Harleston 3-7 Canterbury
Harleston hosted Canterbury the under 18 defending champions in the quarter finals of this years competition. In a game in which Harleston were always the under dogs they lost their 1st choice goal keeper Bertie Steggles during the week after he broke his ankle. This gave an opportunity to Charlie Gerrard and Tom Baldwin as goal keepers.
After a brilliant warm up Harleston started the stronger taking the game to Canterbury and winning an early short corner which the Canterbury keeper made a good save to keep out. With Harleston dominating possession they were then dealt a cruel blow when they lost Carl Sitch to a facial injury. After this the game swung Canterbury’s way when they scored two break away goals. Harleston continued to pressurise Canterbury and control possession but again they were hit on the break and Canterbury scored two more from well worked short corners. With Harleston pushing to get back into the game Canterbury scored a fifth before the end of the half with a good reverse tick shot.
Harleston came out in the second half knowing they had nothing to loose and again took the game to Canterbury, after a good save from the Canterbury keeper Harleston won another short corner which Toby Tibbenham converted after taking it round 3 players before slotting the ball home. Canterbury scored a sixth following good play down their wing before slotting the ball home. Harleston were not dead and buried though and came back strong scoring their second after a free hit on the left of the D took a deflection from Chris Barber before Ben Gowen smashed the ball past the advancing keeper. With Jimmy Wheeler, Mike Warlow, Toby Tibbenham and Chris Barber pressurising the Canterbury defence they started to make mistakes. One of these mistakes led to Harleston winning another short corner which Toby Tibbenham flicked but the keeper saved only for Richard Larking to follow up like a fox in the box and slot home on his reverse stick. Good defensive work from Will Harrison was keeping the Canterbury attacks to a minimum but they did sneak their 7th with the last touch of the game.
On a hot Sunday after noon this was a whole team effort with every member putting in 120% and never giving up, the team did Magpies proud. With the commitment shown on Sunday and most of the team being available next year hopefully the team will be able to go one better.
A big thank you must also be given to the amount of support that came down to watch the boys play.