Category Archives: mens 4s reports


Mens 4th Team v Norwich City 5ths (Home (L) W 2-1)

At a chilly Nest the Mens 4ths entertained City 5ths who had won the previous meeting. City are a well organised experienced team and Magpies knew that they would have to work hard and play well to get a result. From the start Magpies took the game to the opposition and allowed City very little possession in Magpies half. City’s overhead threat was well controlled by the solid back four.
Midway through the first half City conceded a penalty flick which was well dispatched by Cobbald junior. The second half followed the pattern of the first, with Magpies on the front foot and City causing little threat. Following an excellent foray down the right Arthur took the ball into the circle and despatched a fine reverse stick shot into the far corner.
It came as a bit of a surprise when City won a flick from their second penalty corner which they scored. Magpies played out the remaining time for a very satisfactory win.


Mens 4th Team v Pelicans 4th (Away (L) W 3-0)

On a characteristically sunny afternoon in Kings Lynn the 4ths turned up with an enthusiastic yet slightly unfit squad of 11. Having agreed our line up over a pre warm up coffee we took the field confident of our positions if not our style of play, or stamina.
From the start we had the opposition on the back foot and this set the tone for the game. Toby and Arthur, prompted by JA created numerous chances, and once Toby at last scored the first goal the result was not in question.
With the energetic mid field duo of Rob and David J ably controlling the center of the park, the rather experienced defence, and Oli, kept the opposition forwards under tight control. Further goals from Toby and the excellent Arthur ensured that the points were secured.


Mens 4th Team v Thetford 1 ( Home (L) W  6-4 )

With this 6-4 win, the 4ths aggregate scores for the last 4 games is 19 for, 16 against! Quite a record. The 4ths went into this mid table contest confident that they would be able to score goals, and so it proved.
Beginning with high intensity Magpies pegged Thetford into their own half and scoring regularly went into half time 3-1 up. The second half really opened up with both sides attacking at will. With Arthur Johnson leading the line well Magpies always looked dangerous. Despite Thetford scoring from two late well taken corners Magpies ran out deserved winners with Arthur scoring a well deserved hat trick and Rob Neal popping up with two more goals.



Mens 4ths v Felixstowe 2nds (Home (L) L 4-5)

Looking to continue their winning run, Magpies 4ths entertained Felixstowe 2nds at The Nest. Unfortunately Magpies started off in second gear and from the start gave away possession to the eager opposition forwards. It was no surprise when from turnover ball Felixstowe scored the opening goal. This woke Magpies up and although still not firing on all cylinders they scored 3 goals without reply. Right on half time Felixstowe scored from another turnover to make the halftime score 3-2.
In the second half the game opened up and although Toby Hughes scored his hat trick goal Magpies always seemed a bit vulnerable at the back. This uncertainty led to Felixstowe scoring two late goals to take the points 4-5.


Mens 4th Team v North Norfolk 2nds
(Away (L) W 6-3)

The small but perfectly formed 4th team squad arrived in Cromer hoping to break their sequence of 4 games without a win. That this was achieved whilst in the process finally finding their scoring touch gives great credit to the team.
The progressive 3331 formation suited the available players and Magpies were on the front foot from the off. Magpies were always ahead, being 3-1 up at half time and ending up 6-3 winners.
It is impossible to list all those who played well (everyone actually) but mention should be made of Seth, Louis and Hugo who improve with each game. Lastly a special mention to Rob Neal who scored a lovely dragged corner, proving that practice does make perfect!


Mens 4th v North Norfolk 1 (Home (L) L 0-2)

Magpies always knew that this was going to be a difficult game against unbeaten North Norfolk 1st team. Magpies however started off in top gear and pegged the visitors back for long periods of the first half. Playing controlled, high tempo hockey Magpies created a lot of pressure but did not always make the best decisions in the final third of the pitch. Several penalty corners went un-converted and any threat North Norfolk posed was adequately dealt with with the well marshalled Magpies defence.
The second half continued in the same vein, with the visitors, used to dominating and scoring freely beginning to get frustrated. Despite Magpies continuing to win short corners it was North Norfolk who took the lead from a well worked corner routine. With 10 minutes to go the visitors scored from another corner routine and despite continued pressure Magpies just could not score.
This was an excellent game against a strong opposition 1st team. Mention should be made of Seth Read who dominated at the back assisted by Goalie James Harvey who did not make one mistake and made several excellent saves.

Mens 4th Team Match Report 21st October

Mens 4th Team vs Ipswich 3rd Team (Home (L) D 1-1)

Match Commentary: Magpies were facing their biggest challenge of the season so far with the visit of unbeaten Ipswich 3rds. Both teams started strongly with chances hard to create. Gradually Magpies took control, working very hard to win and then retain possession. Any threats to the Magpies goal were dealt with by debutant GK Chris Routs. With Magpies midfield really buzzing the home side started to create a few chances and eventually following a break by Alex Kilbourn and Arthur Ross, Alex slotted the ball passed the oncoming keeper.
The second half continued in a similar manner but with Ipswich, following a tactical change exerting more pressure. This pressure eventually led to an equalising goal and with both sides going for the winner Chris Routs made an great diving stick save to deny Andy Cook in the final minutes.
This was an excellent game played and umpired in a tremendous spirit. The work rate and skill level of the youngsters on display was great to see

Mens 4th Team Match Report 14th October 2017

Mens 4th Team vs Norwich City 5th Team (Away (L) L 1-2)

This was a hard fought match. City shaded the first half and deservedly went into half time 1-0 ahead. At half time Magpies reorganised and started to press higher up the pitch, and kept better possession of the ball. A succession of penalty corners led to an equaliser from Phil Cobbald. With Magpies pressing for the winner City broke away and scored what proved to be the winning goal themselves.

Mens 4th Team Match Report 7th October 2017

Mens 4th Team vs IES 4th Team (Home (L) D 1-1)

This was a classic ‘game of two halves’! In the first half Magpies struggled to settle down, and pressed by IES continually gave the ball away. IES deservedly went into half time one goal up. A slight tactical change at half time led to a significant improvement with Magpies taking much better care of the ball and working it around the pitch well. Tom Norton scored a well taken equaliser and in the last few minute Magpies had chances to win the match.

Mens 4th Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Mens 4th Team vs Pelicans 3rd Team (Home (L) W 5-1)

Despite exerting early pressure Magpies went behind following a miss controlled hit into the D. Magpies hit back almost immediately when Mitch Tomkins, making his first appearance for the 4ths for 4 years finished neatly. Magpies controlled the rest of the half with goals from Hugo Thomas and Arthur Johnson.

Pelicans came back into the game in the second half, but rarely threatened the Magpies goal. As the game stretched out Magpies scored two more goals from debutant Hugo Thomas and Stuart Peters.

Match report – Men’s 4ths – Saturday 4 March 2017


The home team started slowly and the opening exchanges were mostly in midfield with neither side creating clear cut opportunities. Magpies struggled to find much fluency and did not use the width of the pitch effectively to stretch a not particularly mobile Cranes defence. Eventually the breakthrough was made after good close control from Arthur Johnson and a deft pass to Alex Kilbourn who finished with ease. The remainder of the half was mostly played in the midfield of the pitch and half time was reached with the score 1-0.

The first 10 minutes of the second half were the best period of play by Magpies with excellent interchange passing using the full width of the pitch. Incisive work from Kieran Peters, Morgan Manly and Arthur Johnson created two clear shooting chances from the top of the circle for Alex Kilbourn, both of which he despatched into opposite corners of the goal to complete a well-deserved hat-trick.

Against the run of play a Cranes forward embarked on a mazy run and finished with an excellent shot to defeat the returning Jordan Wiseman in goal. Magpies continued to press and it was not long before Arthur Johnson scored with a crisp shot into the bottom corner of the goal after another flowing move. Oli Clarke worked tirelessly at left midfield, well supported by Harry Haigh and as the game moved into the final 10 minutes Magpies overwhelmed a tiring Cranes team with their movement off the ball an early passing. This resulted in two further goals for Arthur Johnson to complete his own hat-trick. This was followed by another great shot from Alex Kilbourn to take his tally to four for the match.

In the final minute of the game an exchange of passes at a penalty corner between the Peters family resulted in the younger Kieran scoring from close range. The quality of finishing from forwards Alex Kilbourn and Arthur Johnson was exceptional and they could not be separated as men of the match.

Match report – Men’s 4ths – Saturday 11 February 2017

Magpies Men’s 4ths 2 UEA Men’s 2nds 1

Having narrowly lost to the league leaders, UEA 2nds, earlier in the season the return fixture showed the progress made by the 4ths. A 2-1 victory was thoroughly deserved against a skilful and quick opposition. A closely fought first half finished 0-0 with James Plested, Seth Read, Max Warde-Aldam and Toby Ewers defending brilliantly. After half time Magpies exerted more pressure with Lewis Belsey working very hard to harry the UEA defence. Midway through the half the ball was turned over to Stuart Peters who advanced to the edge of the D and sent a crisp shot into the bottom right hand corner. UEA threw players forward and Murray Graham made two excellent save to protect the lead.

With 5 minutes to go UEA scored a scrappy equaliser but Magpies refused to be beaten and with 2 minutes to go won a penalty stroke from a well worked short corner. After a discussion between Kieran Peters and Alex Kilbourn about who should take the penalty, Alex stepped up to coolly send the goalkeeper the wrong way and score. Player of the match Kieran Peters.

Match report – Men’s 4ths – Saturday 19 November 2016

Newmarket 2nds 1 Magpies’ Men’s 4ths 3

Magpies started well against an experienced and powerful Newmarket 2nd team, continuing their high quality passing game from the week before. The first goal of the game came after 10 minutes with a neat near post deflection by Neil Watson from a penalty corner to put Magpies ahead. Further good attacking play down the right created a chance for Alex Kilbourn which he took with great composure, lifting the ball over the goalkeeper from close range. Arthur Johnson made an excellent contribution on his debut and was unlucky not to score with a fierce shot from an acute angle. The third goal was not long in coming however, when another flowing move finished with Tom Norton scoring with a crisp shot.

The second half was very different with Newmarket stepping further up the pitch and pressing Magpies at every opportunity. Rob Neal, David Cadman and Morgan Manly worked tirelessly in defence to resist the concerted pressure. Midway through the half Newmarket won their first penalty corner and scored with a slick routine. Further penalty corners were conceded and goalkeeper Murray Graham made several fine saves to keep Magpies 3-1 ahead. In the final 10 minutes Magpies regained a grip on the game and retained possession well to ensure the win. Another very pleasing performance from this young side.

Match report – Men’s 4ths – Saturday 5 November 2016

Ipswich Cranes 3 Magpies’ Men’s 4ths 2

Magpies weathered an early period of Cranes pressure and slowly started to show their attacking prowess and Morgan Manly got the final touch after a swift counter-attack. Despite lots of pressure the boys failed to convert further chances. Half-time 1-0 to Magpies.

The boys started the second half slowly but were unfortunate to concede the equaliser. Cranes upped the pressure and scored two more goals – one from a short corner strike, the second on the counter as Magpies tried to get back on level terms. The final 20 minutes were played largely in the Cranes half. The pressure told when Kieran Peters scored a trademark reverse stick shot into the top corner. With time running out Magpies won a short corner but Cranes scrambled it clear. Final score 3-2 to Cranes.

This was a good learning experience for the boys showing the need for 100% concentration. It was a winnable game but a poor 10 minutes after half time cost us the game.

Men’s 4s vs Norwich Dragons 2s

The Men’s 4th Team travelled to the “Dragons’ Den” having already been relegated. Despite this source of frustration, the team were determined to beat a Dragons side with whom close games had been had previously in the season.

We started off strongly, and had chances to enter the ‘D’, but chances for Magpies were few and far between and, although the defence, especially Walker, Herschel-Shorland and Rob Bensly, did well to repel them, Dragons managed to create some goal-scoring opportunities. However, Murray Graham, in typical fashion, was not going to let anything into the net and, at half-time, the team knew they had a chance of still securing the win, since the score was, at the time, 0-0.

However, injured captain David Blackmore soon put the mockers on it by suggesting that we could sneak a 1-0 win, for early in the second half the Dragons forward slotted home from a tight angle, and this was soon followed up by a rasping drag-flick which was slammed home into the top right corner, leaving neither Graham nor the post-man a chance.

Magpies battled back into the game and Matt Bensly, debuting for the side, was particularly impressive out on the right, causing their experienced full back a number of difficulties with his skill and positional nous. However, although Matt, Greg Jagger and Harry Haigh continued to make chances, none were put away (including two tame short corners) and their striker slotted his second and the team’s third late on.

A frustrating day for the team as, like most games this season, things just did not run for them and, on another day, the result would have been very different. Credit to all 11 fit players who soldiered on against a youthful, pacy, skilful Dragons side who dispatched our 3s last week.

Player of the day: debutant Matt Bensly

Men’s 4th Team Report Saturday 14th February

The Men’s 4th Team travelled to Ipswich today to play IES 2s on their “Smurf Turf”.

With Bob Skinner now manager/coach/tactical maestro due to a hamstring injury from last week which, sadly, is going to keep him sidelined until next season, Phil Cobbald filled the void at centre back. The team also welcomed James Lane in goal, Jonathan Payne in midfield and Oli Clarke who roamed.

The 4s started positively and, while neither side had the lion’s share of the possession, we strung together a succession of attacks, and Cobbald tested the opposition goalie with a strike from a short corner.

We reached half time at 0-0, confident that, although the first half had been uneventful for the most part, we would be able to go on and win the game. Indeed, we were soon 1-0 up, despite their centre forward’s objections, through a well worked short which saw Richard Gill dink a finish over the ‘keeper who was on the floor.

We continued to fashion chances, but our ball retention began to let us down, with yours truly finding IES players with nearly every pass. IES’s heads, which had been down for a while after going behind, started to lift, and they clawed their way back into the game.

After a sustained period of pressure, a pin point aerial found their striker who brought a good save from Lane; unfortunately, the ball fell straight to their onrushing forward who slammed it home, making it one a piece.

We were keen not to have a repeat of the game away at Cranes, where they nicked all three points in the dying seconds of the game, but, of course, the exact same thing happened – a slick move found their attacker, already with one goal to his name, with his back to goal and only a centre back in between.

Naturally, he drilled it straight through him to wrap up the win – a sickener, agreed the team, since the performance had been so good. IES, in their dugout, could be overheard saying how it had been their best performance of the season; a recurring theme, one might say, since week in, week out, the 4s have produced performances that should, in reality, never merit a place at the foot of the table, and have drawn the best from their opponents to win the matches.

As always, Richard Gill had an immense game, and was by far the best player on the pitch; Phil Cobbald picked out his men with precision; Jonathan Sharpe was dynamic out on the right; and Jonty Herschel-Shorland, man of the match, had an excellent game behind him.

After a break next weekend, the team will have a tough game against UEA 1s but, provided central defence issues are solved, anything could happen.

Sudbury 2nds 2 Magpies 4ths 1

When, as you walk off the pitch after a 2-1 defeat, both the umpires and opposition apologise and say that you should have won, you know that you have missed an opportunity.

Following an encouraging last weekend of hockey we travelled to Sudbury in confident mood. No frost, no snow, rain or wind. From the start we pushed the opposition back, finding plenty of room in midfield. Rather against the run of play Sudbury scored with a quick break when their centre forward just got a touch on the ball to send in trickling into the corner of our goal.

Magpies fought back, with Jonty looking comfortable at left back and Jake bossing things top of the diamond. We won a run of short corners from one of which our captain surprisingly popped up to level the scores. We continued to press and despite several more opportunities and short corners it was Sudbury who sneaked into a half time lead with a miss hit short corner of their own.

With our fitness beginning to tell the second half consisted mainly of a succession of goal chances and short corners, non of which unfortunately came to anything. With the second half remaining scoreless Sudbury came out 2-1 winners.

Apart from not scoring 4-5 goals this was a very satisfying game. The work rate, skill levels and team spirit shown was excellent. Well done guys.


Men’s 4th Team Report Saturday 6th December

The Men’s 4th Team travelled to Taverham on a nippy December afternoon, knowing that we had to get something out of our match against Norwich City 3s. After watching the Men’s 2s annihilate City 1s, the team went onto the pitch full of belief that Saturday 6th December would go down as the day that we won a game and turned our season around. The game began and we took a foothold in the match, with the central pivots of Matt Hull and Stu Peters being used to good effect. The game soon became ten on ten when, in an off-the-ball incident, Greg Jagger found himself nose to nose with a City defender. The umpire removed a red card from his pocket and was about to brandish it at the instigator (not Greg) when Jagger retaliated in what can only be described as the feeblest shove known to man. This display of strength from Greg earned him a yellow and reduced the City player’s punishment to an equal sanction – well done Jagger!

Back to the game, and both teams had an equal share of possession, with Magpies winning a short corner and finding themselves camped out on the edge of City’s ‘D’ for long spells. However, nothing came of these, and City had the ball in the goal down our end when, after a swift counter-attack, their forward drove into the ‘D’ and struck a shot with such power that it created a hole in the side-netting before pinging off the backboard. The striker claimed his ‘goal’, but the umpires spotted the gap it had created and blew for a sixteen, much to Magpies’ relief.

Half-time, our old enemy, came, and the score stood at 0-0. Jelly babies on board, the team started the second half hoping to stop the rot of previous weeks, for it has become traditional that the 4s begin the latter period very slowly and often concede – a bad habit. Full of the incentive not to let it happen this week, we promptly conceded a short corner, then another, and then a goal. We tried to get back into the game, but the lack of passing precision meant that we weren’t building enough pressure; at the back, the ball went from Lawrence to Skinner, Skinner to Hipper, then Hipper to no-one bar the fence, much to Blackmore’s chagrin. That said, when David did receive good service he tended to maraud forwards and was the driving force behind many attacks. Likewise, Skinner had a very good game and kept their headless striker in his pocket throughout the match, while Palmer in goal made a string of outstanding saves to keep the score at 1-0 to them.

The game opened up as the second half continued, and hefty tackles began to become the norm. We managed to enter their ‘D’ a few times but, tellingly, didn’t manage to get one shot off all game (if I remember correctly), despite King, Sewell and Jagger’s tenacity and Peters’ ingenuity. City were more clinical, and, despite Palmer’s best efforts, managed to net two more and kill the match. A frustrating day, and we are still to pick up a win.