Category Archives: mens 4s reports

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.

Men’s 4th Team Report Saturday 29th November

The Men’s 4s travelled to Lowestoft to play Railway 1s in a must-win match. Full of enthusiasm after netting last week, Greg Jagger decided to turn up two hours early! When the rest of the team arrived, Bob Skinner, Richard Gill and David Blackmore gave their usual inspirational team talk and the 4s headed to the pitch. On this incredibly sandy and obscenely slippery surface the team started positively and were unlucky to go behind to our, shall we say, more physically developed opposition. Things got worse when we conceded a flick which, despite the best efforts of Andy ‘Pansy’ Palmer, was slotted home. However, even if ‘Pansy’ had saved it, Railway still would have scored, for the umpire insisted that ‘Pansy’ should stand behind the goal-line for the flick, before blowing the whistle as our talented keeper readjusted his stance. Full of indignation, Magpies enjoyed a spell of significant pressure and, at our second short-corner, Myles King slammed a drag-flick home to make the score 2-1.

Half-time came and the 4s felt that we were still very much in the game, with the dynamism and work rate of our forwards, added to Richard Gill’s superb aerial bombardment, creating a potent attacking weapon for our disposal in the second period. However, we didn’t count on the pace of their left winger who, having been speed gunned on the side-line, was found to have reached a top speed of 270 mph. Our back-line, comprised of Skinner and Blackmore who are, perhaps, not as speedy as once they were; Jamie Lawrence, who was playing on the left and so had his own winger with whom to deal; and a centre-back who, apparently, often seems like “he his running through treacle”, were not able to handle the zippy, lippy winger who, despite, much to his chagrin, being flattened by a no-nonsense ‘Pansy’, wreaked havoc amongst our rear-line. After setting up a goal and then scoring one himself, we found ourselves 4-1 down, but the 4s soon woke up and camped out in the Railway half, winning a number of short-corners which, on another day, would have come to fruition. As we continued to knock on Railway’s door, we became susceptible to counter-attacks which, thankfully, were foiled by the impressive Palmer and the rock-solid Skinner. However, one of these breakaways did result in a goal as, after Jake Sewell and Greg Jagger had both come close to scoring, the whippet-like Railway winger set off like a train (get it?!) and zipped past the flat-footed Hipper, struck a shot which was well-saved by Palmer and then allowed one of his team-mates to nudge the rebound home.

Credit goes to the whole team for fighting until the bitter end and not becoming despondent; Matt Hull and Ben Kilburn, as well as the strike-force, for their exceptional work-rate; and each player for taking the moral high-ground in the face of a rather short-tempered opposition.

MOTM: Richard Gill, who, playing exceptionally as always, showed just why the team are so pleased to have gained his services this year.

Match Report – Men’s 4ths – Saturday 15 November 2014



What a disaster! The Captain forgot to bring the half time jelly babies.

On a mild but foggy day at The Nest the 4ths assembled, determined to reverse our recent run of poor results. Spurred on by the annoyance of no half time goodies we took the game to our visitors. From the start our excellent build up play saw us break through the visitors midfield but our final pass was often played a bit late. Slightly against the run of play Pelicans scored from one of their few sorties into our D. We continued to press forward and deservedly equalised from a well worked long corner when Richard Gill scored with an exquisite finish following a pass from Tris.

With the score 1-1 at half time and a few unhappy murmurs about lack of sustenance we felt that the game was there for the taking, as long as it was not called off due to lack of visibility. From the whistle Gilly started to rain down a succession of aerials on the Pelicans defence; the ball dropping out of the clouds and causing no end of problems. This half we significantly improved our passing in the opposition half and created several un-converted short corners. When the visitors scored a second goal this seemed to energise the whole team and we tore into them in the gathering gloom. With about 10 minutes to go our skipper, disorientated by the fog found himself on top of the visitors circle. Time seemed to slow down as he bent down to attempt a reverse stick shot. Reasonably decent contact was made, but the ball was travelling at waist height just outside the right hand post when up popped Ben Kilburn to guide it into the net with another exquisite touch.

With time running out we pounded the opposition goal but a succession of shorties right on full time went unrewarded.

This was a very satisfying way to gain our first point of the season. The effort and application of every player was exemplary. There were smiles on faces at the end, with everyone already looking forward to next weeks game.

Perhaps I should forget the jelly babies again!


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.

Magpies 4ths 1 Bury 1sts 4

On paper this fixture did not seem to be an even match up. Actually on the pitch everything looked pretty good for the first 45 minutes. From the start Magpies played some exciting attacking hockey with the Bens, Myles and Gregg combining well to keep Bury on their toes. Bury only won one short corner in the first half and when Myles converted our first corner the score did not seem wrong.
With the half time score 1-0 to Magpies we expected Bury to come at us hard from the start of the second. Initially we held them relatively comfortably, and still threatened on the break. Even when Bury got one goal back we still felt that we could get something out of the game. Gradually Burys superior strength and fitness began to tell and they ran in 3 more goals towards the end.
Overall this was a good performance against a team that will be pushing for promotion this season.


Ipswich Cranes 1sts 2 Magpies 4ths 1

Our preparations for this match were disrupted by the traffic heading to watch the Super Blues extend their unbeaten run. 5 minutes before PB we had 8 players sprinting about the pitch, trying to look like 11!

Needless to say we started off on the back foot, relying on Pansy to keep Cranes at bay. As the first half progressed we played our way into the game and it was a bit of a disappointment when a lack of communication led to a Cranes forward getting into the D and firing home an excellent reverse stick shot. By half time we were playing some impressive attacking hockey but were unable to capitalise on the short corners we won. With Jamie and Tris looking more and more assured at the back we were pretty confident that we could get something from the game.

As the second half progressed we controlled the game more and more with the two Bens, Gregg and Tom working really well together and continually breaking down Cranes defence. With 10 minutes to go we finally scored the goal we deserved with Ben Kilburn finishing off an excellent move started by David Johnsons one touch play on the right.

Following our goal the home GK had words with the umpire and was invited to sit out the rest of the game. With 5 mins to go the reserve goalie made the save of the match to deny us a second goal. With the last touch of the game Cranes broke into our D and knocked in the winner.

An ultimately frustrating result of course, but somewhat mitigated by the excellent play of the youngsters who are really stepping up to playing at this level.



Magpies 4ths 2 Norwich City 3rds 3

In our first league match of the season we entertained old foes City 3rds. With a much changed squad (yes, 13!) from last season, and even from last week, pre-match we emphasised communication, hard work and retaining possession.
Luckily in this seasons youngsters, two of whom were playing their first adult game, we have good listeners and quick learners. From the start the team played with confidence and enthusiasm and it was slightly surprising to find ourselves two goals down. As the opposition tired we played some lovely flowing hockey that resulted in a fine team goal, excellently finished by Myles.
Against the run of play City scored a third from a short corner, leaving us quite a task. We were up to it however and piled on the pressure which resulted in a succession of short corners. Finally with only a minute to go Jon Wells crashed in our 2nd, but it was too late for us to get a deserved equaliser.
It would be unfair to pick out an individual youngster for praise; they all played with great skill and application. It all bodes well for an excellent season.


Ladies 4ths Match Report

Dereham 3s P-P Magpies 4s

Harleston Magpies, sponsored by Farmers Weekly, headed to Dereham for a midday pushback feeling confident after their win last weekend. Considering the weather conditions and the fact that many games at Weybread had been cancelled, we were surprised that the game was still on but we dropped children off at childminders, forced contact lenses into tired eyes and got changed in a freezing changing room assuming we were about to head into battle. Vice-captain Treacle ran us through the game plan she had spent the journey organising and Rachel led us through the warm up on a rock hard pitch covered in frost whilst the home side watched us from the comfort of the clubhouse.
They did then ventured out onto the pitch, which Irene had deemed unsafe to play on, and after much discussion between umpires and captains it was decided that the game would be rearranged for February…a decision that could have been made at 9am and saved us a wasted journey, but at least they gave us some cake and a cup of tea and we had a good natter!

MOM – Tommy Goodson
DOD – Dereham HC

There are still spaces on the Magpies tour to Australia leaving on Tuesday so sign up now!

Dereham 6ths 2 Harleston Magpies 7ths 4

Dereham 6ths 2 Harleston Magpies 4

With several players on parental duties with the youngsters at indoor tournaments, and Roger Kent dropped to the 5th team in an attempt to rediscover his goal touch there were some new but not exactly fresh faces in the Magpies line up.

Despite having less of the ball Magpies attacks were more incisive and they scored after three minutes when Iain Cumming took the ball around the goalkeeper in a style not often seen in the 7ths. Further goals came from a Jon Wells short corner and a long range, for him, shot from Magic.

Half time was reached with Magpies comfortable and 3-0 up.

In the second half, Magpies penchant for innovation hit new heights with John Pestell’s desire to play as a second sweeper despite the encumbrance of the goalkeeper’s pads. This turned out to be the only half so far this season that Magpies have lost as Dereham scored two goals – the first a good individual effort and the second through a misunderstanding of Trott/Strauss dimensions in the Magpies defence. About the only defender blameless for this was Chris Humphries but it would be unfair to explain why. Between these conceded goals a well worked short corner gave Jon Wells his second of the game. Also notable in the second half was Magpies finally giving away a first short corner some 210 playing minutes since the previous one.

Next week Magpies take on second place Bury and will need to be a lot sharper if their 100% record is to remain.

Harleston Magpies Mens 4ths – Match Report Saturday 23rd October 2010

Harleston Magpies Mens 4ths vs Ipswich 3rds – 2 – 2 Draw

The initial 10 minutes suggested that Magpies were going to be in for a very hard day. Ipswich pressed the young Magpies team back creating various open play opportunities and a series of short corners all of which they failed to convert thanks to the efforts of Blandy, Absalom and Flatt in defence and Man of the match Ross Briggs in goal. Magpies worked through this rocky start and began to gain a bit of possession, even threatening to score through a reverse stick shot by Elliot Ashurst late in the half. The second half started in much the same vein with Ipswich on the front foot pushing for a goal and eventually they broke the deadlock finally beating Briggs with an accurate short corner strike. However, Magpies were now more regularly counter acting and the team responded immediately, winning a short corner which Sam Ashurst converted with a drag flick.

With the game heading towards a draw Magpies were temporarily reduced to 10 men and this just gave Ipswich the room they needed to snatch the lead with only a minute to go. However Magpies didn’t give up and a final push found Elliot Ashurst in front of goal who won a short corner on the final whistle. The full team stepped up and on this occasion Sam Ashurst turned provider slipping the ball to Craig Whipps who topped a fine individual display by firing home the equaliser to give Magpies a well deserved point.

James Smith

HMHC Mens 4ths Captain

Harleston Magpies Mens 4ths – Match Report Saturday 16th October 2010

Harleston Magpies Mens 4ths vs North Walsham 3 – 0 Win

Finally a well deserved win for Magpies youngsters but it was old head Stuart Peters who broke the deadlock when Giles Flatt initial shot was saved but the rebound fell kindly to Peters who flicked the ball home. The second half saw Magpies start cautiously but slowly they found their passing rhythm resulting in Matthew Judge and Mitchell Tomkins scoring their first league goals for the club and earning Magpies their first league points. The final goal the pick of the bunch when Mitchell Tomkins completed a flowing move which saw Matt Judge, James Smith , Charlie Blandy and Josh Fitzgerald transfer the attack from the left to the right in a matter of seconds and open up a gap in the North Walsham defence for Mitchell to complete the score line.

James Smith

HMHC Mens 4ths Captain

Harleston Magpies Mens 4ths – Match Report Saturday 2nd October 2010

Harleston Magpies Mens 4ths vs Gorleston – 1-3 Lost

Against the run of play Harleston Magpies 4ths opened the scoring through a short corner converted by Josh Fitzgerald with a crisply struck reverse stick shot. However in the second half Gorleston’s consistent pressure lead to a deserved equaliser following which Gorleston capitalised on this momentum and added the winning goals. Despite a steady start to the league season Magpies youngsters can take great heart from their last two performances and with a full squad available this weekend and continued hard work at training positive results should not be far away.

Charlie Blandy and Luke Naunton both impressed in the heart of Magpies defence again this week with good solid performances.

James Smith

HMHC Mens 4ths Captain