Bullard goal enough as Acle Ladies sink the league leaders

Acle's goalscorer Lauren Bullard on the ball against Haringey. Photo: Richard Giles.

Acle's goalscorer Lauren Bullard on the ball against Haringey. Photo: Richard Giles. - Credit: Archant

A solitary goal midway through the first half was enough to give Acle United Ladies victory against leaders Haringey Borough on Sunday.

The hosts had the better of the opening stages pinning Haringey back into the own half and enjoying majority of possession, especially in midfield. Burton twice came close to scoring for the home side; a free-kick from Hooper found Bullard who played the ball square to Burton whose shot just cleared the bar, then the Acle striker saw a shot hit the outside of the post, after Rowland had won possession from a Haringey throw-in.

However, the pressure by the hosts finally paid off after 22 minutes. Picking up the ball in midfield, Pasque’s pin-point pass to Bullard saw the winger outpace her marker and slot the ball past the advancing away keeper to give Acle a 1-0 lead.

A foul by McGuire, just outside the home penalty area, gave the visitors a chance to pressurise the home defence, but the free-kick was struck high over the Acle bar before a corner from Haringey was headed clear by Larkins, before Hooper comfortably gathered a weak shot.

Just before the break, Pasque picking up a loose ball in midfield advanced and fired a long shot which was deflected just past the post as Acle went into the break with a slender 1-0 lead.

Haringey enjoyed a short spell of sustained pressure on the home defence in the second half.

Only a goal-line clearance by Larkins prevented Haringey from equalising in the 68th minute. The game was getting a little feisty and the ref booked three players in a 10-minute spell as both sides tried to get the upper hand.

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With a couple of minutes remaining, Copeman gave away two free-kicks in dangerous positions. The first saw the shot just clear the bar and the second saw Pasque clear off the line.

The final attack, in the 95th minute, was thwarted by Larkins and it was Acle who celebrated collecting all three points after a tense finish to the game.

Acle: Hooper, Larkins, Copeman, Shields, McGuire, Ladbrooke, Rowland, Pasque, Burton, Wells, Bullard. Subs: Knights, Alves.

The Ladies are in cup action on Sunday, entertaining Cambridge City at Bridewell Lane in a League Cup quarter-final tie at 1.45pm.