushion when Jamie O’Dell finished off a well-worked move, firing between the keeper’s legs.

Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019

The hosts had plenty of chances to put the result beyond doubt, but Magpies instead managed to score a second goal of their own to set up a tense final 10 minutes.

Upminster held strong, though, to take the win and, with the top two both losing, draw themselves back into the title race.

The women battled to a point in a 1-1 draw at East League One South title rivals East London.

The two teams competed hard throughout, with opportunities for both to score more goals.

Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019

Defender of the match Niamh Robeson played brilliantly for Upminster, making crucial tackles and holding the backline together.

But East London struck first in the first half courtesy of a deflection on the post.

Upminster were undeterred and kept pressing, turning the ball over well as their front line saw a lot of action through well worked counter attacks.

And the visitors equalised in the second half from a wayward short corner routine as Megan Miller turned the ball over from the home defence and found Alexa Marston on the baseline.

Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019Upminster HC Ladies 2nd XI vs Wapping HC Ladies 3rd XI, Essex Women's League Field Hockey at the Coopers Company and Coborn School on 12th January 2019

Marston held the ball well to find player of the match Michelle Wright who was able to get a reverse stick deflection to tip the ball around the goalkeeper to keep both sides one point behind leaders Maidstone.

The seconds claimed a 1-0 win over Wapping thirds in the Essex League Premier Division at Coopers, while the third beat East London fifths 2-1 in Division One.

The fourths won 2-1 at Maldon seconds in Division Three, as the fifths beat Chelmsford sevenths 6-1 to stay six points clear in Division Five.

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