Mens 5th Team v Pelicans 3 D 4-4
The Men’s 5ths headed off to play Pelicans 3rds with 10 players. Being 4-0 down after quarter of an hour it looked like being a long afternoon. Once we settled down and started to retain possession things started to look up. Open play goals from Joe Wicks and Chris Hall and a penalty flick converted by Oli Hall got us back to 4-3 at half time. Magpies started the second half playing some excellent hockey and Joe scored a second well deserved goal. With legs tiring both teams had chances to win but a draw was a fair result.
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 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 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 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 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.
Mens 4th Team vs Bury St Edmunds 3rd Team (Away (L) W 4-0)
A really encouraging first league match of the season. The hard work and mature application of the 8 youngsters in the team bodes well for a good season. Although it was a 4-0 victory the young defenders Louis Calvert, Oli Hall and Seth Read all had really good games
MAGPIES MEN’S 4THS 8 IPSWICH CRANES 1
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.
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.