Category Archives: mens 1s reports

Mens 1s Match Report

Magpies Mens 1s 4-3 Saffron Walden Mens 1s

Harleston, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, came in to the game with a slightly depleted squad. Sam Paterson was missing with school commitments, meaning that Iain Cumming made his long awaited return to the first team. However, Magpies still went into the match full of confidence after last week’s gritty win in Cambridge.

The game started with both teams camped in the Saffron Walden half, but a failure to convert chances cost Magpies as a fast Walden counter attack led to the first goal. The home side continued to look dangerous with the ball and scored a well deserved equaliser through a smart short corner routine. Matt Richardson’s world class delivery was skilfully deflected by Leigh Sitch towards the target only for Thomas Ridley to poach the goal from under his nose, as he finally achieved his first goal of the season. With the momentum growing, a typically direct Simon Hipwell run saw him collect his own rebound and smash the ball home to give Magpies the lead. The advantage was short lived. With Magpies having lost their main centre back, Andrew Bedwell, to a groin injury, there were moments of confusion in the defence. Saffron Walden took advantage of this and converted a short corner of their own – Thomas Ridley, on the line, blown away by the sheer power of the drag flick.

A solid half time team talk from Andrew Bedwell (settling into his new player/coach role well) led to more pressure being applied to the visitors’ most influential player by Richard Larkin, leading to more turnover ball for Harleston. Against the run of play, Saffron Walden attacked down their right hand side winning another short corner after Stuart Leate’s mistrap inexplicably ballooned the ball high into the air. The resulting short corner was converted with another flick to retake the lead. This did little to change the flow of the game though. Thomas Ridley coming out of midfield with the ball, found his partner in crime Richard Larkin who, with some typically quick thinking, returned the pass to Ridley to set up the goal of the game- Ridley’s trademark reverse stick hit finish showed his class to his ever growing legion of fans in the crowd. With the game building towards a tense finish, Magpies needed to redouble their efforts if they were to come away with 3 points. Richard Larkin, leading the forward line, stole the ball away from the defender on the half way line before rounding another, only to be cynically brought down outside the circle, before he could get his chance to potentially score the winner- leading to Saffron Walden being temporarily reduced to 10 players. Larkin’s influence on the game would not end there though. Just as Magpies were beginning to lose hope, the man of the moment would step up to the plate. With the umpire playing a good advantage, Larkin was on his toes to react the fastest to a saved Vincent Leruth strike, pouncing on the loose ball to heroically turn home and take the score to 4-3. The drama was not over though, Magpies kept out a late corner and had to play out the last couple of minutes, before getting the result that their play deserved.

Photos Courtesy Pat Leate

Simon Hipwell
Richard Larkin
Iain Cumming
U18
Tom Sumner
Stuart Leate

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Cambridge City 2nds 1 Harleston Magpies 2

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1s sponsored by Dynamic Sports Shop made the relatively short journey to bottom of the table Cambridge City 2s.

After a vigorous game of cricket in which the standard of fielding was of highest quality, the game got under way. Magpies who were playing their first game since head coach Ben Wright departed for Australia, welcomed into the squad Jack Hobbs for his 1st team debut. Harleston started slowly and City were quickly testing Magpies’ back line with the men in black and white defending resolutely.

As the half went on Magpies started to find their foot in the game and with a young, quick forward line threatened to get behind City. Although it was the Cambridge side who were creating good shooting opportunities and winning corners only to be saved and repelled by the Magpies’ back line.

At the end of the first half a good Magpies break ended with Stuart Leate putting the ball on the foot of a City defender and winning a corner. With the corner ticking into overtime pies pushed everyone forward, a slick move with Sam Paterson beating the first man and then putting it on a plate for Simon Hipwell at the back post to score his first goal in over a year meant Magpies took a deserved 1-0 lead into half time.

The second half started, Magpies spurred on by taking the lead, quickly put Cambridge on the back foot and some slick connections between the back and midfield lines started to open up the pitch only for Cambridge to take their turn in repelling any attacks. 10 minutes into the second half an aerial from Sam Paterson over the top of City’s defence allowed Simon Hipwell to run in on goal only to be brought down luckily before he could pull the trigger. This allowed Sam Paterson to step up and score making it 2-0.

Magpies continued their pressure but could not carve out any clear cut chances in front of goal, Cambridge knowing they had to score and quickly started to hit Magpies on the break. Stretching a tiring Magpies side, despite this Magpies dug in and showed the grit and dogged determination that they’re traditionally known for to stop any attacks.

Until with 60 minutes on the clock a Cambridge long ball was missed trapped and fell to a City forward in the circle who tried to round John Livings, only for his tackle to be deemed back stick and a stroke awarded. Cambridge stepped up and converted, 2-1.

With time running out Cambridge were pushing for the equalising goal and throwing everyone forward, Magpies took advantage of this and with the dying seconds of the game a quick thinking aerial from Simon Hipwell in his own half allowed our Belgium international, Vincent Leruth, in on goal. He kept his calm and held the ball up for a supporting Simon Hipwell who found Matt Bensly breaking forward to support his team mate to slot home from close range. 3-1.

Next up for Magpies is Saffron Walden at the nest, where Magpies will be looking to build on this week’s impressive display.

Mom – Tom Ridley.

Harleston Magpies Mens 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Club Shop hosted top of the table Old Loughts in what was also player/coach Ben Wright’s last game for the club before his move to Australia. The team would once again like to thank him for all of his work over the past years.

In less than ideal circumstances Harelston were forced to warm up with 8 players as the Norwich car were running late following traffic issues. As a result Magpies started poorly, with Old Loughts starting the game and scoring within the first minute to set the homeside on the back foot straight away. Not too long later and magpies conceded their first short corner. After much debate and drama surrounding players moving early, Old Loughts at the third time of trying dispatched the ball to make it 2-0.

Disappointed with the start, Magpies started to transfer the ball at a crisper speed and create opportunities. The comeback began as Simon Hipwell reacted quickly to a free hit just outside the D to round 3 players and enter the D before smashing a precise pass to the backpost for returning James Baker to direct into the goal. Minutes later another chance fell to Baker, as Richard Larkin drilled a ball across the baseline and through the crowd. Unfortunately, Baker’s tight angle flick could only make contact with the top of the post.

Just before half time Harleston conceded a third goal when Old Loughts counter attacked at speed as Harelston pushed forward.

Magpies started the second half brightly knowing that OId Loughts had lost their bottle in Loughton despite being 3 goals up with 20 minutes to play. Harelston were now dominating the proceedings and creating more chances and short corners as the game wore on. A short corner was won and Leigh Sitch, magpies second top goalscorer, ruthlessly slide in to deflect the ball past the stranded keep and make it 3-2 with 20 minutes remaining.

Continued Magpies pressure built with Old Loughts down to 10 men twice during the half. With 5 minutes remaining Richard Larkin had the ball in the back of the net, but only for the goal to be disallowed. The Old Loughts players and umpires deeming Thomas Ridley had not moved the ball 5 yards before passing to Larkin into the D. With time ticking away, Old Loughts kept control of the ball and winded the clock down to secure a victory away at the nest. The match finished 3-2, Magpies unlucky not to take away a point.

Next week the 1st team travel to Cambridge City.

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

Vincent Leruth
Richard Larkin
Matt Richardson
John Livings
James Baker
It takes three players to mark captain Leigh Sitch!
Ben Wright
Not Leigh Sitch again!

Harleston Magpies Mens 1st team match report

Cambridge University 2 – 2 Harleston Magpies

Harleston,  sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, travelled the short distance to Cambridge to face the University team. The squad knew that the students would pose a physical and athletic threat to their ageing squad. The team were without Sam Paterson and Archie Winter both with school commitments but welcomed back Matt Bensley and Vincent Le Ruth who overcame travel chaos to make the meet time at the club.

The students started the game the far better side. Their fast paced passing and dynamic leading caused issues for the Harleston midfield and defence. However despite a lot of the ball the students were unable to create any clear cut chances and Harleston started to get a foothold in the game. The away side started to create chances going forward but Cambridge defended cleverly forcing Harleston to shoot from narrow angles. Eventually the students pressure told and following a short corner given away following an unfortunate slip by Ben Wright scored a well worked deflection routine which Andrew Bedwell on the post could do nothing about.

The remainder of the first half continued in the same fashion with a lot of the play happening in the middle of the park.

At half time the squad knew they were well and truly still in the game. Matt Richardson asked for hard physical leading hoping to leave the students in a sticky situation.

The start of the second half did not go to plan for Harleston. Firstly Stuart Leate had his weekly enforced sit down for a stick tackle. Then with the light fading and the rain falling causing a very slippery sheen on the pitch a catalogue of errors and Andrew Bedwell’s cataracts playing up allowed Cambridge Uni to double their lead.

This second goal spurred Harleston and as the students started to tire Harleston’s fitness shone through and they started to control the game. Man of the Match Thomas Ridley was acting as the enforcer in midfield allowing Harleston to mount many counter attacks. Eventually Harleston pulled a goal back when Ben Wright’s drag flick took a wicked deflection off the foot of the number one runner to leave the goalkeeper stranded.

Cambridge continued to press the Harleston back 4 hard but Tom Sumner sold dummy after dummy to the Cambridge forwards to relieve some pressure. The only chance created by the University came when Simon Hipwell ignored his own advice and a costly slip presented the Cambridge forwards with the ball, however, they were unable to capitalise on this golden opportunity.

With 5 minutes remaining Cambridge Uni were reduced to 10 players when their midfielder was adjudged to have illegally out muscled Richard Larkin off the ball. With the man advantage Harleston pushed forward and when Myles King was savagely brought down the away side were awarded a short corner. Ben Wright rifled his drag flick against the post. The rebound was half cleared by the students when Leigh Sitch managed to turn the ball over in the opposition 25. The defender found Matt Richardson who in turn rolled his defender and found Ben Wright. The prolific Harleston forward ignored Andrew Bedwell’s pleas for the ball and scuffed his shot into the near post to beat the goalkeeper and bring the game level.

With 1 minute remaining Harleston were put on the back foot when Stuart Leate collected his second card but the away side managed to hang on for a point.

Next week Harleston face Old Loughts at the nest with a 2:00pm pushback.

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

General
Ben Wright
U18
Richard Larkin
Leigh Sitch

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 5 – Letchworth 5

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1sts sponsored by Dynamic Shop entertained Letchworth, a side sitting two places below them in mid table.

Magpies started brighter, maintaining possession and creating several early openings. Shortly into the first half the bright start paid dividends with Magpies earning a penalty stroke, which was duly converted by Ben Wright. Letchworth hit back after a run down their right hand side culminated in a cut back, which was slotted past keeper John Livings. Magpies responded well, with two goals to extend their lead to 3-1 – Ben Wright from a second penalty flick and Archie Winter on his return to the side following a period of absence due to school commitments.

The team were not able to build on this lead though and gain the resultant 3 goal cushion required, and after some Letchworth pressure a pass found its way through to a lurking Letchworth player who slotted it in under the keeper. Just before half-time, Magpies again hit back to extend their lead to 4-2 at the interval. Skipper Leigh Sitch, took advantage of a wide injection from a penalty corner, to place a clean strike in the bottom right of the Letchworth goal. The two goal lead at half time feeling like just rewards.

The second half was a more even game. Letchworth were the first to strike, pulling two goals back to level at 4-4, the equaliser being an unfortunate own goal. Magpies again responded through Archie Winter to take the lead with 7 minutes to go. However, a few minutes from full time Letchworth again equalised, converting a penalty stroke to round off a 5-5 draw and a pulsating game.

Magpies will be disappointed not to have closed out the game, after leading numerous times. Next week the team travel to Dereham in a re-arranged fixture.

MOM – Archie Winter

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

Stuart Leate
Leigh Sitch celebrates his rare goal while fellow defender Andrew Bedwell looks away in disbelief!
Ben Wright
U18
Ben Wright

Harleston Magpies Mens first team match report

Chelmsford 3 – Harleston Magpies 4

Harleston Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, travelled to Chelmsford, a fixture that they needed to take points from, as they tried to rescue a recent dip in form.

Harleston started off the livelier team, with neat exchanges of passing, transitioning the ball from defence to attack well. The visitors had Chelmsford against the ropes and hit them on the break several times but to no avail. That was until player coach Ben Wright managed to put them ahead just after the 15 minute mark with some superb build up play down the left wing and a cheeky nutmeg which turned into an assist by Stuart Leate. This opened the game up and Harleston started to find their rhythm, adding to their lead with a superb snap shot from their young Belgian forward Vincent Leruth on debut. The whistle was blown shortly after signifying half time and both teams rallied themselves for the second half. Chelmsford quickly hit back to make it 2-1 with a reverse stick shot getting the better of Magpies keeper John Livings. However, the visitors replied almost straight away through Matthew Richardson whose winding run ended in a reverse stick effort that crept in at the far post. Chelmsford decided to go with 3 men at the back and push through an extra man in midfield which unsettled Harleston’s rhythm, suddenly the sides were even in the middle of the park and the game went from end to end, both sides creating chances. It was Harleston who got the rub of the green when skipper Ben Wright won a foul and managed to pick out Leruth with a crashed ball, dissecting the Chelmsford defence. This 4-1 lead was short lived and Chelmsford went on the attack, with nothing to lose they took the game to Harleston, closing down well and capitalising on mistakes.

The game became scrapper and with Chelmsfords defence camped on the half way line, the were finding their men in wide positions and creating dangerous chances, which ended in a scrappy shot that wrong footed the Harleston keeper.

The balance well and truly swung into Chelmsford’s favour and they got on top of possession, bombarding Harleston with through balls time and time again. This possession soon saw the home team grab another break away goal, with Harleston failing to clear the ball.

The game hung in the balance, but Harleston managed to plug the holes, sure up their defence and hold on until the final whistle securing themselves 3 hard earned points away from home.

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston 2 – Ipswich 3

In the first game back from the Christmas break, Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport hosted Ipswich to reignite the old rivalry. The squad were without several key figures, Robbie Kinsella, Matt Richardson, Archie Winter, Jack Knight, Simon Hipwell and John Livings all unavailable. The squad did welcome Chris Leek in goal to make his debut for the first team and also welcomed Pete Bale back into the fold.

A superb start from magpies saw them score within the first minute, with Richard Larkin latching on to a well placed pass from Ben Wright, driving into the D and drilling it home, bottom left corner making it 1-0. Magpies then took control of the game pinning the opposition into their half with some supreme attacking work from Tom Ridley, and strong defensive play from Leigh Sitch.

As the game progressed, Ipswich slowly started to get into the game with some long balls that troubled the Harleston defence resulting in some short corners which were well saved by Man of the Match Tom Ridley running 1, and Chris Leek.

Magpies then re asserted their dominance winning numerous short corners, one of which was scored by Ben Wright with a trademark late release flick into the bottom right hand corner of the net to leave Harleston 2-0 up at half time.

With the game in their grasp Harleston struggled with fitness and numbers in the second half and not being able for two months started to show. Ipswich scored two unstoppable drag flicks and a clinical deflection off the keepers pads to leave Harleston shell shocked.

Photos Courtesy Pat Leate

Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse (Ipswich)
Ben Wright
Andrew Bedwell
Tom Sumner
Under18

Ben Wright to leave Magpies to play and coach in Australia

BEN WRIGHT TO LEAVE MAGPIES
TO PLAY AND COACH IN AUSTRALIA

Ben Wright, the player-coach of the Men’s 1sts, has been offered and accepted a playing and coaching contract with the Old Aquinians Hockey Club in Perth, Western Australia and will be leaving the club early in March. He will miss the last three games of the season.

Ben has expressed his gratitude to the club for having given him the opportunity to be the Men’s 1st team coach over the past three years and he is excited about the opportunity to develop his career that has opened up in Australia.

Club chairman Murray Graham says “On behalf of all members of Harleston Magpies Hockey Club I would like to place on the record our appreciation for the drive and commitment Ben has provided to the club since joining us as a junior. We will miss his skill as a player, with his renowned goal scoring prowess, and we will miss him as a coach. He has introduced progressive coaching techniques which have helped put the club at the forefront of hockey in the region. Ben has the best wishes of us all as he takes on this exciting new challenge in his hockey career.

“The club will be looking for a suitably qualified coaching replacement who will continue to develop and enhance the undoubted qualities of the men’s first team squad”.

Match report – Magpies’ Men’s Indoor – January 2017

MAGPIES MEN FINISH JOINT 5TH IN DIVISION ONE OF THE NATIONAL INDOOR LEAGUE AT NTU IN NOTTINGHAM

After promotion last year Harleston Magpies found themselves back in National Division 1 for the 2016/17 season. The league looked strong this year with three National Premier outdoor teams in Brooklands, Holcombe and Beeston, four other National League teams as well as St Albans and Harleston as the only teams from the Regional Leagues.

West Herts 11-3 Harleston Magpies
The tournament started off with constant bogey side West Herts. Magpies started sluggishly and found their press being penetrated too frequently. Goals were being shipped at regular intervals and at half time West Herts were in control at 6-2. Ben Wright completed his hat-trick shortly after half time and Magpies were looking more comfortable. The second half was much more competitive with neither team able to find the net for the next 10 minutes. Unfortunately Magpies were unable to score the goals that could have caused West Herts concern and late on with legs tiring West Herts found their goal scoring boots. A goal on 32 minutes and 4 in the last 3 minutes gave a final score of 11-3 to West Herts.

Southgate 5-7 Harleston Magpies
Magpies again started slowly against Southgate. Magpies were two down after 13 minutes but were playing much better. Magpies hit back with two goals of their own through Ben Wright and Thomas Ridley, although a late Southgate goal meant half time saw Harleston 3-2 down. Harleston’s press was becoming increasingly solid and more and more counter attack opportunities were being made. The second half started slowly again but then 5 goals in 7 minutes, including a first ever Magpies indoor goal for Tom Hughes, with only one in reply saw Magpies take a 7-4 lead. Magpies looked assured and despite a late Southgate goal held on for the win and first points of the campaign.

St Albans 4-3 Harleston Magpies
Day two started with a match against St Albans, the only team to beat Harleston indoors last year. Magpies played a solid first half in what was a tight affair and with goals from Thomas Ridley and Chris Barber went into the break leading for the first time, up 2-1. However a sloppy start to the second half saw St Albans take control of the match. Three unanswered goals in 8 minutes proved too much for Magpies to come back from. Despite another Chris Barber goal Magpies couldn’t find the equaliser and succumbed to a 4-3 defeat.

Harleston Magpies 1-12 Holcombe
The last game of the weekend saw a tired Magpies team go down to a skilful and energetic Holcombe team. Magpies sat too deep and were unable to counter the opposition but were still disappointed to go down 12-1. The only goal coming from a Ben Wright short corner.

Harleston entered the second weekend knowing that 6 points would be the minimum needed if they were to avoid relegation. With the Sunday fixtures against National Premier League sides Beeston and Brooklands looking tough the team knew it was Saturday where points needed to be picked up.

Harleston Magpies 6-0 Cannock
Harleston knew that their strict training regime and meticulous preparation stood them in the best possible stead for the upcoming games. Captain Andrew Bedwell had placed extra responsibility on the players this year and here it came good. Magpies controlled the game from the start. The press was letting very little past and the forward line were finding good counter attack opportunities. The only thing initially missing were goals. Fortunately two goals in the last two minutes before half time from Ben Wright and Richard Larkin meant Harleston had the lead they deserved. The second half continued with Harleston dominating. Two more goals from Ben Wright along with one each from Tristan Baynes and Tom Ridley ensured a comprehensive win. In fact Magpies were so dominant Cannock resorted to playing with 7 outfield players in an effort to stem the tide. However excellent math skills from the Magpies’ captain caught them out before any damage was done.

Sheffield Hallam 3-6 Harleston Magpies
The second game of the day saw Harleston complete a thoroughly professional job in seeing off a young Sheffield Hallam team. A tight opening half had Magpies edging ahead 3 times through goals from Chris Barber, Jack Knight and Tristan Baynes. Hallam equalised in the second half but three goals without reply (Ben Wright x2, Simon Hipwell x1) saw Magpies take and maintain control of the second half and ultimately the game.

Brooklands MU 11-4 Harleston Magpies
After a good night’s sleep the Magpies team were fresh faced and bushy tailed going into the last day. Although their nine points did not assure them of safety, four results all had to go against them, including table toppers Holcombe losing twice. Magpies started the game against Brooklands well, taking a two goal lead after six minutes. However the previous day’s efforts seemed to be resting heavy in their legs and Brooklands came into the game scoring at regular intervals to take the game away.

Harleston Magpies 3-3 Beeston
By the time Harleston came to play Beeston (currently 4th in the National Premier League) they were already assured of their place in Div 1 next year. However Harleston were not going to lie down again for one of the big boys of indoor hockey. Magpies bolted out of the blocks with a goal by Jack Knight in the 4th minute. A goal for either side in a tight first half saw Harleston go in at the break with a 2-1 advantage. Two second half goals from Beeston saw them take the lead however Magpies battled to the last. With less than 2 minutes on the clock a swift counter attack saw Jack Knight play a slick one-two with Ben Wright before slotting home the equaliser.

Overall two excellent weekends saw Magpies finish joint 5th in the table with 10 points. This marks the first time since the 2008/09 season that the Men’s Indoor team have remained in a division, having been promoted or relegated every season since then until now. Ben Wright finished with 12 goals placing him 7th in the goal scorers table and thanks go to him for his coaching across the two weekends. Thanks also to Kevin Ridley who ran the bench and managed with his usual calmness and insight. Our thanks also go to Durrants for sponsoring the Men’s and Ladies’ teams and to all those at the club who worked hard to ensure that Harleston Magpies continue to punch well above their weight on the indoor scene.

Finally thanks to all who played. Magpies Squad: Jon Livings (GK), Chris Leek (GK), Andrew Bedwell (C), Tristan Baynes, Richard Larkin, Jack Knight, Thomas Ridley, Chris Barber, Ben Wright, Tom Hughes, Simon Hipwell.

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 3 – St Albans 4

Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club shops, hosted St Albans at The Nest looking to finish on a high before the Christmas break, while also looking for revenge for the 4-1 defeat suffered in the reverse fixture. While player-coach Ben Wright distracted the opposition management the rest of the squad avoided dawdling and warmed up like they meant business.

As the game started Pies immediately showed their intent with some slick moves. Before long, Jack Knight was played through and with clearly no other possible options he was forced to wildly swing at the ball, narrowly missing at the near post. Undeterred, Pies continued pushing and the game picked up to a frantic pace with both teams turning over the ball repeatedly. Eventually it was St Albans who broke the deadlock with a baseline carry before pulling the ball back to score. Magpies continued to push and created more chances but it was St Albans who would stike again when the usually solid Leigh Sitch misjudged a reverse stick pick and Albans snuck in behind to win a corner. Magpies didn’t stand a chance as the ball was riffled in at unstopable speed. 2-0 Albans.

After some stern words at half time, and much soul searching, Magpies returned to the pitch knowing that they had overturned a worse deficit to win at Old Loughts. This optimism was promptly tested when another Albans penalty corner found its way into the net. It fell to Magpies’ other centre back to provide uplifting words of encouragement to the team and it wasn’t long before the frontline made a breakthrough. Ben Wright made a good run down the left of the pitch and fortunately his mis-hit shot fell to Myles King, who confidently slotted home. Magpies finally started building some momentum and pushed to carry on the comeback and it wasn’t long before Knight collected a long aerial and was brought down as he raced past the keeper. Wright selflessly stepped up to take the penalty stroke and make it a one goal game.

Magpies were determined not to concede another and threw their bodies on the line when Leigh Sitch took a nasty blow to his knee. With the resilience of the back 4 allowing a platform for Magpies to continue to build on Man of the match King completed the comeback when he rushed onto Wright’s pass and pushed the ball into the bottom corner. The momentum was all with Magpies and when St Albans went down to 10 men, after a harsh yellow, Pies pushed for the all important winner. Another goal looked certain as the pressure continued to build but as Magpies piled players forward it was Albans who snatched the winner, catching Magpies on the break and rushing up the pitch to slide the ball under Livings. A disappointing result in a game the Pies will feel they could have won.

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

James Meek
James Meek
Tom Sumner
Tom Sumner
Leigh Sitch
Leigh Sitch
Ben Wright
Ben Wright

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 4 – Bedford 4

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Sport entertained Bedford at the nest on a sunny Autumn day to complete their first round of fixtures in the league. Harleston welcomed back Archie Winter who had missed last weeks game due to an England training camp.

Harleston started the game the better side and were soon able to pick the ball off the faltering Bedford back four. Despite turning the ball over regularly it wasn’t until super sub Richard Larkin broke the dead lock after winning the ball the dynamic utility man broke forward before receiving the ball back before slotting in at the back post with only his third touch of the ball. In a half which Harleston started to dominate the home side had to wait for their second goal following a sweeping counter attacking move Archie Winter’s first shot was blocked but the bouncing rebound found Jack Knight at the back post who volleyed the ball into roof of the net. Harleston continued to play well but couldn’t extend their lead. With 30 seconds left to play Harleston were reduced to 10 players when a turn over in midfield meant that Matt Richardson had no choice but to bring his man down and correctly received his marching orders for a 2 minute sit down. This meant that Harleston were forced onto the back foot for the remainder of the half but had Leigh Sitch to thank when he made a clean diving reverse stick tackle in the D to prevent a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Although Harleston had the lead they knew that Bedford would not roll over in the second half. As predicted Bedford came out fighting and continued to press Harleston back into their own 25. With 10 minutes of the second half play a ball into the Harleston D caused confusion after two miss traps the ball fell to a Bedford forward for a simple tap in. This goal woke Harleston up and they soon added a third goal when the front three of Jack Knight, Ben Wright and Archie Winter combined wonderfully to allow Archie Winter with a simple finish at the back post.

Despite continuing to dominate possession some turn over of the ball allowed Bedford to start to look dangerous as their man of the match David Appleton started to cause havoc in midfield. This allowed Bedford to score two quick unanswered short corners, the first with a good deflection and the second with a powerful strike. The game was then completely flipped on it’s head as Bedford took the lead after John Livings had made a good initial save the rebound fell kindly to the Bedford attacker and he lifted the ball over Livings.

Harleston decided to change their press and the aggression paid off as Thomas Ridley won a strong tackle on the right which released Ben Wright who won a short corner. The resultant corner allowed Jack Knight to deflect the ball into the post man and the resultant penalty stroke was tucked away by Ben Wright.

Although the home team salvaged a point it very much felt like 2 dropped. The team know that next week they will need to be at their defensive best as they face St Albans at home.

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley
U18
U18
U18
U18
U18
U18

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Saffron Walden 1 – Harleston Magpies 8

Harleston Magpies travelled to Saffron Walden looking to continue their fabulous run of form. The squad travelled with Archie Winter away on England duties and were still without Robbie Kinsella and although Ben Wright travelled he was far from 100% fit.

Harleston started the game the better side but were occasionally caught out by long balls played through from the Saffron Walden centre backs. In an open 10 minutes it was Harleston who took the lead when a superb solo effort from Jack Knight settled into the bottom corner through goal keepers legs after a mazy run along the base line. Harleston soon found themselves two goals to the good following a couple of short corners which were not injected well eventually Matt Richardson injected the ball with pace and the half fit Ben Wright fired a drag flick past the goalkeeper. Harleston now seemed to be in control but in a twist of fate they were reduced to 10 players when Stuart Leate was sin binned following a robust challenge and conversation with the umpire. This pushed Harleston onto the back foot and eventually Saffron Walden were able to convert one of their short corners following a re-bound.

Despite going into half time only one goal ahead Harelston were not worried knowing that they had played the better hockey of the first half and they knew that a similar performance would ensure that they travelled back with all 3 points.

Harleston again started the second half well looking to hit Saffron Walden on the counter attack. The away side continued to play good flowing hockey and got their rewards from their reliable short corner routines. Sam Paterson scored a quick fire brace rifling in two powerful and accurate short corner drag flicks. Ben Wright then grabbed his second of the day before Jack Knight also scored his second with a neat deflection at the near post into the roof of the net. After scoring his first senior goal last weekend Richard Larkin continued his scoring streak with a neat deflection in front of the goal keeper. Ben Wright then tried to complete his hat trick with a short corner drag flick but his effort lacked the power and accuracy that Sam Paterson’s had shown. Luckily Harleston did win one more corner and Sam Paterson stepped up and completed his hat trick from the top of the circle.

Next Saturday Harleston entertain Bedford at home at 12:00pm.

Photos courtesy Pat Leate

Andrew Bedwell
Andrew Bedwell
Defence
Defence
Leigh Sitch
Leigh Sitch
Matt Richardson
Matt Richardson
Richard Larkin
Richard Larkin
U18
U18

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 6 – Cambridge City 2nds 1

Harleston Magpies hosted Cambridge in a fixture that saw the return of a few familiar faces to the club, Zum Akhter and Donnie Archer were representing Cambridge after their brief stints at Harleston last season. With the harsh weather conditions subsiding the game got underway and chances were created at either end. The majority of possession was with the home side, but the first blood was drawn by ex-magpie Zum Akhter when a short corner flick hit a foot on the line and he neatly converted the subsequent penalty flick.

The home team rallied after this initial setback, dug deep and started producing some attacking flair producing chance after chance. Harleston player coach Ben Wright continued his vein of fine form scoring their first drag flick of the match. The momentum well and truly shifted and the Harleston team’s quick counter-attacking hockey became too much for their opponents. Ben Wright added a second, Jack Knight scored another superb diving deflection before Matt Richardson rounded off the first half scoring with an expertly taken upright reverse stick finish.

With the home team in control they struggled to play at the same intensity as they did in the first half and although John Livings was rarely troubled in goal thanks to excellent defensive displays from Sam Paterson, Andrew Bedwell, Leigh Sitch, Tom Sumner and man of the match Tom Ridley the home side were only able to add two more goals to their tally. Ben Wright completed his hatrick before Richard Larkin calmly sat Donnie Archer down before flicking the ball over him to score his first 1st team goal. Harleston did create more chances but some ambitious finishing meant that they could not extend their lead.

The final score ended 6-1 to the home team who look to continue climbing the table and keep their aspirations of promotion alive.

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley
Tom Sumner
Tom Sumner
U18 Magpie
U18 Magpie
U18 Magpie
U18 Magpie

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston crowned the Kings of comebacks

Old Loughtonians 3 – Harleston Magpies 4

Harleston travelled to Old Loughts to face top of the table and unbeaten Old Loughts in a late push back on Saturday. Harleston travelled without Robbie Kinsella illness and Thomas Ridley holiday leaving the squad with a bare bones 13.

Harleston did make a great start to the game as predicted by player coach Ben Wright following a slow warm up. Harleston soon found themselves a goal down when a long ball found an Old Loughts forward who drew another defender before finding an unmarked team mate on the back post. Harleston continued to work on their press but despite stealing the ball off the Old Loughts players the team were unable to capitalise on their counter attacks.

Harleston’s day soon got worse with another crash ball being expertly deflected off an Old Loughts player into the bottom corner of the goal leaving John Livings with no chance. It could have been worse for the away team as Andrew Bedwell managed to scamper back and clear a goal bound effort off the line. With the team up against it Harleston were dealt another huge blow when James Meek was forced off the field bravely charging down a short corner which hit his knee pad but the damage was too much for the army tough man to carry on.

Harleston continued to battle bravely and managed to hang on until half time just the two goals down.

Harleston came out fighting in the second half knowing that they had created chances in the first half and with a different approach to the press knew that they were still in the game. Again however a lapse in concentration at the back allowed an Old Loughts forward with a simple tap in at the back post. The home crowd now buoyed by the score line were in fine voice but Harleston’s never say die attitude meant that they were still in the game.

Despite Old Loughts continuing to press high Harleston were able to outlet well through man of the match Tom Sumner who utilised his skill and trick box well to get out of some sticky situations. With 17 minutes to play this out letting allowed the midfield and forward unit to start to dominate and they soon worked a good ball down the left which Myles King deflected in at the near post.

Harleston were now playing the better hockey and won a short corner which was expertly deflected by a sliding Jack Knight at the back post. Now with 10 minutes to go and still need goals Harleston continued to play controlled hockey, as a result they soon pulled another goal back through Matt Richardson at a short corner with 6 minutes to go.

Now at level pegging and Old Loughts swaying near the ropes like a tired and stunned boxer Harleston turned the ball over in midfield following a robust challenge from Simon Hipwell and Stuart Leate freed Richard Larkin down the left. The ball was then fed to Ben Wright who found Jack Knight at the back post with a bobbly pass to tap home and hand the advantage to Harleston with 4 minutes remaining.

Harleston knew they would need to weather a storm for these 4 minutes as Old Loughts applied pressure. The whole team were standing strong in face of the pressure until an unfortunate slip from Simon Hipwell handed Old Loughts a short corner with a couple of minutes left. The short corner defensive unit of John Livings, Andrew Bedwell, Leigh Sitch, Matt Richardson and Ben Wright bravely rebuffed numerous short corners for the remainder of the game to hang on for a vital win and inflict Old Loughts first defeat on them.

Next week Harleston face Cambridge City 2’s at home at 2:00pm.

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Matt Richardson
Matt Richardson
James Meek
James Meek
Jack Knight
Jack Knight
Stuart Leate
Stuart Leate

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 5 – 1 Cambridge Uni

After back to back wins, Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport were looking to continue their good run of form by welcoming Cambridge Uni to The Nest. With mixed fortunes from previous games against this side, Magpies knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game.

Cambridge Uni started the game having the majority of the possession but were unable to cause any problems due to a very compact midfield and defence from the home side. Counter-attacks were where magpies created a few half chances in the early stages using the pace of Archie Winter and Ben Wright up front to cause the oppositions back four some problems.

It continued this way, until a counter attack became successful as a beautifully weighted pass from Matt Richardson found player-coach Ben Wright to neatly slot the ball into the goal past the oncoming keeper. Magpies continued to create chances leading to a couple of short corners. One of which Jack Knight couldn’t get on the end of for a deflection and another was cleared off the line by one of the post men.

Cambridge did start to cause a threat in the latter of the first half, working out that aerials were the best option to try break through the Harleston wall. But magpies back four of Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Tom Sumner and Sam Patterson looked both comfortable and confident to deal with any danger that Uni could conjure up. Harleston then made it 2-0 from another beautifully slotted pass finding man of the match Archie Winter to neatly lift over the keeper and hit the backboard. It could have been 3-0 before half-time but a rebound off the keeper and a flick at goal judged to be cleared just in front of the goal legally although many of the Harleston players thought otherwise. Harleston finished 2-0 up at the half time break.

After a successful first half, Magpies kept their same disciplined formation for the start of the second and so was a similar start as the first with Cambridge enjoying most of the early possession. Cambridge became stronger and more intelligent as the game went on causing a bit of confusion especially down our left hand side but the likes of Tom Ridley and Sam Patterson were able to deal with any pressure supplied. Harleston’s biggest threat was looking down the left hand side with some long balls down the line for our forwards to turn and take on defenders 1v1 which led to a few half chances but weren’t converted and a short corner. The corner was well worked and a sliding deflection from Captain Leigh Sitch added another goal to his tally for the season.

Unlike previous weeks Harleston kept their discipline resulting in no cards received in the full 70 minutes making sure no added pressure was able to be caused by the young and athletic University side. Cambridge did have the odd chance in the second half but were unable to convert thanks to John Livings staying strong in goal and keeping his clean sheet still intact. Ben Wright then produced a moment of brilliance from the left hand corner going past 3 defenders and cutting back from the baseline to pass the ball past the keepers left foot for 4-0.

Eventually more pressure supplied by the University side meant they pulled a goal back driving along the baseline and passing it across for a simple tap-in. After that the game became more stretched leaving a lot of open space especially on the right hand side of the pitch for Richard Larkin to drive into and cross the ball hoping for a Magpies forward to get on the end off. The goal did come from the right hand side though with James Meek driving into the D and smashing the ball into the roof of the net leaving the keeper no chance. It could have been at least a couple more from a reverse stick strike from Archie just going wide and an unselfish pass from Andrew Bedwell across the goal but some confusion between two Magpies players meant the score stayed and finished 5-1.

Harleston travel to top of the league Old Loughtonians next weekend hoping to continue their good run of form and end the opposition’s 100% record.

Man of the Match – Archie Winter

Photos Courtesy of Pat Leate

(U18)
(U18)
Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Ben Wright shoots for goal supported by Leigh Sitch (13), James Meek and Andrew Bedwell (2)
Ben Wright shoots for goal supported by Leigh Sitch (13), James Meek and Andrew Bedwell (2)
(U18) under the watchful eye of umpire Peter Lemon
(U18) under the watchful eye of umpire Peter Lemon
Tom Sumner
Tom Sumner

Harleston Magpies Mens 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies men’s 1st XI vs. Letchworth

Won 4-2

After a positive result last week against Chelmsford, Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, were keen to push on and get another win under their belts. Their opposition came as a newly promoted Letchworth team who had started the season off strongly.

Harleston started off the game well looking tight at the back and put Letchworth under pressure straight away with a flurry of good chances; however they were unable to convert, with Jack Knight coming the closest, when his shot that blazed just past the outside of the post.

The breakthrough came halfway through the first half from a well won short corner. Ben Wright added to his goal tally of the season when his drag flick which was seemingly going wide took a large deflection taking it past the keeper to give Harleston the lead. This gave the team confidence to push even harder with Matt Richardson getting the best chance of the remainder of half when he found himself one on one with the goalkeeper, but was unable to convert as he went for power over accuracy, yet achieved neither. This meant the team went into half time leading one nil.

After a rousing team talk from Captain Leigh Sitch and player-coach Ben Wright, the team came out with renewed passion. However, they may have instilled a bit too much passion, with the team getting three cards in six minutes for a trio of bad stick tackles. This really built up pressure and allowed Letchworth to put on the pressure and get on the front foot for the first time in the match. The team somehow managed to make it through this spell without conceding due to some strong defensive work from the whole of the team, only to concede minutes after getting back to full strength taking the score to 1-1. A nervous period of hockey ensued with both teams looking shaky.

Again Harleston capitalised and took the lead after Richardson expertly crossed the ball to Myles King to score his first 1st team goal of the season. At 2-1, Harleston again looked comfortable until Letchworth managed to win a succession of short corners late into the half. These were expertly defended by goalkeeper John Livings and right post man Andrew Bedwell, however Harleston gave away one too many of these corners and a deflected shot made its way into the back of the net, again taking the two teams level.

With five minutes left to go, a draw looked ever likely, but the game was not up yet. The team again pressed on looking to score a late winner which came when, after winning the ball deep into enemy territory; Ben Wright crossed the ball for Archie Winter to expertly volley the ball home at his shoulder height. This gave Harleston the boost they needed and after a final five minutes of strong defensive work and possession keeping the game was out of reach for Letchworth, with the final whistle going just as Harleston won the last short corner of the game. With the last play of the game, Archie winter got his second goal of the game after his drag flick deflected past the keeper, taking the final score to 4-2 in Harleston’s favour.

POTM – Stuart Leate

Scorers – Ben Wright, Myles King, Archie Winter x 2

Photos courtesy of Pat Leate

Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley
Matt Richardson
Matt Richardson
Archie Winter
Archie Winter
Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Matt and Ben
Matt and Ben

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 9 – Chelmsford 2

It was a cold blustery day in Harleston that saw the home side, who are looking to build momentum in a mixed season so far, face a Chelmsford team also searching for form. Harleston went into the game without Richard Larkin (broken toe) and Robbie Kinsella (work commitments).

The home side started strong, as a compact unit and looking to counter at every opportunity. Several fast paced attacks went narrowly wide until Ben Wright stepped up and lead by example, slotting home from a nice move down the wing. Harleston were comfortably on top of their opponents converting several well rehearsed short corners and a penalty stroke thus extending their lead. The home side defended with tenacity, the midfield gave Chelmsford no room to play, highlighted by some superb tackling by Stuart Leate. Unfortunately the aforementioned Magpies stalwart was harshly punished for knocking the ball away and the visitors converted their short corner with a neatly deflected shot bouncing over the Harleston keepers outstretched stick. Harleston went into half time 4-1 up.

Harleston changed their press in the second half which caused momentum to swing towards Chelmsford as the Essex side pressed higher up the pitch. However, a smart call from the two Magpies centre backs reverted the press to normal and proceedings similar to the first half were restored. Despite being reduced to 10 players for short periods of the game Harleston were able to extend their lead with Ben Wright scoring an impressive 5 goals and it was a great display by the team all round with the match finishing 9-2. Other scorers were Matt Richardson, Jack Knight, Archie Winter and Sam Paterson. The Chelmsford second goal came from another short corner when two Magpies players broke earlier leaving Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell and John Livings trying to defend their goal with tow less players than normal.

Harleston travel to Letchworth next week looking to build on their impressive display, Letchworth who were promoted to Premier A this season have made a good start to the season, last week they beat Ipswich 6-5.

Photos are courtesy of Pat Leate.

James Meek
James Meek
Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Will Martin
Will Martin
Thomas Ridley
Thomas Ridley
Leigh Sitch
Leigh Sitch

Harleston Magpies Mens 1st team match report

Ipswich 3 – Harleston 3

Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sports travelled to local rivals Ipswich for their third game of the season. In a tense battle, it was Ipswich who took the lead when a Harleston attack broke down which allowed a quick counter attack and Ipswich converted their chance. Harleston were not behind for long when Leigh Sitch grabbed his second of the season from a short corner to equalise. Harleston then took the lead when Ben Wright tapped in from close range following a good ball carry from Jack Knight.

Unfortunately Harleston could not hang onto their lead as they conceded a stroke from a short corner which ex Magpie Ben Underwood dispensed.

The second half flowed in a similar fashion to the first, with 10 minutes to play Harleston regained the lead with Ben Wright grabbing his second from a short corner. Harleston again could not see out the half and conceded with 5 second left to play meaning the game finished 3-3.

Next week Harleston face Chelmsford.

Photos are courtesy of Pat Leate.

Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Matt Richardson
Matt Richardson
Stuart Leate
Stuart Leate
Tom Sumner
Tom Sumner

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1st team match report

Harleston Magpies 3 – City of Peterborough 4

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sports entertained City of Peterborough who like Harleston had won one game and lost their other to St Albans in the league.

Peterborough started the better side pressing Harleston back forcing the home side into a couple of unforced turn overs which called man of the match John Livings into making a couple of smart saves early on. Harleston did start to find their feet and once the team adjusted to Peterborough’s main threat from left half back the team were able to cause problems for Peterborough. Following a long corner Harleston took the lead after a ball hammered in by Andrew Bedwell was expertly finished by Ben Wright in the circle with a smart deflection.

Harleston could only hold their lead for five minutes when Peterborough converted their second short corner of the day with an unstoppable finish into the top right hand corner of the goal. The game was then turned on it’s head when Peterborough took the lead when an aerial caused confusion in the Harleston defence which allowed a Peterborough forward to finish from close range.

The final 10 minutes of the first half belonged to Harleston who despite pressing well and creating opportunities were unable to convert their chances that they were creating due to some excellent defending from the Peterborough short corner team.

The second half started in the same manner that the first half finished. Harleston were pressing Peterborough well and getting turn over ball and Peterborough continued to look dangerous on counter attack opportunities when their players could carry at pace. Against the run of pay it was Peterborough who extended their lead when they won a stroke which was considered harsh by the Harleston team but at the same time Harleston were lucky to escape without a card. Peterborough converted the stroke well and were now leading 3-1.

With frustrations growing for the home side they were reduced to 10 players when Sitch was sin binned. Harleston continued to play well while down to 10 with John Livings making more smart saves from close range. Peterborough did extend their lead to 4-1 before Harleston mounted a commendable fight back helped by the fact that Peterborough were reduced to 9 players. Matt Richardson finished expertly from a narrow angle following a long ball carry. Harleston then grabbed their third when Robbie Kinsella finished after a broken down short corner. Harleston continued to push for a an equaliser but the time was against them and Peterborough were able to hang on for the win.

Next week Harleston travel to Ipswich for a local derby.

Man of the match – John Livings.

John Livings
John Livings
Will Martin
Will Martin
Sam Paterson
Sam Paterson
Richard Larkin
Richard Larkin

Photos are courtesy of Pat Leate

Harleston Magpies Men’s first team match report

Harleston Magpies 4 – Dereham 2

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport faced local rivals Dereham at the nest on their second league game of the season. Richard Larkin dropped out of the squad due to a prior commitment and Will Hunt going travelling. But they welcomed back Matt Richardson and James Meek both available after work commitments last weekend.

Having played well but lost last weekend Harleston went into the game high with confidence knowing that if they played like they had done in their previous game they would collect the 3 points.

Harleston started well pressing Dereham high up the pitch forcing the away side into numerous turnovers. Despite having the majority of possession Harleston took a little while to fully test ex Magpie goalkeeper Matt Collinge in the Dereham net. Harleston did convert one of their chances when Ben Wright fired home from Harleston’s second short corner of the game. Despite continuing to play well Harleston struggled to break down a rigid Dereham defence. The frustration from the home team started to become apparent as confusion as to which press they were using lead to a Dereham midfielder carrying past two Harleston players before feeding a forward who finished from close range.

This set back spurred Harleston on and despite turning the ball over on too many occasions managed to regain the lead when Wright grabbed his second following a slick short corner routine. Harleston continued to press well but were unable to extend their lead before half time.

The second half started in a similar manner to the first. Dereham continued to look for long passes to their high forwards who didn’t track back. This created a very open game which played into both teams hands. It was Harleston who took advantage of this when Jack Knight tested Matt Collinge and the ball fell kindly to Ben Wright who completed his hat trick with a cool volley.

I’ll discipline then cost Harleston as they were reduced to 10 players twice for stick tackles. It was at this point that Dereham managed to pull a goal back following a rocket of a deflection from a well worked short corner that left Ben Wright with no chance on the right post. Harleston soon restored their two goal advantage when an aerial from Matt Richardson found Archie Winter who again released Will Martin with another aerial, the dynamic midfielder’s initial lob was saved but he finished well with a reverse stick back hand.

Next week Peterborough travel to Harleston for a 3:45pm push back for what promises to be another tough test.

Photos are courtesy of Pat Leate
Andrew Bedwell
Andrew Bedwell
Archie Winter
Archie Winter
Ben Wright
Ben Wright
Jack Knight and Ben Wright
Jack Knight and Ben Wright
Leigh Sitch
Leigh Sitch