Match report – Men’s Over 40s – Sunday 12 February 2017

Cambridge City Men’s O40s 2 Harleston Magpies Men’s O40s 2

Magpies won 4-2 on penalty strokes

Magpies are through to the semi-finals of England Hockey’s Men’s Over 40s Cup after this narrow and hard-earned win over a Cambridge City side which played better as the game progressed. Magpies seemed in total control of the game at the Cambridge University ground when Matt Brand put them ahead from close range on five minutes and Gavin Cole added a second from further out three minutes later.

magpies men over 40s
Back row L to R. David Francis, Eric Davy, Andy Smith, Dan Kinsman, Gavin Cole, James Smith, Gus Wilkinson, Murray Graham (GK) Front row L to R. Martin Reader, Stuart Peters, Matt Brand, Tristan Baynes (captain), Bill Williams, James Stacey

But City gradually came into the game and they pulled a goal back at a penalty corner in the twenty-second minute. Magpies responded with their best move of the game only to see the resulting shot go just wide of the post. Shortly afterwards Eric Davy cleared the ball off the line to ensure that the visitors went into half time with a narrow lead.

City dominated much of the second half but Magpies kept them at bay due to some impressive tackling, notably a double effort by Andy Smith, some good saves by goalkeeper Murray Graham and a goal line clearance by Stuart Peters.

With four minutes to go Magpies forced a penalty corner but their shot was blocked and in seconds the ball was in the net at the other end for a deserved City equaliser.

In the penalty stroke decider Magpies were indebted to calm conversions by Matt, Gavin, David Francis and the clincher by captain Tristan Baynes after a good save by Murray and later a post had denied City.