East Women's League division one

COLCHESTER Ladies suffered their first defeat of the season after going down to a narrow loss at high-flying Harleston Magpies.

The visitors were unlucky not to come away with a draw and forced numerous short corners, only to be thwarted by the Magpies keeper who made some fantastic saves to keep the Colchester forwards at bay.

Coach Libby Knifton, who was player of the match, said: "We're all disappointed with the loss but there are many positives to take from the match."

Colchester took the lead thanks to Knifton's great goal on the reverse, assisted by Helen Scott.

But their joy was short-lived as the Magpies equalised immediately.

Colchester worked hard to get back into the game and forwards Knifton, Scott, Sophie Bendon and debutante striker Hannah Finbow-Jeffery impressed.

The visitors regained their lead thanks to Bendon's fantastic reverse shot.

But again, Harleston hit back from a short corner to level the game 2-2.

Colchester thought they had regained their lead for a third time, only for Scott's effort to be ruled out by the umpire.

They had retreated to the halfway line by the time the umpires reversed their decision to award a goal.

And with all of the Colchester players out of formation, Harleston went on the attack to take the lead for the first time in the match.

Undeterred, Colchester kept pushing but were unable to salvage a draw.

Youngster Frankie Harley stepped up to play in a new central defensive role for Colchester and can be proud of her performance.

She made some fantastic tackles to keep the Harleston forwards away from goal.

Colchester will be looking to bounce back immediately when they travel to play Bedford II this weekend, 12pm push-back.