Harleston Magpies 5 – 1 Cambridge Uni
After back to back wins, Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport were looking to continue their good run of form by welcoming Cambridge Uni to The Nest. With mixed fortunes from previous games against this side, Magpies knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game.
Cambridge Uni started the game having the majority of the possession but were unable to cause any problems due to a very compact midfield and defence from the home side. Counter-attacks were where magpies created a few half chances in the early stages using the pace of Archie Winter and Ben Wright up front to cause the oppositions back four some problems.
It continued this way, until a counter attack became successful as a beautifully weighted pass from Matt Richardson found player-coach Ben Wright to neatly slot the ball into the goal past the oncoming keeper. Magpies continued to create chances leading to a couple of short corners. One of which Jack Knight couldn’t get on the end of for a deflection and another was cleared off the line by one of the post men.
Cambridge did start to cause a threat in the latter of the first half, working out that aerials were the best option to try break through the Harleston wall. But magpies back four of Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Tom Sumner and Sam Patterson looked both comfortable and confident to deal with any danger that Uni could conjure up. Harleston then made it 2-0 from another beautifully slotted pass finding man of the match Archie Winter to neatly lift over the keeper and hit the backboard. It could have been 3-0 before half-time but a rebound off the keeper and a flick at goal judged to be cleared just in front of the goal legally although many of the Harleston players thought otherwise. Harleston finished 2-0 up at the half time break.
After a successful first half, Magpies kept their same disciplined formation for the start of the second and so was a similar start as the first with Cambridge enjoying most of the early possession. Cambridge became stronger and more intelligent as the game went on causing a bit of confusion especially down our left hand side but the likes of Tom Ridley and Sam Patterson were able to deal with any pressure supplied. Harleston’s biggest threat was looking down the left hand side with some long balls down the line for our forwards to turn and take on defenders 1v1 which led to a few half chances but weren’t converted and a short corner. The corner was well worked and a sliding deflection from Captain Leigh Sitch added another goal to his tally for the season.
Unlike previous weeks Harleston kept their discipline resulting in no cards received in the full 70 minutes making sure no added pressure was able to be caused by the young and athletic University side. Cambridge did have the odd chance in the second half but were unable to convert thanks to John Livings staying strong in goal and keeping his clean sheet still intact. Ben Wright then produced a moment of brilliance from the left hand corner going past 3 defenders and cutting back from the baseline to pass the ball past the keepers left foot for 4-0.
Eventually more pressure supplied by the University side meant they pulled a goal back driving along the baseline and passing it across for a simple tap-in. After that the game became more stretched leaving a lot of open space especially on the right hand side of the pitch for Richard Larkin to drive into and cross the ball hoping for a Magpies forward to get on the end off. The goal did come from the right hand side though with James Meek driving into the D and smashing the ball into the roof of the net leaving the keeper no chance. It could have been at least a couple more from a reverse stick strike from Archie just going wide and an unselfish pass from Andrew Bedwell across the goal but some confusion between two Magpies players meant the score stayed and finished 5-1.
Harleston travel to top of the league Old Loughtonians next weekend hoping to continue their good run of form and end the opposition’s 100% record.
Man of the Match – Archie Winter
Photos Courtesy of Pat Leate