Indian Gymkhana 1 – Harleston Magpies 3
Harleston Magpies sponsored by Hutton and Legg made the long journey down to Heathrow this weekend to face Indian Gymkhana in a potential 6 pointer. The team without Ben Wright and Duncan Graves due to school commitments welcomed Matt Stainthorpe and a sprightly Toby Tibbenham to the squad.
Harleston started the slower team, struggling to adjust to the sandy pitch the team had John Livings in goal to thank for the keeping the scores level after 10 minutes of play. Once Harleston settled they started to see more of the ball, moving it around well and creating opportunities. Unfortunately it was Indian Gym who took the lead after Magpies lost possession high up the pitch a direct long ball bypassed the whole Magpies team where the lone Indian Gym forward beat Sitch before slotting past Livings.
This goal spurred Harleston on to improve and with little more than 5 minutes later Harleston found an equalised after the ball ricochet around the D it fell to Andy Hipwell who superbly finished leaving the goal keeper with no chance. Harleston were now in the ascendency and soon took the lead following a short corner strike Bale rucked the ball out to smash the post which allowed Fanger to slot home the second rebound from close range. Just before the end of the half Magpies were reduced to 10 players when Andy Hipwell was sin binned, the away team though were able to hold on until the half time interval.
Harleston started the second half the brighter team, allowing Indian Gym to come onto them before using the pace of Simon Hipwell and James Fanger to hit them on the break. Half way through the half Harleston were again reduced to 10 men when Stuart Leate brought down an attacker, the resultant short corner was dealt with well by Richard Harms in goal to keep Harleston in the lead. With Indian Gym steeping up looking for the vital equaliser Harleston were able to use aerials to exploit the space behind their opposition.
On one ariel Harleston were able to win a short corner which again was dealt with by the Indian Gym keeper but the Toby ‘ginger ninger’ Tibbenham reacted quickest only to see his goal bound effort kicked off the line. Tristan Baynes stepped onto the pitch to slot home the resultant penalty flick. Harleston managed to hold onto their two goal advantage for the rest of the game.
The win moves Harleston 9 points clear of the relegation play off place with only 3 games to go and a far superior goal difference.
Next week the team travel to Old Loughts who slipped to second in the league following a 0-0 draw away at Holcombe.