Category Archives: Reports

CHAIRMAN’S CHAT – 22 November 2007

More Magpies’ Mini Magic!

It was pleasing to see so many people at the club last Sunday for the girls’ minis tournament expertly run by Shirley and Nick McAllen with invaluable help from Richard Larkin (timekeeper), Amy Tuffs (i/c scoreboard), Kirstin Cumming with her team in the kitchen and the Club members who kindly umpired – my thanks to them all. On a cold but thankfully dry morning we saw a lot of excellent hockey and congratulations to Magpies A, managed by Nigel Wooltorton, on winning the U13 event.

The previous day it was good to see former HMHC members Ali Bicker and Lou Waite returning to Weybread with the Doncaster team. Not for the first time Ali scored against us but at least Lou didn’t this time as she was hobbling around on crutches following a football injury. To my disappointment she declined to use the stairlift! Nevertheless I’m sure we all wish her a speedy recovery! As for the game the Ladies’ 1sts played well in their search for that elusive first point (or three) of the season before letting their first half lead slip after the break. Best of luck to the team this Saturday (12.30pm) when in the last outdoor national league match until February 2nd (!) they entertain Sutton Coldfield coached by Magpies’ Vice-President Debbie Leonard who will be making a welcome return to the club.

Congratulations to the Men’s 1sts on retaining their 100% record with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Havering. After conceding three quick goals just before half time Havering packed their defence even more in the second half to thwart the lively Magpies’ forwards. This Saturday the team is away to Harpenden while second-placed St Albans are at home to Broxbourne who have yet to hit form this season.

Have you paid your subscription yet please? If not please do so this weekend. If we applied the rules very strictly all defaulters would by now have been banned from playing until they had paid. I do not want this to happen but unless payment is received in the next few days this might well be the consequence as is an entry on the imminent ‘Name and Shame’ list to be displayed in the clubhouse.

Please come along to the following event
this Saturday (24 November)

TICKETS £3 (including food) available from the bar
Dress: Smart Casual

An enjoyable evening guaranteed!

And next day after the Cocktail Evening why not spend a few enjoyable hours at the Club cheering our teams to victory in their respective national youth cups, namely U18 Girls v Ipswich (12.00), U15 Boys v Dereham (1.00pm) and U18 Boys v Cambs Nomads (2.00pm).

With kind regards and best wishes to all members, supporters and friends of the Club.

Mike Denham (Chairman)
Tel: 01603 506925
22 November 2007


24th November 2007

Harleston Magpies Ladies, sponsored by Kitchen Sense of Harleston, play Sutton Coldfield at home starting at 12.30 in their English League Division I game. This is Magpies final League game before Christmas break prior to the start of the Indoor season.

Sutton Coldfield who were unfortunate to be relegated from the Premier Division last season are coached by Debbie Leonard who knows Magpies well as she coached the Harleston team for four years before work took her back to the Midlands.

Although Magpies are struggling this season they had their chances last week against Doncaster and for the last two games they have produced two good performances but with no result. In the end lack of experience at crucial moments have cost the team at both ends of the pitch.

SQUAD: Louisa Greenacre (Capt), Lucy Hayman, Helen Brook, Lucy Miller, Ellie Blake, Artemis Clark, Katrina Warnes, Debbie McAllen, Laura Parker, Jess Hull, Kathryn Hinsley, Cherry Seaborn and Angie Wheelhouse.

Harleston Magpies Men, sponsored by Durrants, continued their period at the top of East Premier League following a convincing win 3-0 against Havering. Whilst the scoreline may not suggest complete dominance the Magpies goalie had but one shot to save, Havering defended well in the second half to prevent Magpies extending their half-time lead.

St Albans continued their pursuit of Magpies with a narrow victory against equal bottom of the table Wapping. This week it is Magpies turn to play a bottom of the table side with a visit to Harpenden. St Albans have a tough fixture against Broxbourne. However it would be a suprise if the table did not have the same look at the top following these games.

Robert Stimpson commented following the Havering game “this was a confident display against a side who did not stop trying to disrupt our pattern. Whilst on paper the visit to Harpenden should result in three points it will only happen if we continue to get our preparation and attitude spot on.”

Ladies 1s – MATCH REPORT

Harleston Magpies 1-3 Doncaster

Magpies are still awaiting their first point of the campaign after a home defeat to fellow strugglers Doncaster.

The home side’s prospects had looked good as they led 1-0 at half-time, but their failure to convert more of their chances came back to haunt them in the second half as Doncaster fired three goals without reply.

Unsurprisingly, given both teams’ positions in the league, the match started in a cagey manner.

The Magpies defence looked solid and compact in the early exchanges with the back four of Helen Brook, Louisa Greenacre, Lucy Miler and Debbie McAllen able to deal with most of Doncaster’s early attacks.

Magpies went ahead after 25 minutes when, from their first penalty corner, Artemis Clark found the back of the net.

For the next 10 minutes, Magpies were clearly in the ascendancy and put the Doncaster defence under real pressure, creating three golden chances.

But somehow the Doncaster goalkeeper kept the ball out of the goal and the home side had to settle for a single-goal lead at the interval.

Kathryn Hinsley made a real impact coming off the bench, but the missed chances were to prove costly in the final analysis.

Within five minutes of the start of the second half, Doncaster were on level terms and then 2-1 in front following a penalty corner goal and fast counter attack.

Magpies were still in the game, however, and Laura Parker was having a tremendous game in midfield, well supported by Jess Hull and they caused continuous problems to the Doncaster defence.

Magpies had two further excellent chances on the break with Angie Wheelhouse and Cherry Seaborn threatening Doncaster, but the final pass let Magpies down.

Doncaster killed the game off with a late third goal, leaving Magpies left to reflect on those missed early chances.

It does not promise to get any easier for Magpies this weekend, as they face third-placed Sutton Coldfield on Saturday.

RESULTS – 17 NOV 2007

LADIES 1s v Doncaster (L) 12.30 (W) H L 1-3
LADIES 2s v Watton I (L) 1.45 (S) H L 1-2
LADIES Colts A v Broadland I (L) 2.30 A L 0-3
LADIES 5s v Thetford I (L) 1.30 A L 0-8
LADIES 6s v UEA 3s (L) 4.00 A D 2-2
LADIES Colts B v Lowestoft Rail. 2s (L) H W 11-0
LADIES Dev. v Pelicans (L) 12.15 (S) H D 2-2
Magpies Minis Tournament
U11 A GIRLS MAGPIES minis – 3rd
U11 B GIRLS MAGPIES minis – 5th
U13 A GIRLS MAGPIES minis – 1st
U13 B GIRLS MAGPIES minis – 7th

MENS 1s v Havering (L) 2.15 (W) H W 3-0
MENS 2s v Shefford & Sandy (L) A W 5-3
MENS 3s v IES 2 (L) 3.15 (S) H L 1-2
MENS 4s v Pelicans 2 (L) A D 2-2
MENS 5s v Bury St Eds 3 (L) 4.45 (S) H L 0-2
MENS 6s v Sudbury 3 (L) A L 0-4
Men VETS v Norwich Exiles (L) 4.00 (W) H D 2-2


Magpies Men 1s 3-0 Havering 1s

Calm & Controlled Harleston Keep 100% Record Intact

A Havering team with a track record of being frustrating opposition came to Weybread on Saturday, and they did not let their reputation down. The resulting game was an unspectacular affair in which Harleston were required to be controlled and disciplined in taking a 3-0 win from a game where the usual flowing hockey seen at Weybread was never seen.

On a cold and dark November afternoon it was obvious from the first few minutes of the game that the visiting team were putting all their attention and effort on breaking down the game. Harleston despite of this kept the ball well and the back four of Sitch Snr, Ling Jnr, Sumner and Bedwell moved the ball confidently allowing increasing pressure to be placed on the Havering defence.

The breakthrough came half way through the first period when a clever and well worked short corner was emphatically scored by Gill after a cool pin point pass from Baines. This goal spurred Magpies on and the next ten minutes saw Havering having to defend mercilessly. Despite this and much poor sportsmanship from Havering another two goals were added by the home team. The first of these was a text book goal scored by a Hipwell deflection after a well struck free hit from the ever present Gill, and the second of these was a carbon copy of Harleston’s first giving Gill his deserved second of the match.

Harleston could also have had the chance to add another after a good combination from Sitch Jnr and Hipwell set Barber clean through only for the defending keeper to cynically foul and somehow only concede a short corner. The last five minutes of the half saw the only real pressure from Havering as Harleston took their foot off the gas and played some sloppy hockey. A well struck Havering short corner looked like it would provide a way back into the game but for Gill showing his steel on the line to deflect the head height ball over the cross bar.

The second period saw Harleston completely dominate but a combination of good goalkeeping, disruptive tactics and umpires who couldn’t control the Havering players resulted in a period where territory could not be converted into goals. Despite of this Ling Snr, Wheeler and Fanger caused Havering consistent problems in the rare moments where play was allowed to continue long enough for their pace to show.

The end score line of 3-0 will disappoint Harleston as a game allowed to flow could have resulted in a much superior outcome. Even though a first clean sheet of the season for mature keep Martin and the defence will increase confidence as Harleston go into a difficult set of fixtures before the winter break looking to keep up their excellent run and stay as the only team in the league with a 100% record.


Shefford and Sandy 1s 3-5 Magpies 2s

A match which magpies expected to win ended up being
more hectic than initially expected after an open game
at Shefford and Sandy.

The home team started the brighter side of the two.
Men were pushed forward to great effect, and after
overrunning the defence, a 1-0 lead was taken. This
gave magpies the wake up call that they needed. With
passing from magpies showing signs of improving, the
ball was worked to Robbie Kinsella who scored the
equalising goal. Magpies now getting into their stride
continued to press hard during the first half. This
tactic paid dividends when magpies took the lead,
again through Kinsella after good work from the
midfield. Magpies did not stop at that though. With
the ball being won high up the pitch, it was slipped
to Kinsella who slotted home calmly for his first half

With Magpies smelling the scent of a very good goal
difference, the black and white shirted men came out
with scoring more on their agenda. With yet more space
appearing down the wide passages. Stuart “Rodney”
Leate had good time to combine well with James Stacey
who together looked dangerous. Two more goals were to
be scored by Magpies. They came in the form of Robbie
Kinsella again, who much to his delight notched up his
fourth of the game. The other goal came from the
penalty spot, when Dave Francis scored cleanly into
the corner after Mike Warlow had won magpies the

With magpies starting to cruise and enjoy the game
though, Shefford and Sandy redoubled their efforts and
much to their credit had the best of the closing
moments of the game. Magpies failure to keep the ball
was their downfall, and the home team used this to
their advantage. With Mark Lewis in goal again making
a number of good saves keeping the scoreline down,
however he could do nothing about the two goals that
magpies did concede in the last phase of the game.

However magpies can take many positives from the game,
including the obvious 3 points away from home, but
also that they have the ability to win games even
without reaching top form. This is a very promising
sign for the rest of the season and also next weeks
game at home to Saffron Walden.

Ladies 5s – MATCH REPORT

Thetford 8-0 Magpies 5s

Magpies ladies 5ths travelled to Thetford with a strong team and a good match from last week behind them. Sadly the team did not wake up at the starting whistle and a goal against them was scored within the first minute. Shocked, the ladies then started to play the hockey they are capable of passing the ball and using the wing.

Thetford had a very fast side with the right wing player out running Ginny Crawford and Emma Lacey on several occasions. ‘Pies made a few breaks with the speed of Lisa Kent and Kay Dennis but could not find a finish. Rachel Clifford nearly made the scoreboard with a lovely cross from Becky Ford but it just slipped past the post.

Thetford’s second goal also came in the first half. At half time Georgie Bore gave some encouraging words and we went out to try to recover the game.

Sadly this did not happen! In fact quite the opposite. A flurry of goals were scored against ‘Pies and then poor Peg Bridges after making some monumental saves fell to the ground and twisted her knee. The decision was made to continue for the last 10 mins without a goalie.

Emma Lacey dropped back into defence and Georgie Bore became the ‘backstop’ as Graham Hughes puts it. Then more injury occurred when Georgie stopped dead a long corner ball with the bridge of her foot, so she too went off hobbling. Three goals were score against us in the last 10 minutes with the final score line 8-0.

Emma Lacey had to alert the Thetford captain that not as many players would be going back for teas as pre-arranged as a fair few were off to A and E.

The few players who could stay voted Peg as Player of the match as she made some really good saves.

Next week we are away at Pelicans.


Pelicans 2s 2-2 Magpies Mens 4s

Magpies Mens 4th XI suffered a rare case of player shortages this weekend and with 6 changes and an away form that to date is less than convincing this was always going to prove a difficult match.

However Magpies managed to get into a 2 – 0 lead with goals either side of half time and looked good for their first away win of the season. Duncan Stevens scored Magpies first, recalled to action late in the week and Dan Legg added a superb second beating the keeper with a rising shot from the top of the D. Craig Snelling deserved to make it three but was denied by an outstanding save by the Pelicans goal keeper.

However Pelicans fought back and two rare slips in defence gave Pelicans scoring opportunities which and they took and with Pelicans finishing strongly Magpies held on for the draw.

Under 11 Girls Magpies Tournament

Magpies as hosts entered two under 11 teams in their own tournament.

Magpies A started very well winning their first two games against Watton 4-0 (Georgia Scott 2, Saffron 1, Kira 1) and a Norwich/Dereham mixed team 3-0 (Saffron 2, Georgia Scott 1).
However Magpies could not sustain their impressive start and a goal less draw against Dereham, a 1-0 defeat against Norwich (eventual winners) and although they managed to beat our own B team 1-0 (Emma 1) Magpies finally finished a very creditable 3rd place.

Team :- Madeleine Eglington GK, Saffron Wilford, Kira Wooltorton, Emma Owen, Geogia Scott, Georgia Pearson, Catherine Kilbourn, Kara Kilbourn.

Magpies B had many girls playing in their first tournament and performed very well. Although losing to Norwich 1-0, Dereham 3-0 and Magpies A 1-0, two very hard fought 0-0 draws against Watton and a mixed Norwich/Dereham enabled the girls to finish in 5th place.

Special mention must go to Ruth Denham who took on the goal keeping task at the last minute and made many crucial saves.

Team:- Ruth Denham GK, Olivia Gooderham, Harriet Catchpole, Jessica Young, Laura Davidson, Alice Milne, Harriet Underdown, Sophie Meynell-Anderson, Sophie Long, Emily McCluskey.

U13 Girls Harleston Magpies Minis – WINNERS


Harleston Magpies U13 Girls A team won the Harleston Tournament with 6 wins and two draws.

With four new players making their debut this season it took a while for the team to gel and they were a little fortunate to record a draw against Watton in their opening game.

Gradually the team steadily improved and in the end won the Tournament with points to spare.

U13 Girls A team – 1st

Watton drew 1-1 Sarah Brook
Dereham won 3-0 Beth Absolon, Keira Booty, Lizzie Jones
O Buckenham won 2-0 Beth Absolon, Lizzie Jones
Pelicans A drew 0-0
Norwich B won 3-0 Lauren Reeve, Sarah Brook 2
Magpies B won 2-0 Sarah Brook, Beth Absolon
Norwich A won 1-0 Keira Booty
Pelicans B won 1-0 Beth Absolon

Team: Beth Absolon, Alice Wilson, Tania Pendreich, Sarah Brook, Micayla Tootill, Lauren Reeve, Keira Booty and Elizabeth Jones.

Magpies also entered an U13 Girls B team in the Tournament and they finished 7th.

They would probably have done much better but two girls who had been struggling with illness all week went home early.

U13 Girls B team – 7th

O Buckenham won 4-0 Paris Wood 3, Hannah Gormley
Pelicans A lost 0-1
Norwich B drew 0-0
Norwich A lost 1-3 Katherine Ridley
Magpies A lost 0-2
Pelicans B drew 0-0
Dereham drew 0-0
Watton drew 2-2 Katherine Ridley 2

Katherine Ridley, Sophie Podd, Hannah Gormley, Holly Baker, Paris Wood, Rosie Cole, Lucy Crawford, Lucy Pring and Henrietta McDaniel.

Ladies 6s – MATCH REPORT

Magpies Ladies 6s 2-2 UEA 3s

Magpies had the first push back, after even play a fantastic side line hit by Liz Cole in her own half sped past all of the circling UEA players, a practised slip in by Rachael Clifford left magpies 1-0 up. At pace UEA soon brought the ball down the middle, with quick passing and sneaky movements, magpies defence and midfield worked tirelessly but to no avail and UEA brought the score to 1-1.

Magpies fought UEA off several times and the midfield and forwards made quick runs up the sidelines using one touch passes and occasionally had to make a quick turn around, ready to defend again, which they always did. Unfortunately a foot in the magpies ‘D’ gave away a short corner, UEA struck the ball with confidence entering the goal, but hitting a UEA foot on the way through, after an initial celebration it was given as a foul.

UEA, who weren’t happy with this decision, came back strongly and then achieved their second goal to make it 2-1. After strong play from both teams, on one attack from Magpies we achieved a short corner. We made most of this opportunity and it was beautifully tapped it in.

Well done to everyone as this match was a tough one!

Ladies Colts B – MATCH REPORT

Magpies Ladies Colts B 11-0 Lowestoft Railway 2s

Lowestoft arrived with 10 players. In the first half the first few minutes brought Shirley McAllen and Rhian Earrye goals and although Lowestoft fought back they were unable to score.

Magpies continued to dominate and scored another SEVEN goals to finish the first half 9-0. In the second half with Magpies having 12 players all the girls had 5 minutes off and played in different positions.

Lowestoft kept their heads up and continued to fight back but conceded two furthers goals the game finishing 11-0.

Goal scorers were Rhian Earrye 4, Tania Pendreich 2, Anna lacey 2, Shirley McAllen 1 and Lauren Reeve 2.

CHAIRMAN’S CHAT – 14 November 2007

Going up (or down) in the world!

I’m delighted to say that the much promised stairlift has been installed on the side staircase of the clubhouse. Although I do not anticipate it being required too often I’m sure it will prove to be another useful addition to the Club’s facilities following the installation of the disabled toilet which I stress is for the use of everyone.

Needless to say the stairlift is not a plaything but to get the best use out of it this new facility must be readily available and I will ensure sufficient members are instructed in its use.

With the installation of the stairlift we have now completed the upgrade of the Club’s facilities as planned for now (and which have also included new floodlights and balcony) except for the building of the missing two sides of the ‘empties’ store alongside the disabled toilet. As we are getting these free of charge I’m not pressing for the job to be done immediately!

As for any further upgrade of our facilities (such has new changing rooms) we must wait for a) our depleted funds to build up again and b) progress made with the repayment of our outstanding interest-free loans totalling £94,000. It will also be necessary to hand on the baton to a new group of officers and members from those who have been intimately involved with all the fund raising and developments at the club over recent years.

Have you paid your subscription yet please?
A disappointing number of members have still to settle up for the current season. I’m sorry to say that some are serial defaulters. If we applied the rules very strictly all defaulters would by now have been banned from playing until they had paid. I do not want this to happen but unless payment is received in the next ten days this might well be the consequence. All defaulters are being reminded by team captains this coming weekend after which a ‘Name and Shame’ list will be displayed in the clubhouse.

If payment would cause financial difficulties please discuss with your team captain or respective Club Captain (i.e. Julie Podd or Phil Cobbald).

The Club’s fund raising and social committee invites you to the following event:

TICKETS £3 (including food) available from the bar
Dress: Smart Casual

With kind regards and best wishes to all members, supporters and friends of the Club.

Mike Denham (Chairman)
Tel: 01603 506925
14 November 2007

PS. Congratulations to the Men’s 1sts on their superb win at St Albans last Saturday and to the Ladies’ 6ths on going top of Division 3 of the Martin & Acock Norfolk League.


17th November 2007

Harleston Magpies Ladies, sponsored by Kitchen Sense of Harleston, play Doncaster at home on Saturday at 12.30 in their English League Division I match. Although Magpies are struggling for points this season this young team showed for 50 minutes of the game against a useful Reading team last week that they are capable of competing at this level, but they now need to produce it for the full 70minutes.

Coach Colin Wheelhouse certainly felt it was a very positive performance. Magpies have already played Doncaster earlier in the season losing 4-1 so it will be interesting to measure the progress the team has made. Doncaster are currently one place and four points ahead of Magpies.

Former Magpies player Ali Bicker will be appearing for Doncaster but we understand that Lou Waite a former Magpies captain is out injured.

Squad: Louisa Greenacre (Capt), Lucy Hayman, Ellie Blake, Helen Brook, Amy Tuffs, Lucy Miller, Debbie McAllen, Sarah Cave, Artemis Clark, Jess Hull, Kathryn Hinsley, Cherry Seaborn, Laura Parker and Angie Wheelhouse

Harleston Magpies Men, sponsored by Durrants, went to the top of East Premier league following a convincing away victory against St Albans last weekend. A confident squad of fourteen made the trip, Neil Toulson sustained an injury after ten minutes and will not be fit for the visit of Havering. This was the best all round team performance for a long time and showed the overall strength of the squad.

Magpies have to be at their best for the visit of middle placed Havering who last weekend lost at home to the improving Dereham by the odd goal in three. Havering will pose a diferent threat to St Albans, they will try to stop Magpies playing their fast open hockey and Magpies will certainly know they have been in a game.

Magpies retain the same squad of thirteen.

Robert Stimpson Magpies Manager commented “I was very pleased with the performance of all the squad at St Albans. Our preparation and attitude was spot on and with our dominance for three quarters of the game we should have won by a greater margin. We showed great character to win the game following St Albans equaliser. Each game is a cup tie now and we need to keep our winning record up against all sides some of which will be happy with a point.”

Magpies Youth Fixture News and Updates

Magpies host Girls U11 and U13 Mini Tournament
THIS Sunday Nov 18th
starting at 9.30am.
7 U11 teams and 9 U13 teams.

Sunday Nov 25th

U18 Girls v Ipswich at home 12.00 on the water

U15 Boys v Dereham at home 1.00 on the sand

U18 Boys v Cambs Nomads 2.00 on the water



Nov 18

Jan 27

March 2
U13 NORFOLK CHAMP @ Harleston Magpies

March 9
U11 NORFOLK CHAMP @ Norwich City

Please note that Beston Hall School are no longer able to host the U13 Girls Norfolk Championship. The date has changed from that shown in the Norfolk Handbook because of pitch availability.

March 16



Dec 2
RUDDS (at Greshams)

Jan 27

Feb 24

March 16

These fixtures will also be added to the club web site under the youth section.

Ladies 1s – MATCH REPORT

READING 4-1 Harleston Magpies

Despite the score line this was a much improved performance by Magpies and the game in the end was turned by some crucial decisions. Magpies made a shaky start in the opening ten minutes and were saved by some excellent saves by goalkeeper Lucy Hayman.

Unfortunately the first penalty corner conceded saw Reading taking the lead with a drag flick. This Magpies side were not phased by this early set back and in fact improved their performance considerably as the strikers Angie Wheelhouse and Cherry Seaborn received much better support from midfield this week with Artemis Clark on the right playing much higher as wells good play from Jess Hull, Laura Parker and Sarah Cave. This positive response saw Magpies equalise before half time when Angie Wheelhouse made it 1-1.

Reading were 2-1 up immediately after the break on a hotly disputed goal which was clearly never touched by an attacker in the circle but the goal was confirmed by the second umpire 40 yards away. This probably had an impact on the third goal which was conceded within minutes from a penalty corner to make it 3-1. Within the space of 5 minutes a tight game had once again slipped away from Magpies.

Again Magpies produced a strong response and Angie Wheelhouse was denied three times by the Reading goalkeeper who made some good saves after the Reading defence had been opened up.

The attitude of the Magpies team was excellent and Debbie McAllen produced a real battling performance in front of the defence. Reading added a fourth goal near the end but Magpies can take great encouragement.

RESULTS – 10 NOV 2007

LADIES 1s v Reading (L) A L 1-4
LADIES 2s v Colchester I (L) 11.30 A L 0-2
LADIES Colts A v Reepham (L) 12.30 (W) H L 2-5
LADIES 5s v Pelicans III (L) 1.45 (S) H W 4-1
LADIES 6s v Lowestoft Railway II (L) A W 6-2
LADIES Colts B v Broadland II (L) (W) H W 3-1
LADIES Dev. v Norwich City (L) 10.00 A W 1-0

MENS 1s v St Albans (L) A W 2-1
MENS 2s v Cambridge City 2 (L) (W) H W 4-2
MENS 3s v Sudbury 2 (L) A D 1-1
MENS 4s v Lowestoft Town (L) 4.00 (W) H W 2-1
MENS 5s v Crane 2 (L) A W 3-0
MENS 6s v Norwich Union 4 (L) (S) H W 3-1
Men VETS v Shefford & Sandy (L) A L 1-3
Pelicans minis
U11 BOYS – 2nd
BOYS – 2nd


St Albans 1s 1-2 Magpies Men 1s

A confident Magpies team travelled down to St. Albans for a top of the table clash and came away with a fine and well-deserved 2-1 victory.

The Magpies players were all fired up for the tussle, and the early exchanges paved the way for the rest of the match with pressure from both sides but no sustained possession. Magpies then got into their stride and had a few good chances, which were well saved by the Albans keeper. Magpies then lost talisman Neil “Silver Fox” Toulson with a back injury putting him out for the rest of the match.

With the game going from end to end, Magpies managed to break away through Carl Sitch. His eventual pass to Chris Barber resulted in a shot, which forced a fine diving save from the Albans keeper. This inspired Magpies to search harder for the illusive first half goal. At half time the game was still in gridlock but Harleston had by far the best of the play and were confident going into the second half.

The Second half started as the first finished with Magpies pressure starting to take a toll on the tiring Albans defence. This resulted in an Albans player being yellow carded for a bad tackle in his own D. The short corner that followed brought another fine save from the tireless St. Albans keeper. Magpies finally broke the deadlock with a vintage pass from Richard Gill to Andy Hipwell, which he expertly deflected, into the goal.

Tristan Baynes was shown a yellow card for a stick tackle and Magpies were brought down to ten men. Nevertheless, Magpies continued to attack with the pace of Fanger and Hipwell causing a lot of problems for the slow St. Albans defence. James Wheeler was working hard on the left running himself so hard he had to be substituted with breathing difficulties.

The Harleston defence were then put under a lot of pressure with St. Albans desperate to get back into the game. An athletic display from Andy Bedwell at left back kept them at bay for a while, but a short corner was awarded just inside the 25, and St. Albans capitalised with a well-worked routine to put the ball past veteran keeper Iain Martin and level the scores at 1-1.

The score from Albans reset the counter and made Magpies really work hard. Minutes after this, Albans finally crumbled and gave away a short corner in the dying minutes of the game. Andy Hipwell expertly converted this corner and brought Magpies back into the lead with only minutes to go.

The last minutes were tense as Albans went for the equaliser but the Magpies back four of Sumner, Sitch, Ling and Bedwell denied any such a thing, producing a vintage display of hockey. The final whistle went, Magpies had secured the three points and had taken their rightful place at the top of the league.

Next week sees Magpies entertaining Havering at Home hoping to produce the same level of work rate and tenacity to continue their winning run.