Harleston Magpies sponsored by Dynamic Sport travelled to Cannock to step up their preseason ready for their league campaign starting later in September.
In the first game of the weekend Harleston took on a strong looking Clifton Robinsons team. Harleston found themselves under pressure early on and despite some solid defending they found themselves a goal down after 15 minutes following a good short corner. This set back spurred Harleston on further and they soon started to create more and more chances of their own. With 20 minutes remaining Harleston found the break through in the second half when Archie Winter hit a sweet strike into the top corner past the helpless keeper. From that point Harleston continued to press and dominate the game, however, they were undone on the final whistle when Clifton Robinsons converted a winning short corner.
Despite the defeat Harleston had performed well and worked on the targets from coach Tim Whiteman.
In the second game of the day Harleston faced a strong Cannock side. Despite starting the game the stronger Harleston struggled to convert the chances that they created and were punished at the other end by a ruthless Cannock attack. Harleston again managed to draw themselves level later in the game when Jake Sewell finished from close range. Again in a de ja vu scenario Harleston were undone again by a stoppage time corner which was rifled high into the net.
On the Sunday Harleston faced Bristol University. Again Harleston started on the front foot and soon took the lead through Robbie Kinsella. As Harleston started to tire it allowed Bristol back into the game and they soon scored a deserved equaliser. At half time Tim Whiteman asked for higher intensity and that is exactly what the squad delivered. Bristol couldn’t cope with the higher intensity and Harleston took the lead through Jack Hobbs at a well worked short corner. Harleston were able to hang onto the win with solid pressing and good 1 v 1 defending.
This result booked Harleston a game against Deeside Ramblers in their final game of the weekend.
Harleston started the game well but soon started to show signs of fatigue as players started to pick up slight niggles. Therefore it was no surprise when ex Magpie Chris Barber opened the scoring for Deeside with a smart roll shot in the circle. Deeside soon double and then tripled their lead one goal coming again from Chris Barber and the second from a well struck short corner. Harleston did manage to respond before the break when Matt Bensley pulled a goal back. Harleston again started the second half well but were undone by a superb ball carry and reverse stick finish. Archie Winter pulled another goal back with a deft lift over an advancing goalkeeper from a tight angle. Deeside again extended their lead but on the final whistle it was Harleston’s turn to respond when Thomas Ridley powered home a drag flick. The final score finishing 5-3 to Deeside Ramblers.
The squads performance showed many positives and built on the good start last weekend. Playing against three National League teams and pushing them all hard will stand Harleston in good stead for the season.
Squad John Livings, Chris Leek, Leigh Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Tom Sumner, Jonty Gosling, Adam Lascelles, Will Martin, Thomas Ridley, Stuart Leate, Robbie Kinsella, Archie Winter, Jack Hobbs, Jake Sewell, Matt Bensley, Alex Kilbourn.