Ladies 4th Team v Watton (Away (L) L 0-2)
An early start to the weekend saw the Ladies 6ths travelling to Watton to play the Breckland Ladies 1sts in an early push back. The early start meant that Storm Brian hadn’t quite reached the East so we were spared the worst of the wind.
Breckland played some good passing hockey and their skilful midfield dominated the game. They kept the pressure on for the full 70 minutes, and provided a passionate atmosphere.
Magpies failed to convert a string of attacking short corners, lacking the consistency of usual personnel to strike and inject. Highlights include some great match ups and personal battles, and Marie tripping on a stick early in the first half, taking a tumble. The opposition capitalised on a short corner to score, and the meaning that Magpies were 0:1 going into half time.
Goalkeeper Katie Davey played particularly well this week, and was rewarded with the Woman of the Match award. Her fearless approach to defending against the Breckland attack, and in particular making a great save of a powerful strike in second half. Defenders Olivia Addison-Carter and Karen Hunt who usually play with the 7ths provided consistent defensive might and we hope they enjoyed the trip to Watton.
Lizzie Adcock appeared up front, in her first game with the sixths this season, and both her, Annie and Jane battled hard all game against a physical defensive strategy.
Mens 5th v Bury St Edmunds 4th (Away (L) D 1-1)
Magpies travelled to Bury buoyed by two successive league victories and much improved individual and team performances but knew they would be in for a tough match which looked even harder on paper when Magpies could only field a team of 11, very light on regular defenders.
However with a makeshift defence Magpies took the approach of playing the game in the oppositions half well away from our back line which proved very successful. Magpies dominated the early exchanges gaining possession and creating shooting chances but at half time the best the team had to show for this effort was a scrabbled shot that hit the post but rebounded to safety. However increasingly as the half progressed Bury got stronger testing Magpies defensive resolve albeit finding no way through to James Harvey in goal.
The second half saw an interesting twist with Bury trying to take the pace out of the game sitting back on holding the ball but as time moved on again the game opened up and both goal keepers were called into action to keep the game goalless.
With only 6 minutes left to play it looked at is both teams had settled for a drawer but Magpies youngsters conjured up an opportunity for Angus Wilkinson to bounce on a loose ball in the D and put Magpies ahead. Where Magpies able to hold on and steel a win, sadly this was not to be. With only two minutes remaining Bury stole possession and final found a way past James Harvey in goal.
A very enjoyable game for all, well umpired and played in the right spirit the end result being the right result for all concerned.
Magpies man of the match award being presented to Ed Brice, chief tormentor of the Bury defence.
Ladies 5th v Beccles (Away (L) D 0-0)
Beccles started the game strongly but couldn’t get into magpies D. After 10 minutes Magpies started to control more of the possession and make inroads into Beccles 25. Marnie was in commanding form in defence for Beccles but the real thorn in magpies side was their goalkeeper. Jose Tibbenham should have scored with one of the first short corners but the keeper tipped the ball past her post a full stretch. More chances came and went and it became pretty obvious that the Beccles keeper was not going to surrender a goal easily. Beccles had a couple of cracking chances but put the ball wide of the target. In the second half having listened to the half time talk Honey sorted out her positioning and created much more space for herself and magpies giving the defence and Sophie at centre mid a lot more outlets. Magpies dominated the second half, alas even short corner variations failed to beat the Beccles keeper who was undoubtedly man of the match. If possession was a pointer to the result Magpies should have won but all credit to Beccles who defended stoutly and congratulations to a stunning performance from the Beccles keeper.
Mens 3rd Team v Norwich Dragons 1 (Home (L) W 4-2)
An unbeaten visiting team on 10 points against a home team not yet off the mark. A miss match? Well potentially. But the home players were looking at it quite differently and saw it as an opportunity, at home and on the water, to prove they could play in this league.
However the initial exchanges saw the visitors shading it bringing a couple of telling saves from George Baldwin in the home goal. This defensive strength certainly helped Magpies and gradually the midfield and forwards began to find some wriggle room, no more so than Kieran Peters. From a quick turnover he weaved from the right channel across the pitch before beating the keeper on the reverse. A goal you would be satisfied to score once in a season. But not for Kieran. About 5minutes later he was at it again with almost a carbon copy. 2-0 up, lots of quality and looking solid. Almost the perfect half which Kieran looked like he would cap with a hat trick after great work by Gavin Cole. However Dragons flew up the other end to secure a short corner which they would convert.
Dragons took this momentum into the second half and started to look the more likely to score next. But a resolute wall of white kept their opponents at bay and when skipper Matt Brand stole the ball and drove into the circle he did the only sensible thing and teed up Kieran to beat the keeper for a third time.
To keep the spectators guessing, Dragons would respond with a poached short corner goal but Magpies had the belief and with Jamie Hudson and Jack Richards (both fullbacks) keeping their side on the front foot a well earnt short corner was duly converted by Matt Brand; and the breathing space was again in place.
A couple of small scares later and the points were in the bag. 4-2 and onwards and upwards.