Match Report: Men’s 1sts – National Indoor Lge Div 1: Sat/Sun 17/18 January 2015

Harleston Magpies made the long journey to Bristol again to participate in the second weekend of the indoor National League Division 1 championship.

Harleston 4 – Wimbledon 8
In their first game of the weekend Harleston faced a strong Wimbledon side who had ex-Magpies James Osborn and Matt Riches playing for them. Harleston got off to the perfect start by pressing Wimbledon back they were able to win a couple of short corners where Toby Price was able to convert with a well taken drag flick. Wimbledon soon hit back with some good counter attacking hockey which exposed the Harleston back line to take the lead. Wimbledon soon extended their lead further before Harleston replied through Carl Sitch. Wimbledon were able to add a fourth goal before the break. Harleston started slowly in the second half allowing Wimbledon to increase their lead to 6. Harleston did pull a goal back through Tristan Baynes before Wimbledon scored a 7th. The two teams traded one more goal a piece with Simon Hipwell completing the scoring for Harleston.

Brooklands 8 – Harleston 2
In the next game of the weekend Harleston faced old foes Brooklands. Brooklands set a very deep press allowing Harleston onto them before hitting them on the counter attack. The proved extremely effective as Brooklands took an early 3-0 lead. Harleston did manage to pull a goal back through Carl Sitch but soon conceded two more. Harleston started the second half stronger but again conceded a sloppy goal before Toby Price scored Harleston’s second but it was Brooklands who scored the last two goals of the game.

Old Loughts 6 – Harleston 2
Harleston went into their first game of Sunday knowing that only a win would suffice. In a game that started tightly both sides struggled to create any real clear goal scoring opportunities. With 10 minutes played Old Loughts scored a well worked short corner. Harleston again pressed forward but were unable to score with their chances before again conceding on the stroke of half time from another corner. Harleston pushed forward in the second half and pulled a goal back when Leigh Sitch dissected two Old Loughts forwards with a pin point pass to find Richard Larkin on the left hand board. From here Richard managed to magically weave his way through two Old Loughts defenders before bamboozling the Old Loughts goalkeeper and nutmegging him from a tight angle. Old Loughts responded and increased their lead to four before Toby Price converted from the flick spot following Carl Sitch’s original shot was blocked on the line by an Old Loughts defender’s body. Harleston could not push on from here despite trying which again left them exposed at the back allowing Old Loughts to score two more unanswered goals.

Harleston 3 – Cannock 7
In their last game of the weekend Harleston faced a physically strong Cannock team who had improved greatly from the first weekend. Cannock took an early lead through a quick counter attack. Harleston responded through Sam Rowe following a good rotation move. Harleston were unable to build on this and conceded two more goals before Harleston hit the post were unlucky not pick up the rebound. Harleston came out fighting in the second half but it was Cannock who scored first from a rocket of a drag flick into the top left hand corner of the goal. Harleston then traded goals with Cannock when Mark Wheelhouse controlled well in circle before finishing, soon after Cannock scored their fifth. Harleston had Matt Collinge to thank in goal for keeping the score down as he made some smart close range saves. This spurred Harleston into life and a killer ball from Mark Wheelhouse found James Meek at the top of the circle but his audacious lob was well saved by the keeper. Harleston did eventually score a third when Tristan Baynes finished from close range following firstly Carl Sitch hitting the post before Chris Barber rattled the cross bar all in the same move. Cannock then scored two unanswered goals before Leigh Sitch was denied following a lung busting run from left back by a superb last ditch tackle.

These results meant that the team were relegated back to the Division 2 League where they were promoted from last season.

The squad would like to thank Martin Fields for all of his hard work managing and coaching the team this season.