Category Archives: Reports

Ladies 1st Tea Match Report 30th September 2017

Ladies 1st Team vs St Albans 1st Team (Home (L) W 1-0)

Harleston Magpies Ladies 1st team sponsored bMusker McIntyre Estate Agents welcomed St Albans to Weybread for their first National League home game of the season. After last week’s disappointing performance away at league newcomers Barnes, Magpies were determined to improve key areas of their game and pick up their first points of the season in front of a home crowd. 

Magpies started the first half at a high intensity, moving the ball early and utilising the forwards athleticism to attack with pace and press the St Albans defence. This pressure forced an error the from the St Albans defence which saw Magpies regain possession in the attacking twenty five and with an accurate pass, Emma Lee-Smith set up Lizzie Clymer who hit a first time strike from the top of the circle which beat the scrambling St Albans defence and goalkeeper to give Magpies a deserved early lead. 

Before half time Magpies were unlucky not to extend their lead when Abby Gooderham was denied by the post and further Magpies attacks were contained by the St Albans defence.

The second half saw Magpies continue to threaten the St Albans goal but unfortunately they were unable to create a clear goal scoring opportunity which would have eased the nerves of the home crowd. 

With only one goal between the teams St Albans pressed for the equaliser creating numerous problems for the Magpies defence. The defence was strengthened this week with the addition of Lottie Summers who made many crucial tackles and interceptions on her National League debut. 

The team continued to work hard until the final whistle to maintain a clean sheet and record their first league win of the season. 

Next week the team travels to Cambridge City who have also started the season with one victory and one defeat.

Mens 1st Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Mens  1st Team vs Saffron Walden 1st Team (Home (L) W 6-1)

Harleston Magpies Men’s 1s sponsored by Dynamic Sport welcomed Saffron Walden to the Nest on a late September sunny afternoon. The pies welcomed back Will Martin and Tom Sumner to their first league game this season after missing last week due to various commitments.

Harleston started with an intensity that Saffron Walden were shocked with but one they could not match. It wasn’t long till this intensity paid off, Will Martin started a mazy run in midfield beating numerous players then ending with a turn on the base line to deliver the ball across the D to the eagerly waiting magpies attackers. After the cross being rebounded off the keeper, Will Martin once again found it at the end of his stick only to slot the ball in the back of the goal. This excellent intensity continued and was rewarded with Magpies being awarded a short corner, and up stepped Sam Paterson (the self-proclaimed best flicker in the league), who delivered to his name and rifled in the ball into the roof of the net. Magpies continued to assert their dominance with numerous circle entries from long phases of continually possession of the ball, and it wasn’t long till a short corner was won through Jack Hobbs placing the ball on a defenders foot. With Paterson off the pitch UEA Dave stepped up and slotted the ball in-between the goalie and the postman to add to his ever increasing tally for the season.

The intensity began to die down and the Pies allowed Saffron Waldron to string a few passes together, Saffron Walden were then awarded a short due to some poor knowledge of the rules. After an aggressive number one run the Saffron Waldron player glided past him, to send the ball towards the bottom corner, alone for a big left kicker from last weeks Man of the Match John Livings to save it. But the danger wasn’t cleared and a cross into the danger area was ricocheted off a Saffron Waldron stick into the back of the net, 3-1 to Harleston. Magpies responded in the best way possible by going on the attack and winning another short, with the first shot being saved, the ball fell to the feet of Andrew Bedwell, who calmly slotted the ball into an empty goal for his first goal of the season!! The umpire’s whistle blew and at half time it stood at 4-1, after a positive team talk from coach Tim Whiteman, it was the home team that came out once again with the greater intensity. The second half started will with a number of good passes being stringed together starting all the way from the back, after a wide lead from the Birthday Boy Jake Sewell he collected the ball and composed himself to cross the ball into the D to find UEA Dave, who collected it and finished the ball with calmness and composure to score his second of the game.

It wasn’t long once again till Magpies had another short corner, Sam Paterson had the chance for another, but fluffed his flick and the ball ended up at the feet of Simon Hipwell, who topped his shot but it was the bobbling ball that deceived the post man who missed it completely. The pressure continued with numerous short corners being won, giving Patterson the chance to add to his tally, but all his flicks shot over the bar, with some nearly clearing the fence behind. The final whistle then went with the score ending 6-1 to the Magpies, a very good start to the season with the first home game.

Next week the Magpies welcome City of Peterborough who drew 4-4 with Wapping this weekend. The match promises to be very competitive so lots of support welcome please. Push back at 2:00pm.


MOM – Will Martin

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.

Mens 3rd Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Mens 3rd Team vs Mens 2nd Team (Home (L) L 3-11)

You’ve got to love an inter club match! Well that’s what the large number of spectators clearly thought as the Men’s Third team hosted the Men’s Second team in front of a crowd which matched in size the national league ladies match that proceeded it.

No doubt hoping for a close match to get into they would have been encouraged when Gavin Cole, found unmarked in the last third of pitch by Robert Kinsella, took the ball around the keeper to finish and put the underdogs in front. However the best thing for the neutral spectators would have been for the thirds to have frustrated their “visitors” and kept the ball better but unfortunately several back to back errors gifted a three goal salvo which would effectively seal the match in the first 20 minutes.

Either side of half time it was good to see the seconds get into their stride and combine as a team to ruthlessly stretch their lead to 10! Jamie Legg deserving particular mention with 5 goals. It was a chastening experience for the third team players and supporters who have largely been untroubled at home for over 3 years but despite lessen odds every challenge was still entered into as if it was still 0-0 and every attack was supported by runners who looked like they were in pursuit of the winner not a mere consolation. And indeed latecomers to the match might have been surprised by the last ten minutes as the third team scored not one but two consolations, both claimed by Greg Jagger. Within this spell further chances also came from good work by Robert Kinsella, David Cadman, and notably debutant Kieran Peters. So, 11-3 but was the last 10 minutes due to compassion by the 2s? Or good commitment and fitness by the threes? The players and spectators withdrew to the bar to discuss.

Ladies 6th Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Ladies 6th Team vs Taverham (Away (L) L 0-5)

The 6s were determined to march into this game with a positive attitude and belief despite last minute uncertainties and changes to the squad. Jane Collins provided sound leadership and organisation on the day, with Julie Davy assisting from the dugout, whilst trying to put our players into ‘best fit’ positions. We started well and were not fazed by and early Broadland goal. With Flea Perry, Jane, Elena Flatt and Marie Davy working hard in defence, even the 2 goal deficit at half time seemed surmountable.

The second half did not go Magpies way, however. Katy Davy made some stunning saves, but another Broadland goal followed. Man of the match, Krystal Jenkins, provided great control and stability in midfield, with positive work from Ebony Hoskin and Jenny Meyer creating attacking opportunities. Forwards Rachel Clifford made some fine runs up the left wing, and Janna fired some much needed aggressive and positive shots into the D, but unfortunately none of these efforts converted to goals. A further blow was a face injury to sweeper Flea halfway through the second half, which needed hospital treatment. A hasty reorganisation was required to continue the game, but we were a little unsettled and 2 further Broadland goals then followed, although Lydia Barrett created a good chance with a run on goal.

Despite the scoreline, the team left with a positive attitude and a consensus that our overall performance had improved on last week’s. We are pleased to say that Flea is OK and is now glued together, and extend our thanks to all family and friends who helped and supported with care, hospital lifts, car transport etc. Also thanks to Gillian Stokes and Heather Brand for organisation during the week, but who couldn’t be with us for the game.

Mens 5th Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Mens 5th Team vs Norwich Exiles (Away (L) L 1-5)

The score line shows a comprehensive victor for Norwich Exiles against this young Magpies team but it could have easily been a victory for Magpies by a similar margin.

Magpies played their best hockey of the season and for some their senior careers completely dominating the game for the first 20 minutes.  Ball control, creativity in attach, clinical defensive work and tireless off the ball running had Exiles back peddling and their goal keeper pulling off saves in every direction.

Deservedly Magpies finally took the lead in an unlikely manner James Smith defying his age to stoop low and fire in from the top of the circle a reverse stick shot.

However, it would now appear that this is the worst thing Magpies could have done. The team lost focus, purpose and drive and crispness in control and pass quality inviting pressure from Exiles who capitalised on two defensive errors to end the half 2 -1 up.

With all to play for in the 2nd half Magpies hope to start brightly but couldn’t find their earlier form until Exiles had completed their task of a comfortable win but credit to the youngsters in the team, with 15 minutes remaining that flair and drive returned and once again Exiles were on the back foot.

A tough day for all but many notable performances with Ben Emms and Ed Brice sharing the man of the match title.  The aim of next week against the current league leaders will be to maintain that initial intensity for a longer period of the match.

Ladies 7th Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Ladies 7th Team vs Norwich Dragons 7th Team (Away (L) L 0-6)

The match started well with fairly even play but Norwich Dragons scored fairly easily, six times, during the first half.  Feeling despondent at half time, Shirley McAllen rearranged the team and boosted our confidence by saying that we were actually playing well.  The second half proved this as Norwich Dragons did not score again and despite a few breakthroughs to the Dragon’s circle, Magpies were thwarted by their strong defence.

Mens 2nd Team Match Report 30th September 2017

Mens 2nd Team vs Mens 3rd Team (Away (L) W 11-3)

The highly anticipated seconds vs thirds game was upon us and it didn’t disappoint!

The beginning was very tense with the seconds pushing hard to get the opener however a quick counter from the thirds resulted in a goal with his 2nd bite at the cherry. Not to be disheartened the seconds quickly got back on level terms with a superb team goal with Jamie Legg to finish it off, after getting the first goal the seconds quickly gained an advantage from a penalty won by Stu Field which was then calmly tucked into the top right corner by Marty Fields.

 As the first half was coming to a close the seconds stepped up a gear and quickly put 3 goals away coming from a lovely diving effort from Leggy, a worldy deflection from Sam Moore, and a clinical finish as per usual from Richard Larkin. The half time score 5-1 to the formidable second team!

 After a good performance in the first half the seconds looked to carry on this form into the second half and it didn’t take long for Jamie to complete his hat-trick with a reverse hit into the bottom corner. The floodgates then opened as the seconds went on to score 3 more in quick succession as Leggy picked up another reverse goal, Stu Field grabbed himself a goal with a lovely finish into the net, and a well taken back post goal from Matt Bensly (who unfortunately couldn’t go on to get a triple triple) left the seconds 9-1 up with 15 to go.

 The thirds then decided to turn up and started to play some good hockey which lead to them nicking 2 goals against a rocky seconds defence. Have the thirds managed to find a way back in? No, as was soon found out as the seconds scored 2 well worked counter attacks with the scorers being Jamie Legg to get his fifth for the day and Marty picking up his second. All the seconds had to do now was keep the ball and let the game come to an end however Matt Bensly decided otherwise and put a horrific tackle in to only get shown a yellow card. The final whistle blew with a result of 11-3 to the Men’s seconds!

 MOM – Jamie Legg

 Any thirds looking for counselling after their traumatic loss please call the helpline 113 113!!

Ladies 1st Team Match Preview 30th September 2017

This week Harleston Magpies ladies 1s, sponsored by Musker McIntrye, have their first home game of the season, welcoming St Albans to Weybread at 2pm. This is always a testing game and St Albans will be wanting the three points as much as Magpies after their opening loss to Bedford.

With last weeks disappointing result, Magpies will want to build on their performance, where they created chances but just couldn’t convert. Magpies knew Barnes was an unknown, but their are plenty more games left in the season. Magpies always have a good home record and will want to carry this on this season.

This week we welcome back Emma Lee-Smith, Abby Gooderham and Rose Winter, but are unfortunately without Sketch Titley, with a long term injury, and Charlotte Harrison.

Squad: Lucy Belsey (Captain), Lauren Barber, Charlotte Peet, Louisa Greenacre, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Annie Nunn, Rose Winter, Emma Lee-Smith, Abby Gooderham, Victoria Findlay, Lauren Mickleburgh, Lizzie Clymer, Aoife Lowe-Davies and Lucy Whiting.

Mens 1st Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Mens 1st Team vs Wapping 1st Team (Away (L) D 1-1)

It was a blustery day at the Lee Valley hockey stadium which saw recently relegated from National League Wapping take on fellow promotion candidates Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport. The magnificent £30 million pound arena situated in the Olympic Park was prepped and ready for what would surely be one of the season’s top clashes. As action got underway it was the home team Wapping asserting their dominance and winning a short corner within the first 5 minutes. However, they were unable to convert and found that in open play, whilst they retained the lion’s share of possession, Harleston’s stalwart defence stood strong. The visitors soaked up the pressure and had several counter attacks that in truth should have been capitalised on, notably coming from some superb work from Dave Gilbert and Jack Hobbs.

The best chance of the half came when the ball broke to Harleston midfielder Pete Bale who showed a deft touch inside the circle to win a penalty corner off of the opposing defenders foot, however advantage was played and Matthew Richardson capitalised with a ferocious shot that went narrowly wide of the back post. The umpire’s whistle blew and at half time it stood at 0-0, Wapping given their possession probably slightly frustrated not to be ahead. However, as the second half started it was Harleston that came out firing. They clearly had a plan to work harder than their opposition and to apply pressure all over the pitch and it paid off as they started winning possession further and further up the pitch.

The game was at fever pitch, both teams working incredibly hard to break the other down but it was the visitors that struck first with new signing Dave Gilbert breaking through with a 1 on 1 before calmly gliding around the flailing keeper and sliding the ball into the net. The game looked done and dusted with Harleston snatching 3 points at a venue which in truth should drop very few points this season. With 30 seconds to go the Wapping centre back took charge and went on a strong run into the Harleston half before riding several tackles and being scythed down by a slightly reckless challenge by Jack Hobbs. The final whistle went and the home team had a short corner to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat. A well worked routine saw a deflection end up in the back of the net and the game ended 1-1. A fantastically played first fixture that means two big teams failed to capitalise and gain ground on their rivals.

Ladies 1st Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Ladies 1st Team vs Barnes (Away (L) L 0-1)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents this week travelled into central London, some via the scenic route of Big Ben, for their first league game of the season.

Magpies started the first half confidently with some good drives down the right by Jess Howland and Lucy Belsey resulting in a early short corner. Unfortunately, the powerful shot from Lauren Barber narrowly went wide. From this Barnes got into a good stride putting Magpies under relentless pressure going forward. The home side then took the lead half way through the first half with a well executed short corner. The remainder of the first half was fairly even with neither side dominating and both creating scoring opportunities.

Following coach Rob Sorrell’s half-time team talk the forward line began to make more leads which resulted in chances in front of goal narrowly going wide. However, some good aerial clearances from the Barnes defence led to a second goal for the home team. Magpies refused to let their heads drop with Charlie Harrison and Lauren Barber working tirelessly in the midfield creating opportunities for Annie Nunn who made some great runs down the left which maintained pressure on the Barnes’ defence.

Overall Magpies were disappointed to come away with a loss but will hope to get back to winning ways in next week’s fixture back at the nest.

Congratulations to Aoife Lowe-Davies on her National league debut.

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.) Lauren Barber, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Louisa Greenacre, Annie Nunn, Lauren Mickleburgh, Charlie Harrison, Debbie Francis, Aoife Lowe-Davies, Lucy Whiting, Lizzie Clymer, Tor Findlay, Alice Woollatt.

Mens 3rd Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Mens 3rd Team vs Bury St Edmunds 1st Team (Away (L) L 0-1)

Last season Magpies Men’s 3s & Bury St Edmunds were extremely closely matched with each fixture won by the home side. Other results meant that Bury St Edmunds would shade the season probably as a virtue of their first team status, but with the 2 starting elevens being composed of largely the same protagonists it was clear that we would be in for another close one.

The early skirmishes were shared evenly with Bury forcing a couple of short corners without success whilst James Stacey and Matt Brand combined down the right to pick out David Cadman who saw his shot blocked.

With the pattern of the game established both sides were looking to be physical and strong in defence and fast and inventive in attack. After 25 minutes one such fast Bury attack would turn Magpies midfield, and as they strove to get back into position a well-chosen pass behind them would allow Burys best player on the day to pick out a committed forwarded diving across George Baldwin in goal to deflect into the top corner. However with no reason to change things Magpies strove on and with the time at an end in the first half thought they had equalised when a squared ball from Jon Aldridge at a short corner was all but in but no final touch could be found.

With the home side realising the importance of an early season win in this much harder league they began to commit less to the attack. They still broke at pace but Jack, Jak, Jamie and Jon in defence limited their chances to one rising reverse stick shot and a couple of tame paddles. Meanwhile at the other end Magpies creative players were beginning to get more and more to work with and saw; shots well saved, shots on more than one occasion turned off the line or frustratingly hitting the wrong side of the post. And as time run out Magpies would ultimately be frustrated by a combination of missed opportunities or wrong choices.

With many candidates for Man of the Match it was narrowly awarded to Jak Middleton for his calm performance in defence alongside fellow candidate Jon Aldridge.

Ladies 6th Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Ladies 6th Team vs Hornets (Home (L) L 3-7)

This week the 6s had several players having to play out of their normal comfort zone, but took to the field of play determined to enjoy the sunny afternoon. As the score line may hint to, the opposition proved to be well organised and experienced; their physicality catching some of the magpies’ team off-guard at times. The defence of Marie Davy, Sandra Elliner, Louise Davy and Elena Flatt worked exceptionally hard against a barrage of attack ensuring Hornets didn’t have it all their own way.  Impressively, despite the increasing scoreline, the 6s showed their character throughout, what’s important for the 6s is that everyone gets to play hockey on a Saturday and everyone enjoys it, all players offered to play out of position with no question. Our thanks go also to our young goalkeepers Katie Davy and Imogen Flatt who were both completely happy to warm each other up and share half a game each – both keepers made fabulous saves during the game.

Buoyed by the excellent encouragement on the side-line from Captain Gillian Stokes, Magpies worked hard to find some passing rhythm to try and break down the long balls constantly played by Hornets. Treacle Griffin was pivotal in midfield with excellently timed tackles and interceptions enabling magpies to finally penetrate the Hornets well packed D. Victoria Spouncer had an excellent game, combining well with Krystal Jenkins whom it was great to see again on a Magpies pitch.

Annie Lancaster, Jane Collins and Flea Perry played well in attack; all three being rewarded a goal for their sterling efforts.

As is the Magpies spirit the Sixes will pick themselves up again ready to face Broadlands next week; sadly we will do so without the brilliant Louise Davy. In her time playing for Magpies nothing has ever been too big an ask for Louise, a super role model to all young players. We were pleased to give Louise Man Of The Match today and wish her well with her university studies.

Ladies 7th Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Ladies 7th Team vs Norwich City 7th Team (Home (L) W 3-0)

Our first match of the season started well with Magpies controlling the game and keeping the ball at City’s end of the pitch.  With a few new players, play could have been muddled but passing was accurate, everyone worked their socks off and we had multiple shots at goal.  Ellie Oliver scored at close range from a pass by Shirley McAllen.

Within minutes of the second half starting, Georgia Hood diverted a shot by Keira Wheeler into the goal.  We were delighted but Norwich City started fighting back and one of their players landed on top of Peg Bridges, our goalkeeper, causing injury.  With kicking back, Karen Hunt, we carried on and Keira Wheeler scored a cracking third goal.  A great start to the season!

Mens 2nd Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Mens 2nd Team vs UEA 1st Team (Away (L) W 6-0)

The first game of the season went to plan for the two’s with a solid three points. Magpies seemed to the first half with two quick goals from Matt Bensley. Some great work from the Magpies back four made sure that UEA didn’t have much of a chance to grab a goal back before the half was over.

The second half stated off pretty much the same with the Magpies grabbing another goal in under a minute with a lovely strike from Jamie followed by a goal from Greg Jagger, who should have had two goals but decided to miss an open goal (just trying to get Robbie on the score sheet!). Which followed shortly by being sent off for a poor challenge and possibly the reason why I have been set the task of writing this match report!

With great play from the Magpies team, Matt was able to get his hat trick with a very well taken goal. UEA’s team seemed to be defeated and started to make mistakes all across the field. And the final ten minutes saw Magpies running the show with Sam Moore grabbing the last goal of the match.

Well played to everyone in the team and hopefully we can carry this on to next week when we face Magpies thirds in the league.

Man of the match – Matt Bensley

Ladies 5th Team Match Report 23rd September 2017

Ladies 5th Team vs Diss (Home (L) D 2-2 )

Another solid performance from the new group of youngsters against Diss who finished 3rd in the league last season.  Magpies pressed from the start but Diss went ahead against the run of play through ex-magpie Clemmy Ardley-Forder.  Once again the back 4 were very solid and broke down Diss play and put magpies on the front foot.  Disappointed to be one down at half time magpies came out fighting and soon equalised through Vanessa Vigrass.  Ellen Pope then followed up on a short corner to give a well deserved lead.  A momentary lapse in concentration allowed a Diss player to tap in a rebound to level the scores.  Magpies were unable to find the winner despite having the better of the possession.  For the second week running Sophie Govier-Schaay was voted player of the match.

Ladies 1st Team Match Report 17th September 2017

Ladies 1st Team vs Oxford Hawkes (Away (F) W 2-1)

Harleston Magpies sponsored by Musker McIntyre Estate Agents travelled to Old Loughtonians hockey club to play Oxford Hawkes in their final pre-season encounter.  This week the squad welcomed back captain Lucy Belsey and the experienced Debbie Francis.

Oxford started the game brightly, despite already having played this weekend, creating opportunities to score with quick counter attacks, a good defensive transfer and playing attacking hockey. Oxford dominated possession in the first half, however it was Magpies who opened the scoring from a short corner.  An accurate drag was stopped by Tor Findlay at the top of the circle for Aoife Lowe-Davies to drag low and right where Lauren Mickleburgh was well positioned to deflect past the keeper.

After a positive team-talk Magpies started the second half on top. The midfield of Charlotte Harrison, Lauren Barber, Annie Nunn and Debbie Francis worked hard to lead and create opportunities for the defence to get higher up the pitch.  Despite a bright start, Magpies were guilty on a number of occasions of losing possession in key areas, putting themselves under pressure.  Oxford took their opportunity, winning a short corner which they converted after some confusion in the Magpies’ defence.

Magpies continued to work hard and were rewarded with another short corner opportunity.  Despite the routine not going quite to plan, the ball found Lucy Whiting on the penalty spot, who cooly turned the defender and found the corner of the goal.

Magpies took a lot of positives from the game and now look forward to kicking off their league campaign.

Squad: Charlotte Peet (GK), Lucy Belsey (Capt.) Lauren Barber, Jess Howland, Katherine Ridley, Louisa Greenacre, Sketch Titley, Annie Nunn, Lauren Mickleburgh, Charlie Harrison, Debbie Francis, Aoife Lowe-Davies, Lucy Whiting, Tor Findlay, Alice Woollatt


Mens 1st Team Match Report 16th September 2017

PLUM Tournament

Magpies 5-1 Letchworth
Magpies travelled south to Redbridge to play two matches in their final preseason fixtures. With Horsham pulling out, Magpies first fixture was against East Prem A rivals Letchworth. Despite the long journey, Magpies started much the brighter. New recruit Dave Gilbert turned his marker before passing to a reinvigorated Richard Larkin, whose lung bursting run was well rewarded with an opportunity for a close range goal, which he took in typically cool style. This spurred Letchworth into life, who broke through the Magpies press and took advantage of some unusually slack marking to equalise with a powerful finish. Harleston were determined to take the lead into the break, and they did so when Elliott Marsh was fasted to react, scoring with a rebound from a short corner.
With the press sorted out for the second half, Magpies went up another gear. Sam Paterson looking in threatening form in a midfield role, dancing round defenders at will to score twice. Letchworth’s chances were limited with good defending by the experience of Andrew Bedwell and Tom Sumner and the ever-growing assuredness of youthful Giles Flatt and Jonty Gosling. John Livings in goal dealt well with the few chances that Letchworth created, but in truth Magpies were quite comfortable. Matt Richardson deserved his goal after a hard working performance, capping off a well deserved 5-1 win against a team that only finished one place below them in the league last season.
Magpies 1-2 Old Cranleighans
Harleston had a long session of stretching in between matches to attempt to regenerate the legs as much as possible for their second opponents, the unknown Old Cranleighans. After a lesson in pressing by the half court master Elliott Marsh, Magpies again started well, forcing the opposition keeper into a number of good saves. Eventually Dave Gilbert broke the deadlock, deceiving the keeper, with a drag flick into the bottom corner of the goal. Old Cranleighans looked dangerous when counter attacking, converting from an overload situation before half time, learning from their mistakes when they should have scored a similarly easy goal 5 minutes beforehand.
Into the second half, Magpies were going for the win and with only 2 substitutes, after Stuart Leate had missed the call for the team, legs were starting to tire. Simon Hipwell was at the heart of the attack but even he couldn’t create a decent attempt at goal. Old Cranleighans dominated the final portion of the game, forcing a number of short corners. George Baldwin, making his debut in goal, dealt admirably with the barrage of shots which he faced, but eventually the weight of pressure was too much and the London club forced what turned out to be a winning goal.
Overall, Magpies have acquitted themselves well for their first league game next weekend after a positive preseason under new player-coach Tim Whiteman. Travelling to Wapping is likely to be one of the tougher tests of the season as they will be looking to bounce back from their disappointment of getting relegated from National Conference East last season. However it is a challenge that a keen Magpies team will be very up for.

Mens 3rd Team Match Report 16th September 2017

Mens 3rd Team vs Norwich Dragons (Home (F) W 3-2)

A friendly against one of the few teams to beat Magpies last year was just what was required as a sharpener for the forthcoming league season.

Norwich Dragons showed their quality in taking a 2-0 lead into half time. However the signs for Magpies were good, lots of attacking purpose and endeavour only denied by good goalkeeping and the defenders on the posts, with Phil Cobbald going closest.

The second half saw magpies take hold of the game creating the majority of chances. With enough chances to run through seven short corner routines it was perhaps fair when a return to the straight strike brought a goal for Matt Brand.

Good forward play continued with the exemplary James Stacey at the heart of it all. However it was his fellow forward Andy Johnson who would equalise when he smashed home from a tight angle. The highlight of the day was still to come when a turnover on the left back baseline would see magpies go the length if the field in a move that was finished by Morgan Manly concluding the 3-2 comeback win.