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Wapping women snatch last-gasp point

11:00 30 November 2016

Aisling McKeon attacks for Wapping (pic Iain McAuslan)

Aisling McKeon attacks for Wapping (pic Iain McAuslan)

Archant

Captain Todd to the rescue against St Albans

Wapping's Rob Pryce battles for the ball (pic Iain McAuslan)Wapping's Rob Pryce battles for the ball (pic Iain McAuslan)

Wapping’s women came from behind to earn a last-gasp draw with St Albans seconds in their East Premier contest at Lee Valley.

The two sides went into the fixture level on points, with Wapping sitting in second place due to their superior goal difference.

But the hosts were without Hannah Gage and Jess white due to injury and soon fell behind as St Albans started strongly.

Wapping were quick to bounce back as Lotta Paulus found herself in space to collect a pass from Aisling McKeon and then tee up Jordan Mulvaney for the equalier.

Wapping's James Stocks makes a save against Sevenoaks (pic Iain McAuslan)Wapping's James Stocks makes a save against Sevenoaks (pic Iain McAuslan)

And the midfield trio of Belinda Armstrong, Lucy Todd and McKeon then started to dominate the action, linking up well as Kate O’Sullivan produced incisive runs to open up the visiting defence.

St Albans forced a string of short corners, but Meg Pugh weathered the storm with a series of fine saves and saw Aoife Smyth and Becky Hart make crucial tackles to keep Wapping on level terms at the break.

Wapping lost McKeon, O’Sullivan and Ciara Murphy to the sin bin in the second half and fell behind with 15 minutes remaining as St Albans netted a well-worked corner.

But the home side continued to press in the closing stages and got their reward when McKeon was tackled at the top of the D and the umpire awarded a short corner as the final whistle went.

Wapping's Grant Aidoo-Nash dives to keep the ball in play (pic Iain McAuslan)Wapping's Grant Aidoo-Nash dives to keep the ball in play (pic Iain McAuslan)

The ball was then injected to Wapping captain Todd, who slotted home from the top of the circle to the delight of her team-mates to earn a share of the spoils.

Wapping welcome Norwich Dragons to the John Orwell Centre for their next match on Saturday.

The men’s struggles in National League East continued with a 6-2 defeat against Sevenoaks on Sunday, with Ian Kibble and Grant Aidoo-Nash their goalscorers.

But the seconds claimed a tense 2-1 win over Harleston Magpies in their East Division One contest, following their 8-0 drubbing at Blueharts a week earlier.

James Byford and Nick McLaren held firm in the face of early pressure, before Bobby Watson converted Byford’s cross at the near post to open the scoring.

Harleston hit back soon after when a free hit caught McLaren napping and a forward converted, but Chris Monger produced several fine saves to deny the visitors any further goals.

Johnny Madill, Ollie Davies and Watson had chances to restore Wapping’s lead before the interval, which they could not take, and it looked like the two sides would cancel each other out in the second half.

McLaren produced some strong runs on the right and linked up well with Dom Oliver to cause Harleston some worrying moments, but Madill missed a gilt-edged chance when skewing wide.

Monger made two more impressive saves from breakaway chances and, with time running out, Wapping snatched the points as Oliver won a last-minute corner.

Watson flicked high into the net, but there celebrations were cut short as the umpire ordered a retake.

Another impressive drag flick from player of the match Watson flew past Harleston’s young keeper to put Wapping in front and they held on in the final seconds for a crucial win.

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