Late woe for Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies as Newcastle University take the spoils

Harrogate's Lucy Wood advances with the ball. Picture: Gerard Binks
Harrogate's Lucy Wood advances with the ball. Picture: Gerard Binks

Harrogate Hockey Club Ladies 1s were left with nothing to show for a solid performance at home to Newcastle University after conceding late on.

With the game locked at 2-2 heading into the final minute, Megan Reid’s side looked to be on course for a deserved point until their student visitors netted two last-gasp goals.

Both teams struggled for fluency during the opening stages with possession changing hands regularly.

Newcastle managed to get their noses in front in somewhat fortuitous fashion but the ‘Gate response was swift.

They hit back immediately, winning a penalty-corner which was nicely worked into the back of the away goal by Jaclyn Smith and Lucy Wood.

The students then launched a number of attacks, enabling them to re-take the lead, leaving Reid’s charges 2-1 down at the interval.

The second period saw Harrogate produce a much-improved display thanks to some calmer play while in possession.

Having taken control of proceedings, the home efforts were eventually rewarded when skilful left-midfielder Rachel Till drilled the ball across the Newcastle keeper to Sarah Proctor, who applied a finishing touch.

Further ‘Gate attacks followed with joint-players of the match, April Leeson and Helen Goacher, striving for another goal to edge their side in front for the first time.

They couldn’t make a decisive breakthrough, however, and following a contentious refereeing decision, the University team were able to break away and snatch a 3-2 advantage just before the final whistle.

Harrogate were visibly deflated by conceding, but in a last-gasp bid to get back into the game they substituted goalkeeper Caz Hurst and brought on an extra attacker.

To their dismay, Newcastle did however manage to force the play down to the other end of the field, and with nobody guarding the home goal, the visitors were able to add a fourth strike, wrapping up the points.

Defeat leaves the Ainsty Road ladies fifth in North Division One ahead of this Saturday’s trip to sixth-placed Stokesley.