Harleston Magpies II 3 Cambridge City 2
Harleston Magpies 2nd XI recorded their second successive win against Cambridge City 1s. In a tight game Magpies had to once again come from behind to defeat a side who were a stern test for our first team last season.
The game started in frenetic style with Cambridge trying to press home their advantage on a slow starting Magpies hitting the post in the opening minutes. Cambridge then opened from a short corner when a deflected shot found its way to the far post and was turned in from close range to give city the lead.
Like last week, going behind seemed to wind Magpies and struggled to find their flowing hockey which was so destructive last week against Pelicans. Eventually Magpies started to regain their confidence and Robbie Kinsella equalised for Magpies with a powerful shot past the keeper after a mazy run from Lawrence Baynes who then laid the ball off to Kinsella to finish. With renewed confidence Magpies continued to press forward in hope of taking the lead before the interval, with little chances being made by either side it look the last play of the half for Magpies to take the lead when Hamish Bartons flick from a penalty corner was too good for the City keeper as it went rocketing into the roof of the net.
With Magpies now in front it was Citys turn to be on the back foot at the start of the second half. With some good attacking play Magpies were creating chances but could not convert with both Robbie Kinsella and Duncan Steven going close to name a few. Magpies got their third and decisive goal when after good attacking play down the left hand side from both Craig Snelling and Simon Hipwell, Ben Wright fed the through a crowd of players to find Simon Hipwell who had continued his run in front of goal to then slip the ball between the on rushing goalkeepers legs.
With the game looking won Magpies took their foot off the gas and allowed Cambridge back into the game. Several rushed/silly tackles led to a succession of City penalty corners in which they scored their second goal with a well worked move around the front runners and finished from close range past the keeper. With their now only being one goal between the two teams Cambridge looked the more likely side to get the next goal with a continuing on surge of pressure which the Magpies defence managed to keep the on coming attacks at bay.
The last 10 minutes proved a frightful one for the on looking supporters as Cambridge created several clear cut chances only to be thwarted by the Magpies defence and their keeper John Livings who was forced into action with several fine saves. The last moments of the match was heart in the mouth stuff, when Dan Legg lost his footing outside the box and obstructed the player to concede yet another penalty corner, with the final whistle having gone it was 11 on 5 and the 5 came out on top when a Cambridge foul was spotted in the melee on the stroke spot which ended the attack and gave Harleston a deserved second win of the season.
Man of the match was Simon Hipwell whos pace and skill was too good for Cambridge as he ran the show for Harleston on some occasions. Next week Harleston are at Weybread again, this time at home to Broxbourne who will pose yet another tough challenge for the league new boys.