Category Archives: mens 1s reports


Mens 1st Team v Chelmsford (Home (L) W 5-0

Harleston Magpies 1st Team sponsored by Dynamic Sports Shop hosted Chelmsford on a wet and windy day.After a disappointing draw away, the hosts were keen to put in a good showing for the magpies faithful who had decided to brave the elements. Pies started with great intensity with the midfield of Thomas Ridley, Tim Whiteman and Matt Richardson putting immediate pressure on their midfield and asserting their dominance. Before long the deadlock was broken after some silky skills from Whiteman created space for Simon Hipwell to slide the ball into the D. Ben Watson was on hand to deflect the ball under the chelmsford keeper to claim his first goal for magpies. Magpies continued to push forward and the second goal came after Richard Larkin slipped the ball under his arm to Hipwell who moved it across for Richardson to calmly slot the ball into the top corner.  Half time finished 2-0 to the hosts.
Magpies started the second half as they finished the first and continued to pressure the opposition. The back line looked composed as they repeatedly denied Chelmsford the opportunity to get back into the game. Pies scored their 3rd after quick thinking from Andrew Bedwell at a short corner who spotted Richardson on the back post. Richardson took his time but eventually slotted the ball home. Keen to continue the pressure, the whole magpies team harried the opposition looking to win the ball back as soon as possible. It wasn’t long before man of the match Thomas Ridley showed his class in the D and slipped the ball under the keeper for hipwell to deflect home. Richardson almost completed his hat trick with the last play of the game but a determined Richard larkin was on hand to steal the final goal, and glory, with the last touch of the game. The final score finished 5-0 after a really encouraging performance from a slightly depleted magpies team.


Mens 1st v Saffron Walden ( Away (L) W 7-4 )

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops finished the first half of the season by taking flight to Saffron Walden Hockey Club. It was a brisk morning and after a nervy pitch inspection was cleared, the wagons rolled from Harleston with the team determined to put in a good performance after two weeks without a game due to the cold weather. 
Harleston began the game brightly with the midfield and forward line finding themselves in threatening positions and within five minutes the pies had won themselves two corners but failed to capitalise. Then, with Harleston looking to mount another attack, a misplaced pass let Saffron Walden start a counter attack which they finished emphatically to take the lead. Harleston reposed well though and man of the match Archie Winter scored two high quality goals. The first a rocket on the back-hand from the top left corner of the circle into the bottom right corner of the goal and the second, another classy finish, with a two-touch finish in the circle struck hard, once again passed the keepers left foot. Harleston then faced a mini-collapse with individual defending errors letting Saffron Walden score two quick goals to take the lead 3-2. Harleston however responded well and went into the break 5-3 up with two deflected goals. The first coming from Stuart Leate who converted a deflection with the natural finishing ability he is famed for after a superb delivery crashed in by captain Leigh Sitch. The second from Pete Bale who again deflected a hammer blow of a ball in from fellow full back Andrew Bedwell. Both goals coming with celebrations fitting with their superb finish. The third was a sharp finish from Jack Hobbs from close range after good work on the right from Sam Patterson. 
Understandably, Harleston were disappointed with the defensive naivety shown in the first half and after clear boundaries were set, came out with a much improved and controlled performance that saw them score two more goals. The first was arguable Harleston’s best of the season. It started deep in their own half with Bedwell playing the ball into Hipwell, who then became the pivotal figure in a 6 person move of minimal touches that resulted in the returning Will Martin finishing from 6 yards out. A run away goal from Saffron Walden once again reduced the arrears but it was to be Harleston day when they scored from a short corner with Tim Whiteman latching onto a bullet delivery from Archie Winter with a single-handed deflection from an impossible angle that rifled passed the ears of the man on the line. Final score 7-4.
Man of the match Archie Winter reflected afterwards: “we were extremely disappointed to have let in so many soft goals today but overall our attacking intensity and ball retention was massively improved from recent weeks. It was great to welcome Jake Sewell and Will Martin back into the side which demonstrates the strength of our squad. Overall it’s been a great first half of the season and despite the odd result, we have played some expansive, attacking hockey that has been enjoyable to play in. 


Mens 1st Team v St Albans 1 ( Home (L) L 1-2 )

Magpies welcomed St Albans to the nest in what promised to be the game of the season. Both teams vying for promotion, with St Albans top but Harleston just behind with an unbeaten record in the league. The game started at a fast pace, with both teams pressing high up the pitch. It was Harleston who had the majority of possession and nearly took the lead with a short corner on 15 minutes with Sam Patterson beating the keeper for pace but unfortunately also the outside of the post. Half-way through the game St Albans began to assert their authority and it was Harleston’s turn to absorb pressure but thankfully Harleston went into the first half with the scores even due to goal keeper John Living’s crucial save and Andrew Bedwell, Giles Flat and Leigh Sitch’s telling interceptions.
Harleston started the second half extremely brightly and after a prolonged period of pressure broke the deadlock after patient build-up play against a deep lying defensive. It was captain Leigh Sitch who provided the pass into the circle and former Canadian international Elliott Marsh who deflected the ball into the goal. St Albans reacted strongly and immediately turned up the heat and within five minutes the scores were even after they converted a penalty corner to make it 1-1. As the half wore on Harleston once again began to dominate proceedings with Thomas Ridley and David Gilbert showing attacking intent that nearly earned the team a goal.  With fifteen minutes to go Harleston had a barrage of short corners but despite their efforts they lacked the potency of their rivals and failed to score from 13 penalty corners over the course of the game. As the game entered the final moments there only looked like one winner with Harleston camped in the opposition half rallying attack after attack. Then, with 1 minute to go the unthinkable happened and a counter attack from St Albans resulted in only their third penalty corner of the game and crucially their second goal: this time from the right castle into the bottom left corner. With 20 seconds left Harleston mounted one more attack but it was all too late and the final whistle blew on not only the game but possibly Harleston’s East Premier League title ambitions.
A devastating way to end a game in which the Harleston guys showed so much heart and determination. Player coach Tim Whiteman commented after the game, “this was an absolutely gutting result and didn’t reflect the effort or quality the lads demonstrate today. It does however illustrate the importance of penalty corners in tight games of hockey and on reflection we didn’t execute our corners as well as our opposition.  This performance does however demonstrate huge progress and myself and the club are extremely proud of their efforts today.”


Mens 1st v Cambridge University 1 (Away (L) W 2-1 )

It was a cold and windy day as Harleston, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, made the relatively short journey down to Cambridge university. After a professional warm up of cricket and duck duck goose, the boys were raring to go.  
Harleston yet again started the game slowly with Cambridge piling on pressure early on. Despite this, the defence stayed solid and absorbed all the pressure. As the game descended into chaos, it was actually harleston who took the lead. Under high pressure from Dave Gilbert, the cambridge defender chucked an aerial off the side of the pitch. The resulting sideline was then the basis for an exhilarating attack in which Dave Gilbert and Jack Hobbs bounced the ball around between each other before Gilbert’s shot was deftly volleyed home by Sam Moore.
Having taken the lead, Harleston couldn’t find a way to extend their lead despite having multiple chances and this allowed cambridge to slowly claw their way back into the game. Harleston defended resolutely and repelled Cambridge whilst being unable to score themselves, thus leaving the score at 1-0 to the pies at half time. 
As the teams lined up for the second half, all Dave Gilbert could think about was rinsing the entirety of the Cambridge team from pushback and scoring a screamer. Needless to say this did not happen. Again the game became an end to end affair with chances coming at both ends. 
It was Cambridge who scored the next goal when a well worked move resulted in one of their forwards finding himself unmarked with only the keeper to beat and slotted home comfortably. 
Harleston looked to bounce back and had a plethora of chances zip past the back post with no result. However Cambridge also found themselves with chances to score, the only things preventing them from doing so being some brilliant saves by eventual MOTM John Livings and a couple of excellent goal line clearances by Andrew Bedwell.
Whilst Harleston expertly kept the Cambridge boys from scoring, the forward line surged forwards desperately looking for a winner. The goal finally came when Archie Winter threw a huge aerial over the top of the Cambridge defence to boyfriend Jack Hobbs who expertly controlled and sliced the ball past the keeper. 
The sides then returned to their relentless onslaught on the opposing defence but alas there were no more goals to come. 
The game finished 2-1 to harleston. Despite a very below average performance, the team must be commended on their willpower and determination to pull through and get the result. Next week the pies go against St Albans in a top of the table clash. Definitely not one to miss.


Mens 1st Team v Blueharts 1 (Home (L) W 5-0)

Mens 1st Team Match Report, Sponsored by Dynamic Sports Club.

The Mens First Team Squad started their Saturday morning with a pants only photoshoot to raise awareness of Testicular Cancer. ‘It’s On The Ball’ raises the importance of checking yourself and more information can be found on their website (Link). As expected numerous members of the club came to laugh and mock, but the boys were all in good spirits. All photos can be seen on the website if you dare to look.

This weekend’s action saw game number 9 of the season for the Men’s 1’s. They themselves were looking to get back to winning ways after drawing last week away in Bedford. The squad felt confident going into the game against rivals Blueharts who have struggled to pick up points this season in Premier A.

Harleston started the game strong with early dominance in possession and intensity. With many tactical and formational changes implemented from player coach Tim Whiteman, Pies managed to play with freedom when out-letting and carried the ball forwards with real purpose. This indeed created much chaos for Blueharts who were unable to cope. A fellow Pie Giles Flatt was also unable to cope as he subbed himself on for nobody and Harleston played a small period of time with 12 players on the pitch. This went unnoticed by a blown out Blueharts team. 

With magical spells of play Magpies were the team to take an early lead. Dave Gilbert pass don’t dribble approach found himself with plenty of time and space in the opposition circle. He calmly slapped the ball first time over the shoulder of the opposition’s goalkeeper into the ‘top right corner’ of the goal.

Pies then added a quick 2nd, which came from a particular powerful carry along the Blueharts baseline from Sam Moore, he looked up and passed the ball eventually to an unmarked Giles Flatt in a power position were he placed the ball into the goal. 2-0 Magpies. Promoting defenders forward and getting ahead of the ball was instructed by manager Kevin Ridley and this was how Andrew Bedwell found himself with the ball in the Bluehart circle. His effort towards goal was stopped on the line by a body of the Blueharts defender. Penalty-flick was awarded from the umpire. Youngster and England boy Archie Winter capitalize with a powerful push down the centre of the goal after handcuffing blueharts goalkeeper.

Blueharts tried their very best to reply by scoring themselves but found it impossible to get past Harleston’s solid defence. In particular Jonty Gosling showing Coach Whiteman why he shouldn’t be dropped with a stunning first half display. From this counter attacking fencing dual between the two sides, Dave Gilbert added his second for the day and Harlestons 4th by rounding the ball past Bluehart GK in classy style. Magpies went into half time 4 goals to the good.

After an encouraging first half display of hockey magpies looked to mirror that stunning first half performance in a quest to score more. Chances came in enormous fashion in the second half for Harleston from individual such as ‘drag-flicking specialist’ Sam Patterson who didn’t convert past the Blueharts goalkeeper with a number of short corners he had. Simon Hipwell was another who missed three consecutive attempts to score from 3 yards out with the post stopping his final effort.

But alas, Simon made up for his effort with a ‘wonder goal’ reverse stick shot from the top of the circle and made the vital 5th goal for Harleston’s tally.

With this Blueharts knowingly shut up shop and made life difficult for Magpies to play as goal difference maybe something both teams treasure come the end of the season. Harleston closed-out the game in a professional manor and the final whistle blew. Jonty Gosling in particular showed his young talented class right until the very end and was deservingly man of the match. The majority of the team came off the pitch in disappointment after having a handful of chances but were unable to capitalise upon them. However another solid performance and clean sheet builds towards next week’s away fixture against Cambridge University. 


Goal List:

Dave (UEA) Gilbert (2FG)

Giles Flatt (1FG)

Archie Winter (1PF)

Simon Hipwell (1FG)


MOM: Jonty Gosling


Mens 1st Team v Bedford 1st (Away (L) D 1-1)

On a brisk, yet beautiful, armistice autumn afternoon Harleston, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, started the game brightly but were matched by Bedfords intensity. After a cagey 15 minutes the game turned more chaotic, with both sides seeing players spend time on the naughty step. 
Although determined, both sides lacked enough quality to break the deadlock and one would be forgiven for thinking that they were watching a ping pong match. It was Magpies, however, who first managed to find the net after excellent play by Archie Winter to show great composure after a corner-breakdown to find unretired Canadian international (52 caps) Elliott Marsh in the perfectly placed power position, guiding the ball phenomenally in and lighting up the game. 
But alas, Magpies lead was short lived. Bedford replied with a goal of their own coming from an unexpected aerial which wasn’t dealt with by Captain Fantastic Leigh Sitch (3900 Magpies caps). After collecting the ball the attacker powerfully crossed the ball which escaped the outstretched foot of goalkeeper Chris Leek, and found Magpies’ very own Jonty Gosling, who in a charitable frame of mind, diverted the ball into the goal to level the score and make it 1-1 at halftime.
After an inspired team talk, Harleston quickly found themselves 2-1 down after some poor defending and missed tackles allowed Bedford’s calm and collected forward to drive the ball base line and goalkeeper Chris Leek, who targeted both man and ball, came away with only man: penalty stroke. Magpies turned to Chris Leek to keep them level but was handcuffed by a bullet that drifted past him into the net. The goal sent Bedford into a 2-1 lead and put the crowd into a state of and ecstasy, which was only broken the reverberations felt all the way back in Harleston from which an angry roar was heard from the veteran 5th team development coach. 
A spirited response saw Magpies group together to fight against the grain and withstand an aerial bombardment. Magpies managed to get back on to level terms after a rare piece of quality provided by Sam Patterson to find level-headed lumberjack Pete Bale in the most powerful of power positions to sweep home the equaliser. 
With the score tied at 2-2, temperatures rose on the pitch with both teams once again losing players to cards. Despite Magpies knocking on the door with an intensity which was earlier missing in the game, genuine chances were too few and too far between to find the goal once more. The game finished 2-2 and Magpies retired to the clubhouse to enjoy watching some boxing on the big screen.


Mens 1st Team v Spalding 1 (Home (L) W 13-0)

On a wet and blustery day, Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops welcomed Spalding to the nest, hoping to continue their good run of form and keep the pressure on league leaders St Albans. Magpies immediately started the game with intent committing players forward and looking for an early breakthrough. It was Spalding though that had the first clear cut opportunity of the game. A hopeful aerial from the back eluded both Leigh Sitch and Tom Sumner in defence and an opportunistic Spalding player raced behind the flapping defenders to set up a one on one with Chris Leek in the Magpies goal. Unwilling to give up his clean sheet so early in the game, Leek showed excellent composure to force the striker wide and then safe the shot with his trailing leg. Magpies responded well and it wasn’t long before Matt Richardson, showing that the best players can play in any position, powered the opening goal past the Spalding keeper. With their tails up, it wasn’t long before the Magpies lead was doubled when Sam Patterson, the self-titled league’s best flicker, added some credibility to his claim with a bulleted drag flick that flew in off the crossbar. Patterson shortly added his second goal as he showed excellent close control in the D to make room for himself to slide in from his reverse. The goals continued to flow for Magpies as Archie Winter got in on the act, first almost knocking the Spalding keeper over with a vicious shot before adding another as he followed up his own short corner with a composed volley into the net. 5-0 to Harleston at half-time.Some spurring words from player-coach Whiteman (adding new meaning to the term ‘Pep-talk’) had Magpies starting the second half eager to continue the good form of the first half. After missing what can only be described as a boat-load of chances in the first half, Simon Hipwell – proving that if you give a monkey enough chances at goal even he will score – finally added his name to the score sheet as he followed in on a short corner. Sam Patterson then completed his hat-trick when he added Magpies’ 7th of the game. At this point in the game Harleston could have taken their foot of the gas but if anything they increased the energy further and continued to push for more goals. The excellent Tom Sumner was commanding from the back, stepping in front of the opposition on numerous occasions to win the ball back and set Magpies off on the attack. Veteran defender Andrew Bedwell could only watch this man-of-the-match performance from the side lines and must be worried at the emergence of this young, athletic talent. With Tom Sumner dictating from the back and the midfield working tirelessly to build attack after attack Dave Gilbert soon added two more goals for the Pies, showing a strikers instinct to be in the right place at the right time. Jake Sewell was quickest to respond after his first shot was saved to pounce on the rebound and ensure that he got a goal to reward his excellent play. Jack Hobbs added two more goals to the Magpies tally as Harleston continued to pile on the pressure, not letting Spalding have any time on the ball. The day’s scoring was completed as Sewell added his 2nd, and Magpies 13th, with an excellent back post tap-in. This rounded off a fantastic performance from the home side and the excellent effort from the whole team leaves them looking to continue the good form next week as they travel to Bedford for what will be a very tightly contested game.


Mens 1st v Letchworth 1 (Away (L) W 5-1)

Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops travelled to Letchworth for what promised to be a tough encounter. Harleston welcomed Giles Flatt to the squad for the first time this season and welcomed back Elliot Marsh who had recovered from his virus but travelled without veteran defenders Andrew Bedwell and Richard Larkin. 
With most of the squad arriving in plenty of time Harleston started the game well with Dave Gilbert showing his intent and dribbling ability from the push back on a particularly sticky pitch. Despite starting well Harleston struggled to find the break through that their play and pressure deserved and it was Letchworth who took the lead through a powerful drag flick at a short corner. Harleston however, showed character in a chaotic period of the game and snatched a deserved equaliser when Dave Gilbert bundled the ball home from close range. 
Harleston were dealt a blow at 1-1
when dynamic centre back Elliott Marsh hamstring blew out which meant his afternoon of hockey was done. Despite this Harleston continued to press forward and grabbed their second goal following good play down the left the ball was passed to Pete Bale in the circle who calmly found Tim Whiteman who used all of his international experience to finish powerfully into the top left hand corner of the goal. Harleston continued to battle hard in the first half but at times carried into flat sticks which saw attacks end without a final outcome.
At half time coach Whiteman asked for more composure on the ball amongst the chaos and more patterns of play that had lead to ‘the best goal Prem A had ever seen’ from himself. 
Harleston started the second half well and soon extended their lead when Dave Gilbert grabbed his second of the game from close range. Harleston were now completely in control of the game with the midfielder enforcer Thomas Ridley putting in a man of the match performance he was able to break up many of the Letchworth attacks allowing Harleston to spring forward. 
Harleston had chances to extend their lead, Simon Hipwell went close after out muscling two defenders in the D his powerful shot was well saved. Archie Winter and Tim Whiteman also went close before Jack Hobbs finished smartly from close range. With the game virtually put to bed Harleston manger Kevin Ridley was able to update the supporters at home with many tweets about the game. 
Letchworth stepped up their game and tried to press Harleston but the defensive line of Leigh Sitch, Tom Sumner, Jonty Gosling, Sam Paterson and Giles Flatt were able to play out well. To release the pressure Tim Whiteman dropped back to rain some huge aerials down on the Letchworth defence which they couldn’t handle.   
Following one of these aerials Letchworth were able to counter attack and John Livings had to make two smart saves before feeding the ball into midfield to start a counter attack. The ball eventually fell to Dave Gilbert in the circle who was allowed two attempts to finish and complete his hat-trick much to the joy of his loyal band of travelling fans from Buckinghamshire. The match finished 5-1 with Harleston wrapping up their first away victory of the season. 
Next week Harleston take on Spalding at home with the push back at 12-00pm. Spalding sit second bottom of the league currently on one point. 

Mens1st Team Match Report 21st October 2017

Mens 1st Team v Ipswich 1(Home (L) W 8-0)

Saturday was hockey’s very own derby day as Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport took on local rivals Ipswich Hockey Club for bragging rights in the area. Harleston started very brightly and within five minutes had taken the lead with David Gilbert, finishing low into the right corner. Gilbert was at it again moments later sweeping in a one-time shot underneath the keeper after good work on the right from Matthew Richardson. A storm was brewing at Webread but not just the weather, it was clear this Harleston team were determined to put last weeks disappointing result to bed. After more pressure Harleston went 3-0 up before half-time with Tim Whiteman, making in first appearance of the season after 12 years away from the club, lifting the ball over the keeper after excellent work from Jonty Gosling and Archie Winter. Half time: 3-0.

In the second half Magpies remained relentless in their pursuit of a fourth, which was found in an unlikely manner with defender Andrew Bedwell finding the net via a Thomas Ridley pass after a short corner break-down. Harleston continued to pass the ball around confidently, finding space in the circle and after good pressure from Stuart Leate and the excellent Thomas Sumner, Sam Patterson was released to slap in for the fifth. Patterson then added his second and the teams sixth with an accurate finish into the bottom corner. Mid-way through the second half Ipswich went down to ten and Harleston applied further pressure and after an excellent turnover in midfield found Whiteman who scored his second with a back-hand finish low into the near corner. Gilbert, Leate and Bale all went close shortly after and eventually Harleston added a 8th with Archie Winter rounding off a fine game by guiding the ball in at the far post.

Coach Tim Whiteman commented after the game, “after letting a 2-0 goal slip last week we were searching for an immediate reply and we certainly got it. This was a performance we can gain significant confidence from as it demonstrated huge progress from previous weeks efforts, particularly on the ball with our passing game.”


Next week Harleston travel to Letchworth who currently sit mid table in the league. M

Mens 1st Team Match Report 14th October 2017

Mens 1st Team vs Chelmsford 1st Team (Away (L) D 2-2)

An injury depleted Harleston Magpies team sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops travelled to Chelmsford, full of confidence after an unbeaten start to the season.

Magpies however, were not able to inject some of the intensity that player coach Tim Whiteman had instilled into the team since the beginning of pre season. The first 20 minutes for magpies players was arguably some of the worst of the season.

However, the squad reflected on the values of what it means to be a ‘pie’ and managed to raise the intensity to a respectable standard. This was rewarded by some brilliant build up play down the right hand side through Tom Sumner who appears to be maturing likes fine wine. Simon Hipwell managed to use his assets to block off defenders after a breakdown of play in the D whilst a rip roarer of a strike from eventual MOM Matt Richardson gave Magpies the lead.

After a warning at half time from Player Coach Whiteman, who demanded more from his team, and reflected on the fact he himself needs to engage with the spirit of the game, Magpies were keen to convert more chances and put this game to bed.

Magpies back 4 headed by self coined ‘veterans’ Leigh Sitch and Andrew Bedwell raised the tempo of transfer. This gave subsequent room to new signing Jonty Gosling at left half who linked up with new Vice Captain Thomas Ridley, who linked with the forward line well to win a short corner. A slip flick from Thomas Ridley was deflected off a Chelmsford player and Magpies were 2-0 up.

With 4 minutes to go, Chelmsford weren’t disheartened and chased the game hard. After a magpies turnover and subsequent Chelmsford breakaway resulted in a goal, the home team had theirs tails up. Chelmsford won a shortcorner after full pressing a tired magpies side, which they neatly finished to end the game 2-2.Magpies players felt disheartened after having most of the possession during the encounter. However, the result was probably a fair one with magpies far from their best on the day and knew they are capable of much, much more.

Next week Magpies host a struggling Ipswich in what promises to be a riveting East Anglian derby. Push back is at 2:00pm at Harleston.

Mens 1st Team Match Reports 7th October 2017

Mens 1st Team vs City Of Peterborough 1st Team (Home (L) D 1-1)

It was a grey day at the nest as Magpies welcomed City of Peterborough who were unbeaten heading into the game. The game started with real intensity and Magpies picked up where they had left off the week before with a real dominant showing in the first 10 minutes but not coming away with a goal. The game became very even with chances at both ends. Magpies were first to strike though with a dinked reverse stick ball from Sam Paterson through to Archie Winter who calmly slotted a reverse sweep through the keepers leg from an angle.

The game became slightly more in favour of Peterborough towards the end of the first half and they were soon to equalise through a nice well worked team goal. The game became very heated towards the end of the half and Magpies found themselves unfairly down to 10 when Archie Winter was shown green with a minute to go.

The second half started in the same vein as the first but with Peterborough in attack and as Magpies relieved the pressure through the pairing of Andrew Bedwell and Leigh Sitch the ball found it’s way to Pete Bale who managed to pick out Archie Winter who was fresh on from the card. He was left with a 1v1 and who coolie slotted a reverse from a tight angle to put the pies 2-1 up. The game became back and forward with both teams having chances and Peterborough were next to take the chance from a well worked short corner and a good deflection which ended up going in off a magpies players body.

As the game ticked by the chances started to build up for magpies but they were unable to convert any of them. The game ended 2-2 with Magpies rueing a few chances but they look forward to next week away at Chelmsford next weekend where the aim will be to pick up maximum points.

Mens 1st Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Mens  1st Team vs Saffron Walden 1st Team (Home (L) W 6-1)

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1s sponsored by Dynamic Sport welcomed Saffron Walden to the Nest on a late September sunny afternoon. The pies welcomed back Will Martin and Tom Sumner to their first league game this season after missing last week due to various commitments.

Harleston started with an intensity that Saffron Walden were shocked with but one they could not match. It wasn’t long till this intensity paid off, Will Martin started a mazy run in midfield beating numerous players then ending with a turn on the base line to deliver the ball across the D to the eagerly waiting magpies attackers. After the cross being rebounded off the keeper, Will Martin once again found it at the end of his stick only to slot the ball in the back of the goal. This excellent intensity continued and was rewarded with Magpies being awarded a short corner, and up stepped Sam Paterson (the self-proclaimed best flicker in the league), who delivered to his name and rifled in the ball into the roof of the net. Magpies continued to assert their dominance with numerous circle entries from long phases of continually possession of the ball, and it wasn’t long till a short corner was won through Jack Hobbs placing the ball on a defenders foot. With Paterson off the pitch UEA Dave stepped up and slotted the ball in-between the goalie and the postman to add to his ever increasing tally for the season.

The intensity began to die down and the Pies allowed Saffron Waldron to string a few passes together, Saffron Walden were then awarded a short due to some poor knowledge of the rules. After an aggressive number one run the Saffron Waldron player glided past him, to send the ball towards the bottom corner, alone for a big left kicker from last weeks Man of the Match John Livings to save it. But the danger wasn’t cleared and a cross into the danger area was ricocheted off a Saffron Waldron stick into the back of the net, 3-1 to Harleston. Magpies responded in the best way possible by going on the attack and winning another short, with the first shot being saved, the ball fell to the feet of Andrew Bedwell, who calmly slotted the ball into an empty goal for his first goal of the season!! The umpire’s whistle blew and at half time it stood at 4-1, after a positive team talk from coach Tim Whiteman, it was the home team that came out once again with the greater intensity. The second half started will with a number of good passes being stringed together starting all the way from the back, after a wide lead from the Birthday Boy Jake Sewell he collected the ball and composed himself to cross the ball into the D to find UEA Dave, who collected it and finished the ball with calmness and composure to score his second of the game.

It wasn’t long once again till Magpies had another short corner, Sam Paterson had the chance for another, but fluffed his flick and the ball ended up at the feet of Simon Hipwell, who topped his shot but it was the bobbling ball that deceived the post man who missed it completely. The pressure continued with numerous short corners being won, giving Patterson the chance to add to his tally, but all his flicks shot over the bar, with some nearly clearing the fence behind. The final whistle then went with the score ending 6-1 to the Magpies, a very good start to the season with the first home game.

Next week the Magpies welcome City of Peterborough who drew 4-4 with Wapping this weekend. The match promises to be very competitive so lots of support welcome please. Push back at 2:00pm.


MOM – Will Martin

Mens 1st Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Mens 1st Team vs Wapping 1st Team (Away (L) D 1-1)

It was a blustery day at the Lee Valley hockey stadium which saw recently relegated from National League Wapping take on fellow promotion candidates Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport. The magnificent £30 million pound arena situated in the Olympic Park was prepped and ready for what would surely be one of the season’s top clashes. As action got underway it was the home team Wapping asserting their dominance and winning a short corner within the first 5 minutes. However, they were unable to convert and found that in open play, whilst they retained the lion’s share of possession, Harleston’s stalwart defence stood strong. The visitors soaked up the pressure and had several counter attacks that in truth should have been capitalised on, notably coming from some superb work from Dave Gilbert and Jack Hobbs.

The best chance of the half came when the ball broke to Harleston midfielder Pete Bale who showed a deft touch inside the circle to win a penalty corner off of the opposing defenders foot, however advantage was played and Matthew Richardson capitalised with a ferocious shot that went narrowly wide of the back post. The umpire’s whistle blew and at half time it stood at 0-0, Wapping given their possession probably slightly frustrated not to be ahead. However, as the second half started it was Harleston that came out firing. They clearly had a plan to work harder than their opposition and to apply pressure all over the pitch and it paid off as they started winning possession further and further up the pitch.

The game was at fever pitch, both teams working incredibly hard to break the other down but it was the visitors that struck first with new signing Dave Gilbert breaking through with a 1 on 1 before calmly gliding around the flailing keeper and sliding the ball into the net. The game looked done and dusted with Harleston snatching 3 points at a venue which in truth should drop very few points this season. With 30 seconds to go the Wapping centre back took charge and went on a strong run into the Harleston half before riding several tackles and being scythed down by a slightly reckless challenge by Jack Hobbs. The final whistle went and the home team had a short corner to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat. A well worked routine saw a deflection end up in the back of the net and the game ended 1-1. A fantastically played first fixture that means two big teams failed to capitalise and gain ground on their rivals.

Mens 1st Team Match Report 16th September 2017

PLUM Tournament

Magpies 5-1 Letchworth
Magpies travelled south to Redbridge to play two matches in their final preseason fixtures. With Horsham pulling out, Magpies first fixture was against East Prem A rivals Letchworth. Despite the long journey, Magpies started much the brighter. New recruit Dave Gilbert turned his marker before passing to a reinvigorated Richard Larkin, whose lung bursting run was well rewarded with an opportunity for a close range goal, which he took in typically cool style. This spurred Letchworth into life, who broke through the Magpies press and took advantage of some unusually slack marking to equalise with a powerful finish. Harleston were determined to take the lead into the break, and they did so when Elliott Marsh was fasted to react, scoring with a rebound from a short corner.
With the press sorted out for the second half, Magpies went up another gear. Sam Paterson looking in threatening form in a midfield role, dancing round defenders at will to score twice. Letchworth’s chances were limited with good defending by the experience of Andrew Bedwell and Tom Sumner and the ever-growing assuredness of youthful Giles Flatt and Jonty Gosling. John Livings in goal dealt well with the few chances that Letchworth created, but in truth Magpies were quite comfortable. Matt Richardson deserved his goal after a hard working performance, capping off a well deserved 5-1 win against a team that only finished one place below them in the league last season.
Magpies 1-2 Old Cranleighans
Harleston had a long session of stretching in between matches to attempt to regenerate the legs as much as possible for their second opponents, the unknown Old Cranleighans. After a lesson in pressing by the half court master Elliott Marsh, Magpies again started well, forcing the opposition keeper into a number of good saves. Eventually Dave Gilbert broke the deadlock, deceiving the keeper, with a drag flick into the bottom corner of the goal. Old Cranleighans looked dangerous when counter attacking, converting from an overload situation before half time, learning from their mistakes when they should have scored a similarly easy goal 5 minutes beforehand.
Into the second half, Magpies were going for the win and with only 2 substitutes, after Stuart Leate had missed the call for the team, legs were starting to tire. Simon Hipwell was at the heart of the attack but even he couldn’t create a decent attempt at goal. Old Cranleighans dominated the final portion of the game, forcing a number of short corners. George Baldwin, making his debut in goal, dealt admirably with the barrage of shots which he faced, but eventually the weight of pressure was too much and the London club forced what turned out to be a winning goal.
Overall, Magpies have acquitted themselves well for their first league game next weekend after a positive preseason under new player-coach Tim Whiteman. Travelling to Wapping is likely to be one of the tougher tests of the season as they will be looking to bounce back from their disappointment of getting relegated from National Conference East last season. However it is a challenge that a keen Magpies team will be very up for.

Magpies Mens 1st Team Preseason Cannock Tournament

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport travelled to Cannock to step up their preseason ready for their league campaign starting later in September.
In the first game of the weekend Harleston took on a strong looking Clifton Robinsons team. Harleston found themselves under pressure early on and despite some solid defending they found themselves a goal down after 15 minutes following a good short corner. This set back spurred Harleston on further and they soon started to create more and more chances of their own. With 20 minutes remaining Harleston found the break through in the second half when Archie Winter hit a sweet strike into the top corner past the helpless keeper. From that point Harleston continued to press and dominate the game, however, they were undone on the final whistle when Clifton Robinsons converted a winning short corner.
Despite the defeat Harleston had performed well and worked on the targets from coach Tim Whiteman.
In the second game of the day Harleston faced a strong Cannock side. Despite starting the game the stronger Harleston struggled to convert the chances that they created and were punished at the other end by a ruthless Cannock attack. Harleston again managed to draw themselves level later in the game when Jake Sewell finished from close range. Again in a de ja vu scenario Harleston were undone again by a stoppage time corner which was rifled high into the net.
On the Sunday Harleston faced Bristol University. Again Harleston started on the front foot and soon took the lead through Robbie Kinsella.  As Harleston started to tire it allowed Bristol back into the game and they soon scored a deserved equaliser. At half time Tim Whiteman asked for higher intensity and that is exactly what the squad delivered. Bristol couldn’t cope with the higher intensity and Harleston took the lead through Jack Hobbs at a well worked short corner. Harleston were able to hang onto the win with solid pressing and good 1 v 1 defending.
This result booked Harleston a game against Deeside Ramblers in their final game of the weekend.
Harleston started the game well but soon started to show signs of fatigue as players started to pick up slight niggles. Therefore it was no surprise when ex Magpie Chris Barber opened the scoring for Deeside with a smart roll shot in the circle. Deeside soon double and then tripled their lead one goal coming again from Chris Barber and the second from a well struck short corner. Harleston did manage to respond before the break when Matt Bensley pulled a goal back. Harleston again started the second half well but were undone by a superb ball carry and reverse stick finish. Archie Winter pulled another goal back with a deft lift over an advancing goalkeeper from a tight angle. Deeside again extended their lead but on the final whistle it was Harleston’s turn to respond when Thomas Ridley powered home a drag flick. The final score finishing 5-3 to Deeside Ramblers.
The squads performance showed many positives and built on the good start last weekend. Playing against three National League teams and pushing them all hard will stand Harleston in good stead for the season.
Squad John Livings, Chris Leek, Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Tom Sumner, Jonty Gosling, Adam Lascelles, Will Martin, Thomas Ridley, Stuart Leate, Robbie Kinsella, Archie Winter, Jack Hobbs, Jake Sewell, Matt Bensley, Alex Kilbourn.

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
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

Ben Wright
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
Ben Wright