Peterborough 2 – Harleston Magpies 2
On a most glorious and sunny Saturday, we got the game started against Peterborough. From the get go we had a slight disadvantage due to only having 12 players and the weather being a celsius or two above warm.
The first 10 minutes were inconsistent from a magpie perspective maintaining most of the possession but making few inroads in the last 3rd. Peterborough decided to go down the route of throwing aerials like they were going out of fashion and after 15 minutes this cunning ploy paid dividends as a poorly controlled aerial in our D by one of their strikers trickled towards our goal, Matt Collinge being the cunning tactician that he is decided the best course of action would be to let the ball go, this failed and Peterborough went 1 up.
Magpies then started to grind away playing some good hockey with some dubious decision making being mixed in especially in the final third. Harleston defended well when Peterborough did attack with Sam Rowe, Richard Larkin and the dynamic due of Leigh Sitch and Andrew Bedwell repelling any breaks. However the best chance came to Peterborough when their striker got 1 on 1 with Matt Collinge but all he managed to do was sophisticatedly dribble off the back. We went into the half 1-0 down knowing there were goals to be had and that we could still very much win this game.
Early in the second half one of the slowest ever right midfields Mark Wheelhouse thundered a ball into the opposing D, Barber controlled the ball with great finesse and reversed the ball between the keepers legs. Later in the half Sam Rowe on a sideline ball then managed to fizz a pass, that was intended for Andrew Bedwell, the ball quite unprofessionally decided to take a different course and give Peterborough a long corner. This lead to a pressure from Peterborough in which their striker was left alone on the P spotwith as much time as he needed 2-1 was the score line with time not in magpies favour. 4 minutes from the end Barber subbed himself back on to the field for a last hurrah and just before the final whistle could be blown Mark Wheelhouse made a sublime waddle into the D and cracked a shot towards the far post, the only thing stopping this screamer equalising was the foot of a defender. So we got ourselves a penalty corner as we were setting up for it the final whistle was blown, this was our last chance. The corner was saved but after some great anti-skill from Ridley we earned ourselves another penalty corner to which the ball was drag flicked in the direction of Chris Barber who as per usual calculated quickly what the optimal angle the deflected ball should take, Cambridge Physics scholars would not have been disappointed as the ball nestled into the top corner of the goal.
MOM – Andrew Bedwell and Leigh Sitch
Photos were taken by Pat Leate