Hampstead Ladies fall short against East Grinstead in a tight encounter at Lee Valley

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 October 2020

Hampstead captain Katherine Baker keeps Ellie Rayer at bay (Pic: Mark Clews)

Hampstead captain Katherine Baker keeps Ellie Rayer at bay (Pic: Mark Clews)


Hampstead & Westminster Ladies’ suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to East Grinstead at the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre in east London.

Hampstead's Rochelle Gianfrancesco makes a save (Pic: Mark Clews)Hampstead's Rochelle Gianfrancesco makes a save (Pic: Mark Clews)

It was a shame that Covid restrictions limited spectators, as both fixtures between these two sides last season produced some cracking matches, and with both teams at full strength again on Sunday this was bound to be another belter.

The match got off to a quick start and GB international Ellie Rayer from East Grinstead made no mistake on the break after just four minutes to deliver an early blow to Hampstead.

However, Hampstead showed great resilience and fight and came on to be the dominant force but could not quite beat East Grinstead goalkeeper Laura Myers as the score remained 1-0 to the visitors at half time.

Sadly for Hampstead the second half started as an almost carbon copy of the first, an early goal for East Grinstead.

Hampstead line up to defend a penalty corner (Pic: Mark Clews)Hampstead line up to defend a penalty corner (Pic: Mark Clews)

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They were proving to be a clinical team on the break this season and punished Hampstead again to make it 2-0 through Sophie Bray, who won Olympic gold at the 2016 Games.

Again Hampstead fought back hard and had lots of chances and short corners.

Eventually they got a breakthrough with seven minutes left in the game as Lauren Turner was finally able to get the ball past Myers.

Hampstead then had a lot of pressure on the East Grinstead defence for the remainder of the game, but Grinstead stayed disciplined at the back and the home side just could not quite find the back of the net, taking it right the way down to the wire with an over time penalty corner.

Hampstead were left disappointed and feeling they deserved more from the game, but overall it was a positive team performance to take into next weekend’s game against Holcombe.

The Ladies will now travel to Holcombe on Saturday as they look to bounce back to winning ways after their loss.

It has been a mixed start to the 2020-21 season for Hampstead who have picked up two wins and endured two defeats in their opening four fixtures in the Investec Women’s Premier League.

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