Late Harpenden goal downs battling hosts

Harpenden's Sue Prescence battles with WGC's Ellie Bonnett

Harpenden's Sue Prescence battles with WGC's Ellie Bonnett - Credit: Archant

Welwyn Garden City extended their league losing streak to five matches after Ella Hutson’s second-half brace saw them taste a 2-1 defeat at home to Harpenden Ladies.

Ellie Bonnett had put the hosts in front midway through the first half but their rivals bounced back to claim the win.

The away side were on top in the opening stages and Lisa Sheffield’s vital block from a Hutson shot was the closest they came to the opener.

In the 15th minute, Sheffield was effective at the other end, sending in a low fizzing shot that was blocked with the rebound from Bonnett also snuffed out.

A minute later WGC went 1-0 up.

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Abbie Woodman’s effort was again blocked but the ball span into the path of Bonnett who touched in at the far post.

Harpenden were shell-shocked and soon forced a first good save from keeper Erica Stovold as Karen Bunbury was denied.

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Then Bryony Floyd encountered the same fate as Stovold kept out her low strike with a smart stop.

WGC hung on until the interval but their resistance dissolved three minutes into the second period.

Hutson was the most alert as a corner was drilled into the area and she poked in to the delight of the travelling faithful.

The game then fell into a lull with the next best chance coming in the 53rd minute.

Barton played in Floyd and she was foiled by another good save.

Four minutes later Bunbury made space for herself inside the area but more heroic defending denied her.

At the other end, WGC, the second lowest scorers in the division, tried desperately to gain the advantage.

Kay Dobney lined up a short corner before whacking it on goal but another block kept the score at 1-1.

With the encounter looking like it was heading for a stalemate, Harpenden were to gain revenge for their 1-0 defeat at the hands of the hosts in October.

The ball was threaded through to Hutson and a sublime finish, classier than her earlier goal, sealed the victory.

Jodie Sharkey and Annael Mabin had shots blocked in a final wave of attack but Harps held on.

WGC travel to Old Loughtonians on Saturday, looking to reverse their current slump.

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