Harleston Magpies men’s 1st XI vs. Letchworth
After a positive result last week against Chelmsford, Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops, were keen to push on and get another win under their belts. Their opposition came as a newly promoted Letchworth team who had started the season off strongly.
Harleston started off the game well looking tight at the back and put Letchworth under pressure straight away with a flurry of good chances; however they were unable to convert, with Jack Knight coming the closest, when his shot that blazed just past the outside of the post.
The breakthrough came halfway through the first half from a well won short corner. Ben Wright added to his goal tally of the season when his drag flick which was seemingly going wide took a large deflection taking it past the keeper to give Harleston the lead. This gave the team confidence to push even harder with Matt Richardson getting the best chance of the remainder of half when he found himself one on one with the goalkeeper, but was unable to convert as he went for power over accuracy, yet achieved neither. This meant the team went into half time leading one nil.
After a rousing team talk from Captain Leigh Sitch and player-coach Ben Wright, the team came out with renewed passion. However, they may have instilled a bit too much passion, with the team getting three cards in six minutes for a trio of bad stick tackles. This really built up pressure and allowed Letchworth to put on the pressure and get on the front foot for the first time in the match. The team somehow managed to make it through this spell without conceding due to some strong defensive work from the whole of the team, only to concede minutes after getting back to full strength taking the score to 1-1. A nervous period of hockey ensued with both teams looking shaky.
Again Harleston capitalised and took the lead after Richardson expertly crossed the ball to Myles King to score his first 1st team goal of the season. At 2-1, Harleston again looked comfortable until Letchworth managed to win a succession of short corners late into the half. These were expertly defended by goalkeeper John Livings and right post man Andrew Bedwell, however Harleston gave away one too many of these corners and a deflected shot made its way into the back of the net, again taking the two teams level.
With five minutes left to go, a draw looked ever likely, but the game was not up yet. The team again pressed on looking to score a late winner which came when, after winning the ball deep into enemy territory; Ben Wright crossed the ball for Archie Winter to expertly volley the ball home at his shoulder height. This gave Harleston the boost they needed and after a final five minutes of strong defensive work and possession keeping the game was out of reach for Letchworth, with the final whistle going just as Harleston won the last short corner of the game. With the last play of the game, Archie winter got his second goal of the game after his drag flick deflected past the keeper, taking the final score to 4-2 in Harleston’s favour.
POTM – Stuart Leate
Scorers – Ben Wright, Myles King, Archie Winter x 2
Photos courtesy of Pat Leate