Category Archives: mens 3s reports

mens 3rd XI Match Report

IES 3s 2-4 Magpies 3s
A quick start by a Magpies team, with 5 changes from last week, saw goals by Gavin Cole and Toby Hughes establish a two goal lead. In an error ridden first section both teams struggled with conditions.
With captain Matt Brand guilty of one or two errors of his own he saw a opportunity, from a long clearance, to make amends. With 20 players on the pitch convinced it would run out of play only two players even moved and with Toby Hughes chasing the ball Matt stealthily ran past every outfield player on the pitch to get on the end of a wonderful cross from Toby and sneak the ball home.
3-0 and it may have seemed like game over. But continued shaky defending led to goals either side of half time from the hosts. At 3-2 and with the influential Stuart Fields departing to honour an umpiring commitment, it may have been a nervous final quarter. But no sooner had Stuart stepped off the pitch than the returning Gavin Cole stepped up to slam home the decisive fourth.
Not the best performance of recent season but still an away win on the board.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 19 March 2016

Norwich City 3rds 4 Harleston Magpies 3rds 4

In a fantastic winner-takes-all match for promotion both teams threw caution to the wind and played with a freedom that has characterised the league this season.

Despite an early setback Magpies equalised when Gavin Cole converted their first short corner. Norwich then regained the lead when another 60m aerial caused confusion in the away defence but Luke Edwards cancelled this out when he swept home in the twentieth minute.

By now Magpies were on the front foot and skipper Matt Brand silenced the now gathering crowd (around 50) by converting their second short corner before Norwich equalised in a desperate scramble on half time to make the score 3-3.

After the break Magpies tried to force the issue knowing one more goal would be enough but sadly a short corner conversion by the home team came next. Not bowed Magpies somehow doubled their efforts and at a fifth short corner Matt Brand made the score 4-4. Was there still time for a winner? Well there was but neither side could quite carve out that chance and with City hearing that a draw was now enough for their promotion they managed to close the game out.

Disappointment for the thirds but with the realisation that they had just played one of THE games they left the pitch to a generous reception from the home and travelling fans.

Ready for 2016-17? We will be!


Magpies Mens Threes hit 9 in emphatic Sudbury win

Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI 9 – Sudbury Men 3rd XI 0

East Division 3NE

With a loss away to Lowestoft a week earlier, Magpies needed a win against bottom placed Sudbury to get their excellent start back on track. Keeper Lane returned between the posts, and the otherwise consistent team boasted two subs.

Magpies started well and peppered the visitors’ goal, with their keeper undoubtedly their hero from the start. Gavin Cole opened the scoring with a net breaker before John Aldridge scored the second to ease the crowd’s nerves. Cole scored his second before Sol Barker scored a brace to make it 5-0 at half time.

The visitors started brightly after the break and created a couple of chances but stood little chance against the rampant forward line of Cole, Barker and Fabian Mitchell, who was unlucky not to score.

Cole hit his hat trick soon after the restart Andy Johnson blasted home for 7 nil. England seniors player Aldridge scored his second for Magpies eighth before Barker finished off his hat trick.

The result could and probably should have been more, but praise must go to the Sudbury keeper who had a phenomenal game. Definitely the man of the match without question. Sudbury played the game in good faith and with some youngsters put on a good battle despite the scoreline suggesting otherwise.

Next week Magpies head to Felixstowe 2s for an 11am start looking to rain in more goals to keep them in the title chase.

SQUAD – Brand (c), Lane, Bensley, Jagger, Hipper, Richards, Joe, Aldridge, Cole, Herschel-Clarke, Johnson

Men’s Thirds Match Report – Dragons slayed as Cole fires brace to help secure win

Harleston Magpies Men’s 3rd XI 4 – Norwich Dragons 3rd XI 0

On a bright and warm late September day, Magpies’ thirds welcome some old faces to the Nest, with seemingly half of the Dragons team once of the club. With niceties and old stories over, it was time for Brand’s mixture of youth and experience to concentrate on making it two from two in Division 3NE.

With Elliot Ashurst and Jack Frere-Smith missing from the team, the side welcomed back Jon Aldridge and Iain Cumming, plus Greg Jagger who slotted into the left back berth. With positive messages from the warm up and team huddle, Magpies started a very sunny first half and peppered the visitors’ goal with shots but just could not gain the advantage despite some great efforts from the whole team.

Half time saw a sharp intake of Jelly Babies and a some sound words from Brand and his vice Richards, and Magpies took this onboard, no doubt aided by the Jelly Babies. Cole opened the scoring with a great finish and soon added a back post effort to add to the Dragons’ woes. Fabian Mitchell went close with a diving effort but couldn’t connect before Andy Johnson fired in a controversial penalty corner to make it three nil. Sol Barker showed some great composure to make it 4 nil and Magpies settled for that scoreline, but could have equally scored ten given luck.

Some great performances at the back meant keeper Lane had little to do and the form of youngsters Bensly, Jagger, Hipper, Herschel-Shorland and Barker will add legs to the senior side of the team going forward, especially if Iain Cumming can continue in defence to such effect.

A great 4-0 win and Magpies will aim to continue this away to Lowestoft Railway next weekend.

Squad – Brand (C), Lane (GK), Richards, Aldridge, Hipper, Herschel-Shorland, Barker, Jagger, Cole, Mitchell, Bensly, Johnson, Cumming

Match Report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 11 October 2014

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI 4-0 Harleston Magpies 4th XI

League matches between teams from the same club are always competitive affairs with the underdogs generally having nothing to lose; this Division 3 NE league match was no different.

With both teams short on points there was no real form guide to refer to, and as such it was always going to be interesting to see who started the fastest. With many club members in attendance it was followers of the thirds who had the first action to applaud when skipper Matt Brand broke free from his marker to surprise the fourths with a quality juggled finished. Further quality, this time from Phil Cobbald linking with Gavin Cole soon doubled the lead and when Andy Johnson scored the match could have become one sided. However the remainder of the contest was much more even with much of the best play coming from the fourth team and had they been able to show the third teams finesse in shooting positions the score could have been different. This small difference was further highlighted when, despite limited chances, Gavin Cole made the score 4-0 and a fierce strike brought a fantastic flying save by the evergreen fourth team goalkeeper Andy Palmer. A match with many pluses for both teams but also much still to work on.

Match report – Men’s 3rds – Saturday 27 September 2014

Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI 3 – 3 UEA 1st XI

In a match played at a pace more suited to a higher league the eventual score line was ultimately a fair reflection of the match. With both teams prepared to give it a go it was perhaps surprising that only one goal was scored in the first half; that being a fine short corner strike for the home team by Phil Cobbald. However, the real story of the game would unfurl after the break. Many may have thought that when the younger visiting team equalised the result would only go one way. But the competitive nature of the home team would not allow this, and continued attacking endeavour forced the UEA into a number of ill-disciplined moments. It was during this period that Phil Cobbald converted two further short corners to push his team to the edge of victory. However, with the match moving into the final 5 minutes there seemed little chance of the two goals that stunned the home support. Not wishing to see their hard work count for only one point, Harleston pushed into the opposition circle one more time. And despite this effort being rewarded by a short corner and then a penalty stroke, Harleston could not quite get over the line.

Men’s 3rds match report – Saturday 20 September 2014

Ipswich & East Suffolk 2nd X1 2 – 1 Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI started the new hockey season away against a team they finished just one place above last season, Ipswich & East Suffolk 2nd XI. It was therefore always likely to be a hard match to win; but when the visitors took the lead from Phil Cobbald’s first short corner of the game a win may have looked the most likely outcome. However Ipswich would equalize before half-time and they would take this momentum shift into the second half. With both teams creating chances it really was a match there for the taking. First Magpies would have a fast break snuffed out by the in-form Ipswich goalkeeper. And then Nick Whitehead was forced into two last ditch interventions with the goal at Ipswich’s mercy. One goal was going to win it, and sadly for the visitors this went to Ipswich. Despite late pressure including great play by man of the match Guy Pelling the season opener would end in defeat. Next week Harleston entertain UEA.

Magpies Mens 3rd XI vs Norwich City Mens 2nd XI

Magpies Mens 3rd XI, 2 vs Norwich City Mens 2nd XI, 8
Friendlies against teams from a higher division can go one of two ways; a rude awakening or a useful workout. On Saturday Harleston Magpies 3rd XI got a bit of both as they took on the higher ranked Norwich Cith 2nd XI. The eventual score line of 8-2 probably flattered the home side , but bore testament to the home sides good forward play against a scratch defence for the variously assembled Magpies. Sam Ashurst, playing his last game before returning to University was the pick of the Harleston players, narrowly shading Gavin Cole who scored both goals. A match with much to be pleased about but much to work on before next week’s start of the league season.

Men’s 3s bring home the bacon

Harleston Magpies Men’s 3s 2 – Bury St Edmunds Men’s 1s 1

After the humiliation of a thumping in Cambridge the week before, Magpies welcomed high flying Bury to Weybread for what proved to be a classic game of hockey.

With Nick Dyson available at the back for his first start in a threes shirt this season, Pies were confident of turning over their local rivals.

Aiming to start well Pies gave a good account of themselves and forced the Bury keeper into several saves before a yellow card for Nic Ciappi of Bury gave the home side the advantage. A penalty corner routine saw James Brice slot home a rebound for one nil.

Pies were all over the visitors, with Dyson and Flatt commanding the back line less leaving Bury with sporadic chances.

After half time the away side started much stronger and forced Pies into some tough defending tactics. Bury soon equalised through a slick move from defence and it was game on at Weybread as Pies battled for a desperately needed three points.

Bury lost two players to yellow cards in the battle and Pies took the advantage as skipper Brand found himself one on one with the Bury keeper. Unfortunately he hit the post and it remained one one.
In what turned out to be a great game of hockey, pies pressed forward and soon won a penalty flick thanks to Bury’s keeper. Giles Flatt stepped up and then promptly missed thanks to a weak effort and gained himself Dick of the day.

James Stacey rescued the win for Pies with a well taken penalty corner rebound with five to go and three more points means Pies are off the bottom.

Man of the match – Dyson Dick of the day – Flatt

Squad – Lane (GK), Brand (C), Graham, Dyson, Flatt, Laschelles, Whitehead, Baynes, Brice, Absalon, Tompkins, Cole, Stacey, Ridley

Mens 3rd XI match report Saturday 3rd November 2012

Norwich Dragons 1st XI 4 – Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI 1

Magpies 3’s travelled to local rivals Norwich Dragons on a high after beating fellow strugglers UEA 2-1 the week before.

With a couple of changes to the team, Pies were always going to have a tough game against a well drilled Dragons side who sat mid-table before Saturday’s game.

Pies started well and with in-form striker Gavin Cole always had a chance. Cole soon took a chance as he swept home a cross from the right to make it 1-0 with ten minutes gone.

However, Dragons hit back with a sweet strike five minutes later to level the scores. The home side looked the better in attack and pressed the Pies defence hard until an open cross found a Dragons stick to deflect past Lane in the Pies goal.

Tompkins came close for Pies but found the Dragons keeper in fine form just before the break to deny him a deserved goal.

Two one at half time and Pies were still in the game, winning a penalty stroke for a foot on the line, but after a conference the umpires rightly decided on a penalty corner instead.

However, despite Pies’ best efforts the experience and tenacity of the Norwich side paid as they forced a third through a strike which deflected off Flatt, leaving Lane with no chance. An injury to left back Cumming caused for a defensive reshuffle and ultimately Dragons’ class showed as they finished the game with a fourth to win 4-1.

Pies take heart from a gritty performance but remain on four points at the foot of Division 2N. They face league leaders IES on Saturday 10th November, a tough call for this young and developing side.

Squad: Brand (C), Lane (GK), Flatt, Graham, Laschelles, Cumming, Middleton, Payne, Baynes, Stacey, Brice, Cole and Tompkins.


Division 2N

Norwich Dragons 1st XI, 3 – Harleston Magpies 3rd XI, 4

Despite playing good hockey, Harleston Magpies Men’s 3rd XI had only secured one point from the previous nine available. So the omens for success away from home against, second in the table, Norwich Dragons may not have been good.

The younger Magpies team started the stronger with Gavin Cole sweeping in the first goal of the game. However this was soon cancelled out as Magpies continued to look good with the ball, but not so good without it. With James Stacey returning to midfield a period of stability followed, and although Magpies’ took another lead that they could not hold they ended the half on top when endeavour down the right hand side lead to Toby Hughes latching onto an Elliot Smith pass.

The second half was to be a real end to end affair as Dragons pressed hard. On another day their third equaliser may have decided the game, but from a saved short corner Gavin Cole was able to complete his hat-trick and give his team a welcome win.

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI, 2 – Peterborough Town 3rd XI, 4

East Hockey Leagues Division 2N

Harleston Magpies 3rd XI, 2 – Peterborough Town 3rd XI, 4

Peterborough Town third team, top of Division 2N, were the visitors to Weybread last Saturday afternoon. Having only dropped 2 points all season it was always going to be a tough ask for the youthful Magpies Third team, but from how the match started you may have thought the positions were reversed.

Several chances came and went for the home team, in a period of play that will rank as their best performance of the season so far. However with no home goals coming, the Peterborough left back carried the ball half the pitch length before seeing his cross/shot deflect in. Magpies continued to be the dominant force in the game and eventually a goal came when quick passing in the circle allowed Toby Hughes to convert. However a repeat dose of full back adventure produced a second for the visitors and took them to a 2-1 half time lead. The second half was probably a truer reflection of where both sides are, as Peterborough took command. A job made easier by the unfortunate loss of Magpies’ influential Phil Cobbald to injury. Two penalty strokes by Peterborough either side of Quentin Baynes’ first of the season concluded the scoring, and left Harleston to ponder how to turn performances into results.

Ipswich & East Suffolk I XI, 6 Vs Harleston Magpies III XI, 6

East Hockey Leagues Division 2N

Ipswich & East Suffolk I XI, 6 Vs Harleston Magpies III XI, 6

In an unusual change of events Magpies’ third team actually took an early lead against their higher ranked hosts, Ipswich & East Suffolk. Matt Brand sending a flick towards the back of the net for his strike partner Gavin Cole to make sure. However the Ipswich side had little trouble in responding: their centre forward walking through the spine of the defence. Two further strikes seemed to be taking the game away from Magpies, but just before half-time Gus Carpenter stepped through a crowded circle to bury his shot in the bottom corner.

The restart saw Ipswich regain a two goal advantage but more against the run of play as Magpies’, now traditional, second half improvement turned the game. A fine reverse stick goal from Phil Cobbald was soon followed by the team goal of the game, when Gavin Cole swept in a full length of the pitch move which included good play from Toby Hughes. At this point, and with Harleston’s Glenn Masterson delivering a commanding game, there looked like only being one winner. However Ipswich’s ariel assault and sharp forward play found two quick goals putting them as firm favourites to close out the game! Magpies would have none of it and Matt Brand scored an individual goal before arriving on the back post to turn in Gavin Coles pass and complete the entertaining 6-6 score line.

Harleston Magipes III vs Market Deeping

East League Division 2N

Harleston Magipes III 6 vs  Market Deeping 4

At half time the score line between Harleston Magpies III and Market Deeping was rather harsh on the home team, in that they trailed by 3 goals to 1. Will Blythe, the scorer of the Harleston goal, and his fellow forwards had created many chances which on another day would see the score line reversed; they had hit the post, the crossbar and seen several balls bounce agonisingly away from simple tap ins. The hardy Harleston support would have been pleased with the efforts but at the same time worried how the second half would pan out against their previously unbeaten opposition – they needn’t have worried!

The second half began with a bang when Gus Carpenter found the top corner of the net, and despite Market Deeping temporarily restoring their 2 goal lead, the home side were not deterred. Back they came with goals from Gavin Cole, Sam Moore and 2 by man of the match Angus Bloomfield. The energy produced by all 12 home players had really taken its toll on their opposition and has given Magpies a tantalising glimpse of how close they are to being a top of the table side!


East Hockey Leagues Division 2N

Harelston Magpies III XI Vs Bourne 1 XI

Never change a winning team; A good philosophy but harder to put into practice. After last weeks encouraging home win for Harleston Magpies, only 5 players were able to make them selves available for the away trip to Bourne. New faces included Giles Flatt and Luke Nauton making strong third team league debuts and Angus Bloomfield on his way back through the teams after breaking his thumb.

Although the result of the match was ultimately decided by two early Bourne goals there was much to be encouraged by, as the visitors battled hard to get back into the match. Chances came, and when George Moore got Magpies on the score sheet it looked as though a repeat of last weeks comeback was on. However as the match played out Magpies lost Ewan Cumming to a nasty looking head injury requiring they finished the game with only 10 players. The resultant re-shuffle left the risk of Bourne breakaway goals and unfortunately 3 minutes before time the scoring was completed from close range to disappoint the travelling side.


East Hockey Leagues Division 2N

Harelston Magpies III XI Vs Ely 1 XI

Whatever the sport, it is important for sides that are newly promoted that they take their chances early on. It was therefore somewhat disappointing for Harleston Magpies Men’s 3rd XI hockey team when their captain missed an open goal from 2 feet out with his side trailing 0-1 to Ely 1st XI.

Up until that point the visitors hade virtually controlled the game, bringing out the best in Magpies’ defence and limiting Harleston to one shot against the inside of the post from Gavin Cole and a couple of other half chances. However, rather then getting downhearted Magpies seemed spurred on by the miss, and Matt Brand soon had a chance to correct his error when he confidently tidied up from a Toby Hughes effort, before Hughes took his side into the lead. Magpies’ midfield of Stacey, Hughes, Carpenter, Cummings and man of the match, Brice had turned the game. The performance was completed with a flourish when Brand found beating the goalkeeper from the top of the circle easier than the opportunity he had “declined” some 15 minutes previous. With the points secured the whole squad and their greatly appreciated spectators, will now feel Magpies are “into the league”, and will take this confidence with them on next week’s trip to Bourne.

Magpies 3rd XI report

East Hockey Leagues Division 2N

After 5 years of local league hockey, Harleston Magpies 3rd XI returned to regional hockey by making the 2-hour trip to Spalding, Lincolnshire. The increased commitment to travel has meant big changes in the Magpies team with only 3 regular players remaining from last year’s promotion winning season. However, the new side has a bit more youth and energy to it, attributes that will come in very handy judging by this opening fixture.
Having also been promoted last year Spalding 1st XI sent out a confident team followed by a very supportive crowd. Early Magpies pressure quietened the Spalding followers and this early possession brought its reward when Phil Cobbald converted a penalty stroke. The home side weren’t to be outdone however, and equalised from a short corner before halftime. The second half followed a similar pattern when Matt Brand turned in a goal end at the end of a good Harleston move, only to see it cancelled out from a Spalding short corner. Both goalkeepers put in fine performances to keep the game level as with John Livings getting the captain’s vote as Harleston player of the Match.

Matt Brand


Magpies 3rds versus Norwich Dragons 2nds
Magpies won 3-0

Magpies entertained a resurgent Norwich Dragons who had won consecutive games and they came to Weybread with high hopes of a major upset against the undefeated Harleston side.

Norwich Dragons started with their usual panache but soon blew out like a gust of wind. Matt Brand was back with his usual show pony skills and scored a cracking goal from a wonderful short corner routine. The second was also scored by Brand and was again a trademark short corner goal. Dragons resulted to aggressive tactics for the rest of the first half and this played into the hands of the powerhouse magpies’ midfield!!!

The second half was a quiet affair with Magpies absorbing Dragons fruitless attacks. Matt Storti moved upfront in the last twenty five minutes when Paul Shelley’s recurring arthritic elbow flared up. Matt described his own play like the speed of a hungry cheetah and guile and cunning of a hunted springbok, but in England we call this the headless chicken technique. Brand closed the game when wonderful build up play resulted in a neat finish.

Will Main made an impressive debut with some lovely touches and skilful runs whilst Adam ( Joel says it spelt deleascelesess) was strong and powerful on the left side of defence.

3s Annual Cake Competition

Eaten by John Pestel!

Won by Mark Lewis


Norwich City 3 vrs Harleston Magpies 3

Magpies won 2-1

In a week that the team could not find an umpire amongst all members of Magpies and the rejection of every available goalkeeper, you would assume the omens were not looking good for magpies to maintain their 100% winning record.

Captain Joel Nelson used his leadership qualities to borrow an umpire from Norwich Dragons and to call up a legend in Alan ‘Rhino’ Kirton to debut in goal.

The game started for Magpies in their usual fashion with quick and effective passing which resulted in goals from Matt Brand and Paul Shelley. The Norwich side worked very hard to break down play and would attack and defend in numbers. This slowed play down for both teams at the end of the half.

The second half continued in the same fashion with strong attacking play, Magpies missed chance after chance (After the game Matt Brand claimed that the goals were not of regulation size and if they had been he would have scored at least eight). The lack of finishing gave Norwich City confidence and they pushed forward in numbers and eventually they scored off a deflected short corner.

Overall this was a comfortable game for Magpies in which they made unduly difficult.


Magpies Third Team versus UEA 1st

On a wet and dark afternoon at Weybread which felt more like the start of the monsoon season Harleston magpies 3rds took on second placed UEA 1sts.

The game was initially delayed due to UEA putting the wrong Harleston on their Sat Nav systems. We later found out that the person in question was studying for his MASTERS degree !!!!

Magpies started like a coiled spring with a powerful energetic opening ten minutes which was surprising considering seven members of the hockey team had spent all the preceding day at the beer festival.

By half time the team had secured a three goal lead with Tim Johnson, Matt Brand and a Paul Shelley penalty flick. It was very brave of Paul Shelly to take his second penalty flick of the afternoon after his first could only be described as a dribble towards a disbelieving goal keeper

Magpies started off the second half in exuberant fashion with precise one touch flowing hockey but UEA showed determination to score back to reduce the deficit to two goals. Brand with his usual deadly guile quickly added the fourth but to give credit to UEA they refused to give in and scored off an excellent cross.

Joel Nelson then rolled his ankle whilst walking back to defend a short corner. There are rumours that the sniper from the water tower who injured Val Tolhurst is back with his new night sight!!

The game ended with Matt ‘Christian Ronaldo’ Storti scoring the fifth with a wonderful flick shot to concrete a truly wonderful performance by the team.