Category Archives: mens 2s reports

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 10TH NOVEMBER 2018

2nd Team v Potters Bar L 1-4

Harleston Magpies mens 2’s made another long trip down to Potters Bar.
John Livings made a debut appearance in goal and we welcomed Oakley in up front.
Potters Bar were a well drilled team and soon their transferring and long ball game started to open us up. Two quick goals from them put us onto the back foot. We continued to press well and good pressure resulted in a short corner which Tris Baynes executed perfectly. Potters Bar grabbed another before the break.
It was still positive at half time and the brotherhood spirit still lives on so we knew we always stand a chance of getting back into a game. Some super skilled dribbling from Josh Wiggins and Oakley that resulted in both of them being tackled in a way that John Terry would’ve been proud but that should not be seen on a hockey pitch. No punishment for either tackle frustrated the team but pulled us together.  
Bar grabbed another goal late on and a 4-1 score line in biblical rainy conditions is a little harsh.
Plenty to go away to work on but always positives to feed off.
We take on Norwich city next Saturday at the nest. Pushback at 3pm.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 3RD NOVEMBER 2018

Mens 2nd Team v Broxbourne 1 W 3-1

Harleston magpies Mens 2’s welcomed Broxborne to the nest this weekend in a tight mid table match. With Magpies losing captain, tactician and solid midfielder Stu Field for the foreseeable future with injury a change in leadership sees Tris Baynes take the reigns.
A solid and fast start saw magpies having the percentage of possession but a lack of composure in the ‘D’ saw the few chances go begging. Broxborne were also creating chances but the back three of Hugo, Dickon and Sam Rowe, with the assistance of Tris and the dominant figure of Ollie in goal were keeping the chances out. The first half somehow finished 0-0. A positive chat at the break and we were out for the second half playing in an aggressive positive style. Broxborne hit us on the break against the run of play and it was a lucky lobbed bobble or lobble as it is now known that opened us up and they took the lead.
The front line of Ed, Toby, Kinsella, Josh, Morgan and the younger Baynes were playing well and it was Brice and Manly that got the equaliser through some brave diving and good tapping in!
Magpies continued to press and Broxborne never looked like taking the lead. A well executed short corner saw T.Baynes throw back the years and fire a short corner into the bottom corner!!  
Some ill discipline and lack of verbal control saw Jude sent off once again for a little breather but magpies remained dominant and on the final whistle won a short corner. It was from this short corner that veteran top scorer Kinsella scored the crucial third to tap home and clinch all three points!! A great team effort and a well earned MOM for Kinsella.
Magpies head off back to London to take on Potters Bar in another close placed match this weekend.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 27TH OCTOBER 2018

Mens 2 v Cambridge City 3 D 0-0

The icy winds were blowing as the 12 men of magpies lined up to face a strong Cambridge city side.
From the moment the whistle blew Magpies were all over the Cambridge side, with the high press working very effectively. Chances were beginning to come as the Cambridge back 4 were looking ruffled and red faced at the blistering pace of the Magpies front line. With some short corners dancing wide from both sides and a few glancing chances the first half was at an end.
Magpies went into the second half brewing with confidence, with the Cambridge side looking nervous for what the Magpies side had to offer. With elegant skills from the debutant Edward Brice and brutal stick tackles from the ‘haymaker’ Hugo Thomas the second half was much more eventful. After 30 more minutes of dominance Magpies began to pile on the pressure. The likes of Toby Hughes and Dave Francis coming close towards the end the game, the result may have been different with a bit of luck.
In the end the game finished 0-0, and Magpies took away a well deserved point that could have easily been 3.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 13TH OCTOBER 2018

Mens 2nd v Crostyx W 4-2

Magpies men’s 2’s we’re looking to bounce back from last weeks disappointing result at Southend when they made the familiar trip down to Lee Valley.
Magpies welcomed Oli Juszt in goal, Raunaq Rai, Karl the German, Stu Field back from injury and the ever available Simon Hipwell into a much changed side from the week before.
Travelling down to London usually results in a physical game and from the offset Crostyx were determined to try and shake us up.
Crostyx scored early on but magpies character of late stood strong and a skilful individual goal from Raunaq soon levelled the scores. A Crostyx short corner managed to find its way through Olis legs to make it 2-1. A short corner on the stroke of half time which wouldn’t have looked out of place on Danny Kerry’s clip board was slipped to Tris, who threaded the eye of a needle to find Kinsella had ghosted to the backpost to dispatch the deflection perfectly.
Magpies started the second half much the better side and the formation was starting to twist the thumb screws. The back line of Taylor, Thomas and Slaven we’re transferring the ball nicely creating space for the midfield of Baynes, Baynes (aka The Bash Brothers) , Rai and Field. This in turn was making space for the front guys in Hipwell, Jagger, Manly, Kinsella, Amdy “The Canon” Johnson and Karl. It was a great steel from Kinsella that lead to the third goal when he carried at pace and found jagger who made a meal of it before slotting the ball nicely into the corner.
The final goal came when midfield veteran Field found his way to the back post and a strong early ball from Hipwell deflected off Stu to nestle beautifully into the top corner.
A great team effort and three deserved points!
Final score Crostyx 2 – Magpies 4

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 6TH OCTOBER 2018

Mens 2nd v Old Southendian L 1-4

On a wet October morning the men’s 2’s took the long trip to Southend looking to build momentum following last weeks victory. A depleted and changed team from the week before travelled down in good spirits only to be met with terrible traffic meaning a delayed push back and a rushed warm up.
This was evident in our start and some sloppy passing and turn over balls soon saw us 1-0 down. The early goal didn’t put us off and we soon found our smooth rhythm and started creating chances. The forward line of AJ, Greg, Oakley, Kinsella and Wiggins started twisting the thumb screws and were winning short corners but Kinsella’s stallion just couldn’t beat the defenders on the line.
1-0 at half time and we were still in the game. The second half started at 100mph and a tackle from Kinsella which would have been better at home on a rugby pitch soon had the umpires wagging their fingers. No card for Kinsella as his puppy dog eyes showed how sincerely sorry he was so just a stern talking to. Dickon would feel hard done by shortly later as a fairly innocuous challenge saw him take a green card breather!
Southend played a positive style of hockey and their 3 goals in 10 minutes killed off the game, but to magpies credit they kept pushing for a consolation goal. Kinsella, Baynes and the ever quality Larkin were controlling the middle but the run of the ball just didn’t go our way today. Chris “the cat” Routs was keeping the score line down with some saves that show why he is an England veteran.
AJ “the canon” pulled a goal back with a well worked short corner but it was too little too late.
MOM Chris “The Cat” Routs

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 29TH SEPTEMBER 2018

Mens 2nd v Upminster W 4-1

Desperate to make amends for game week 1, the Men’s 2s hosted Upminster at the Nest. From minute 1 it was clear it was going to be a battle of strength and discipline. Magpies dominated the first half and an absolute ‘baseline’ worldy from Kinsella gave the home side the lead. The Stallion pricked up its ears and Kinsella doubled his tally shortly after half time with a superbly struck corner and things looked comfortable. Then sticks, hands and cards were thrown around Willy Nilly, the visitors put away a corner to make it 2-1 and the game hung in the balance. Upminster’s flames of encouragement were soon put out though when Skinner scored his first Magpie goal from the spot and then bagged his brace with a fine diving reverse after rounding the keeper. 4-1 reflected the effort and ability of this new look 2s and this was a deserved win after a heart in the oven, head in the fridge performance. MoM Kinsella and his Stallion

 

 

 

 

 

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 10TH MARCH 2018

Mens 2nd Team v Pelicans (Away (L) W 6-3)

After 2weeks of snow disruption, magpies men’s 2nd 11 were glad to be back on the pitch playing again. This week away to Pelicans who sit third in the table.

A lively start to an eventful game saw Magpies take the lead in the first minute, when Greg Jager finished calmly after good work from Jude and Martin down the left flank. Pelies found a reply immediately and then had the audacity to take the lead within two rather frantic minutes. Magpies were maybe missing veteran defenders Dickon and Flatman and the newly formed jnr back line was taking time to settle in, when magpies conceded a third. A physical and vocal first half, void of the usual passing delights so often on show, came to a close with Pelies 3-1 in front.

An inspired half time rallying cry from Stuart Fields led to a much improved second half, where magpies superior fitness led to a flurry of short corners, the first two were converted by brothers Baynes, LB and Tris. With their 100% unbeaten record now looking safer, magpies continued to press their advantage, with excellent wing back work from Cadman and Manly, when over enthusiasm led to AJ receiving two umpire enforced rest brakes. This only galvanised the spirit of the magpies forward line, as they attacked impressively on the break. Greg Jager, ever a danger, was up ended in the D and Tristan  calmly converted the penalty stroke to make it 4-3.
As a tired looking Pelies seached for an equaliser, magpies punished them with late goals from the in form Martin Fields and Greg Jager.
The game finished 6-3 to Harleston Magpies.

Next up are St Ives who travel to the nest nest Saturday at 3:30pm.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 24TH FEBRUARY 2018

Mens 2nds v Horncastle (Away (L) W 7-1)

On a bright and sunny winters day 12 members of the second team headed north to face bottom of the league horncastle, 
Magpies started brightly after getting on the score sheet within 41 seconds by man of the match LB, not long after Marty bagged another for the pies. Intelligent play at a short corner from Tris and Stu gave us a nice 3-0 lead at half time. 
Magpies newly formed sliding press came to fruition with stu intercepting and realising Marty to bag a second! 
A string of fine saves from Routsey kept horncastle (their star player) at bay while at the other end magpies continued to dominate with further goals from Bensly, Jude and Tris, a clean sheet looked on the cards but horncastle scored a much deserved goal towards the end of the game
This result ensures the men’s second team finish as champions of div 2 north with three games remaining 

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 3RD FEBRUARY 2018

Mens 2nd Team v Cambridge University 3 (Away (L) W 2-1)

10.30 would normally be way too early for anything when you’re a student, but the boys in blue managed to drag 16 players 3 coaches and some travelling reserves to the fixture. The men’s 2s on the other hand, travelled light, with 11 and the ‘bad magpie’. The game started at a high pace and we had our cursory early chances. The students were intent on playing a good style of hockey with their midfield 3 working the old washing machine rotations on a 1400 rpm spin cycle. This didn’t phase old boys Field and Brothers Baynes as they set about a sturdy press. Missed opportunities in front of the Cambridge goal led to the students countering and taking first blood. But Magpies didn’t flinch. Quick thinking in midField, a great run by Jude and awesome 1st time finish by Fields. 1-1! The game should have continued as a great battle between 2 good hockey playing sides but the umpires were keen to stamp out the constant aggressive chat from both sides… and from that point it began raining cards. It was going to take something special to break the deadlock. The forwards pressed tirelessly and Moore’s ball retention was exquisite, even when prone on the floor. Hugo, Morgan and Cadman defended with real steel and Flatman even took one in the face with his man of the match performance and Baldwin, cat-like in goal, thwarted the Cambridge corner attack. With all in the balance, a likely hero stepped up and drilled one bottom corner; the bad magpie came good and Bean scored the would be winner. The sidelines talked about a tense finish, but this Magpies team only knows winning and the win was never in doubt. Credit to the young boys in blue, but Wiley old Magpies and a smattering of youth made it 16 from 16. Teams continue to make it difficult for us and we continue to find ways to win. Promotion is secured, but the job is far from done. We welcome Bury St Edmunds to the nest next week. Bring it on!

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 28TH JANUARY 2018

Mens 2nd Team v City of Peterborough 3rds ( Home (L)W 3-1)

Magpies Men’s 2 are certainly having one of thier most successful seasons in recent memory, and went in to this weekends match against City of Peterborough 3s with the best record in the entire east leagues. Played 14, won 14, conceded 15, and scored 75. Confidence is certainly high, but everyone knew that we would have to be at out best to maintain our 100% record.

Starting the match strongly with large periods of possession, magpies looked the brighter of the two sides and created chances freely with the experienced forward line of Kinsella, Hipwell, and Fields. The first goal came soon after 10 minutes with a delightfully weighted pass from Hipwell to Fields, who deflected past the Peterborough keeper.
The second goal should have come sooner after a T. Baynes penalty corner was stopped on the line by the Peterborough defender. Unfortunately Fields was unable to covert the stroke, the first competitive flick of his career. The good news was that Magpies continued pressure created another penalty corner soon after, which L. Baynes delicately dispatched into the back of the goal.
The halftime whistle came soon after, and we went into half time happy with our performance so far.
We knew the second half would be tough, as a lack of substitute would start to take a toll, and it was Peterborough that start to create some more attacking chances. However, excellent defending from Morgan, Baynes, Tompkins, and Cadman repelled the visitors easily and maintained the 2-0 scoreline. 
Even when magpies were reduced to 10 men after a green card stick tackle from Potruff, composure and possession was maintained with some great defensive work from Field and L. Baynes.
It was magpies though who would score next, effectively sealing the win with 5 minutes to go. Some lovely transfers from the defence, into the midfield, resulted in a marauding Tompkins who got ahead of the play from centre back. Picking up the ball on the right side of the D, he peeled strong to the bi-line and took the keeper by suprise with a cheeky narrow angle shot. 3-0 magpies.
Still looking for more goals magpies continued to press, only to see the youngest member of the team, Potruff, collapse at the top of the Peterborough D. Concerned that he’d been seriously hurt, play was stopped only to discover it was merely a little bit of cramp.
When play continued it was Peterborough that had one final throw of the dice. A long ball managed to break the magpies defensive line, catching a now tired magpies team out of position. When the shot eventually came , Tompkins who did all the hard work of getting back couldn’t quite stop the ball from reaching the attacker just in front of Routs. The clean sheet wasn’t to be, but a 3-1 win was. 
This win means its now 15 wins from 15, and puts magpies 2s 9 points and a game in hand ahead of second place Norwich City 2s. Next week sees the team travel to Cambridge to take on the second bottom team of Cambridge University, which will be tougher than the league results imply.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 6TH JANUARY 2018

Mens 2nd Team v Magpies 3rds (Home (L) W 7-1)

Table topping magpies 2nd team started the new year where they left the old, with another win, making it 12 from 12!
Their opposition, fellow club members of the 3rd team started brighter and looked to push an early advantage and were unlucky not to score though jager, after good work from the silver foxes, Tolson and Cole!
 The second team grew in confidence as the game went on and the evenly contested first half saw brothers martin and stuart fields both on the score sheet , the 2nds taking a narrow 2-0 half time lead!
The 2nd team were fast out of the blocks in the second half and grabbed two quick goals from kinsella and Bensly after great leg work from Sewell.
The 3rds rallied well, with plenty of aggression from Andrew Johnson. At the heart of the midfield was Francis who  hit the post, had a goal chalked off and finally netted a deserved goal, with great counter attacking play from Captain Brando.
Two late goals from Baynes jnr and Sewell finished any thoughts of a late come back. The final score  Magpies 2nds 7 Magpies 3rds 1.
The 3rd team only have 24 hours to recover,  before they face fellow strugglers Bury St Edmunds at the nest on Sunday. Magpies 2nds have to wait until next Saturday where they face Dereham.
 
LB.

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 18TH NOVEMBER 2017

Mens 2nds v Norwich Dragons 1 (Away (L) W 2-0)

The mens 2nd 11 went into this weekends game vs Norwich Dragons full of confidence after winning 16-0 the previous week.
However a hard working a determined Dragons team made it hard work for the magpies front line to convert their chances. Jude Pottruff’s classy reverse stick finish was the only shot good enough to beat the inspired Dragons goalie.
An edgy second half was settled in the last minute when team veteran Matthew Bensly popped up back post for a tap in. Man of the match went to Morgan Hey Manly, who was making his league debut for the 2nd team.
Magpies need to be better for next weeks top of the table clash against Pellies

MENS 2ND TEAM REPORT 28TH OCTOBER 2017

Mens 2nd Team v Cambridge University 3 (Home (L) W 5-3)

Magpies went into the game with high confidence having not dropped a point all season and securing a crucial win away to City of Peterborough last week.
 
Magpies were not hesitant to show the young Cambridge side how they wanted to play the game, and within only 40 seconds, young Sammy Moore opened the scoring with a difficult finish into the bottom corner. Spirits were high as substitutions were made, but Cambridge managed to squeeze one past goalkeeper Leeky off a well worked short corner. But the Magpie’s heads did not drop as they quickly stung back with another well worked goal finished off by Robbie Kinsella. Magpies now looked like scoring many more past a slightly weaker Cambridge side. The defence was kept busy by the quick and nimble Cambridge front three until half time.
 
After a detailed team talk, Magpies stepped back onto the pitch to begin the second half, once again they didn’t wait too long as Jamie Legg squeezed the ball in off a fantastic shot from a tight angle. Magpies now seemed firmly on top, although a free roaming Cambridge side meant the Magpies midfield had to keep on top of the game as Magpies sat safe on a half court defensive press. Soon intensive Magpies pressure led to a (may I say) fantastic dive from ‘captain’ LB to win magpies a short corner. Tristan Baynes’ drag flick was deflected magically by man of the match Jamie Legg into the top corner. This strengthened the Magpies lead to three goals as the half began to get scrappy. A great piece of individual skill earned Martin Fields a goal as the game entered the final ten minutes. But a determined Cambridge side gained two back before the end. The game finished with ‘the best tackle ever made’ from Dickon Taylor and some faint chances. Magpies remain unbeaten at the top of the league as they prepare for a firmer test away to Bury St Edmunds next week!
 

Mens 2nd Team Match Report 7th October 2017

Mens 2nd Team vs Dereham 2nd Team (Away (L) W 7-0)

We started off strong with some brilliant link up play, which was finished off by a slick finish from Bensley after just 34 seconds.
We carried on this momentum all throughout the first half. By keeping it simple and working hard off the ball we created 3 more goals before the half time whistle. 1 by Sam and 2 from Marti. We took a slow start to the second half, despite conceding a few short corners our defence stayed strong, and sniped the ball off Dereham’s attack at any given moment.
Our fitness proved vital in the later stages of the game, as we were able to get in and behind the defence for 3 more goals. 1 more from Bensley (set up superbly by Jake) and 2 from Ben.

Mens 2nd Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Mens 2nd Team vs Mens 3rd Team (Away (L) W 11-3)

The highly anticipated seconds vs thirds game was upon us and it didn’t disappoint!

The beginning was very tense with the seconds pushing hard to get the opener however a quick counter from the thirds resulted in a goal with his 2nd bite at the cherry. Not to be disheartened the seconds quickly got back on level terms with a superb team goal with Jamie Legg to finish it off, after getting the first goal the seconds quickly gained an advantage from a penalty won by Stu Field which was then calmly tucked into the top right corner by Marty Fields.

 As the first half was coming to a close the seconds stepped up a gear and quickly put 3 goals away coming from a lovely diving effort from Leggy, a worldy deflection from Sam Moore, and a clinical finish as per usual from Richard Larkin. The half time score 5-1 to the formidable second team!

 After a good performance in the first half the seconds looked to carry on this form into the second half and it didn’t take long for Jamie to complete his hat-trick with a reverse hit into the bottom corner. The floodgates then opened as the seconds went on to score 3 more in quick succession as Leggy picked up another reverse goal, Stu Field grabbed himself a goal with a lovely finish into the net, and a well taken back post goal from Matt Bensly (who unfortunately couldn’t go on to get a triple triple) left the seconds 9-1 up with 15 to go.

 The thirds then decided to turn up and started to play some good hockey which lead to them nicking 2 goals against a rocky seconds defence. Have the thirds managed to find a way back in? No, as was soon found out as the seconds scored 2 well worked counter attacks with the scorers being Jamie Legg to get his fifth for the day and Marty picking up his second. All the seconds had to do now was keep the ball and let the game come to an end however Matt Bensly decided otherwise and put a horrific tackle in to only get shown a yellow card. The final whistle blew with a result of 11-3 to the Men’s seconds!

 MOM – Jamie Legg

 Any thirds looking for counselling after their traumatic loss please call the helpline 113 113!!

Mens 2nd Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Mens 2nd Team vs UEA 1st Team (Away (L) W 6-0)

The first game of the season went to plan for the two’s with a solid three points. Magpies seemed to the first half with two quick goals from Matt Bensley. Some great work from the Magpies back four made sure that UEA didn’t have much of a chance to grab a goal back before the half was over.

The second half stated off pretty much the same with the Magpies grabbing another goal in under a minute with a lovely strike from Jamie followed by a goal from Greg Jagger, who should have had two goals but decided to miss an open goal (just trying to get Robbie on the score sheet!). Which followed shortly by being sent off for a poor challenge and possibly the reason why I have been set the task of writing this match report!

With great play from the Magpies team, Matt was able to get his hat trick with a very well taken goal. UEA’s team seemed to be defeated and started to make mistakes all across the field. And the final ten minutes saw Magpies running the show with Sam Moore grabbing the last goal of the match.

Well played to everyone in the team and hopefully we can carry this on to next week when we face Magpies thirds in the league.

Man of the match – Matt Bensley

Mens’ 2nds vs Cambridge City

On a bleak February afternoon  Magpies 2’s took the relatively short trip to Cambridge in a game that only three points would do. A brief but intense warmup we went into the start confident of a result. We were moving be ball around well and the back line of Francis, Cumming, Taylor and Herschel-Shorland had very little to trouble them in the early passages of play. A timely substitution and a quick thinking sideline taken by Martin Fields found Matt Bensly in acres of space and once he’d taken five touches to control the ball dispatched it calmly into the bottom corner. Cambridge continued to press well and a broken down short corner which Leek cleared well went straight to a Cambridge player who quickly sent back into the D leaving Leek stranded with nothing he could do for their tap in. Half time came and Magpies were confident that their hard work was going to be rewarded. We went into the second half with a positive intensity and pressed well winning the ball in the Cambridge half. Some good skills form Tom Hughes and a bit of faffing allowed the ball to bobble to Tris Baynes who with all his years experience slotted the ball into the bottom corner. Some tense passages of play kept magpies clinging on for the points and it was a few minutes from the end when Magpies pushed Cambridge back to their centre half and a roaming Rob Kinsella went on the offensive and the back pass to the keeper was then kicked to Kinsella just outside the 25, who then surged at the D rounded the keeper and then dispatched the ball into the top left corner to seal all three points. Magpies can take the positivity into next week’s home game against Long Sutton.

Men’s 2nds Vs East London

With almost 2 months since their last league game, the make-up of the second team changing room in East London looked somewhat different to how it looked prior to Christmas. Tom Hughes and Pete Bale both stepped up to complete the first team line up, while Jack Hobbs and Goalkeeper George Baldwin had school commitments. Vincent Leruth was providing Brando with some Belgian flare and Sol Barker had a Uni open day; so returning to the field of play were Martin Fields, James Osbourne and Duncan Roberts, with Declan Cobb taking the number 1 spot. It was evident that hockey had been just a distant thought for many weeks, when at 8 in the morning LB got a phone call from Dave explaining that he’d be 10 minutes late having left the house without his stick. Ad was late as per usual and eventually we set off for London.

Misunderstanding was at the forefront of our first game of the New Year. On arrival LB calmly announced he’d forgotten the balls and following a rather relaxed warm up 5 minutes into the game we were sill two players short. Control, passes and fitness were all far from perfect but eventually things started to settle down. Magpies were on the back foot for much of the first half, and despite weathering the storm it was evident that it was not going to be an easy game. The press looked unorganised at times and the back four of Ima, Dickon, Jonty and Adam were being pulled from side to side endlessly. Deservedly East London took the lead halfway through the half, when an unmarked East striker picked up the ball well within the D, slotting it passed Declan’s left foot. East London added a second to their tally in a similar manner, this time passing it round the goalkeeper for an open goal tap in. The half time score, 2-0.

The second half started much more positively, LB had now had the chance to explain the press to the full 12 players and all players had managed to find their touch again, within reason. Ozzy had a couple of good opportunities which he was unlucky not to convert, as did Marty Fields who having been sent clean through took a wild swing at the ball – missing it entirely. Just as it looked as if a goal was on the cards for Magpies, the East left back excellently picked a Dave through ball, setting a counter attack which saw East London further increase their lead. The Magpies cause wasn’t helped when Dickon ‘slightly’ missed judged a tackle, seeing him have a 2 minute sit down – then just as we were returned to full strength a rather angry looking Matt Bensly rugby tackled someone from behind – another sit down. East London did add another to their tally in the dying moments – the final score 4-0.

Next week the 2’s are at home to mid-table Bishops Stortford, looking to pick up where they left of before Christmas.

MOTM: Jonty Herschel-Shorland

Mens’ 2’s vs Blueharts

9 points apiece at the bottom of the table, Magpies travelled to Blueharts this weekend, who earlier in the season beat Harleston 3-0 at The Nest. With this in mind, the 2’s were determined to finish the first half of the season on a high, and after last week’s fantastic performance away to League leaders Wapping, Magpies were keen to pull it out of the bag. Sol Barker and Vincent Leruth were reintroduced to the line-up, in place of Duncan and James.

After the usual away match stopover and pre-match coffee, Harleston arrived in good time and got a solid warmup under their belt. Attacking with the sun behind them, Magpies made a good start to the game. Both sides enjoyed spells of possession, and created chances at both ends before things started to settle. The breakthrough came from the first short corner of the game, when Tris flicked low and hard to the right of the keeper, the perfect start. Blueharts were not to be put off, and the back four of Jonty, Imma, Dickon and Adam were able to withstand a multitude of short corners – with George making numerous great saves. Magpies were then able to double their lead, with an excellent long corner move. Tris, taking the ball quickly, played an overlapping ball to Jonty on the left flank who narrowly picked out Bensly at the near post, touching it onto Vince for his first 2nd team goal. The score remained 2-0 until half-time, with both sides creating chances.

The second half underway and Blueharts came out of the blocks racing, setting a high and aggressive press. This was not to last for long though, as with barely 5 minutes played of the second half Tris picked up the ball midway into the opposition’s half, and once up to speed there was nothing to stop him; having beaten ‘at least’ two players he rifled home from the top of the D into the bottom corner – was a hat-trick on the cards? This question was soon answered. After withstanding a spell of pressure Matt Bensly superbly ran the baseline and won a short corer. Tris then scored what, in my opinion, was his best flick yet – rifling it into the top left corner to complete his hat-trick in style. Sol Barker then came close to scoring before the keeper smothered the ball, and conscious that there were still 15 minutes to play the game became stretched. Unfortunately Magpies were not able to keep a clean sheet, as with just seconds to go Blueharts finally converted a short corner, but this didn’t dampen the delight at a 4-1 win!

MOTM – Tris Baynes