MEN 2ND TEAM REPORT 23RD MARCH 2019

Mens 2nd Team v Wisbech D 5-5

Harleston magpies 2’s made the trip to Wisbech knowing that anything but a win would see them leave Div 1 after only a seasons return.
The team saw John Livings return in goal, the Hipwell brothers were back and on loan magpie James Osborn had patched up his hamstrings enough for one more run out.
Magpies started the game with a ferocious pace and immediately Andy Hipwell, Kinsella and Osborn were starting to link up nicely upfront and with the support of the midfield of Manly, Baynes, Stacey and Simon Hipwell things were looking positive. Things went our way when a clean cross from Kinsella saw the Wisbech keeper kick over the top and allowed Morgan to pounce at the back post to make it 1-0. We were creating numerous chances but were unable to convert until Osborn got a tap in at the back post to make it 2-0.
As has been the pattern of the season we have been unable to keep leads and finish games off and much to our frustration Wisbech struck back twice to make it 2-2 at half time.
Magpies still looked comfortable and after the break we didn’t look like a side that had just given up a two goal lead. John Livings made some tidy saves to keep it tight at the back. The back three of Taylor, Sharky and Max were working well at getting the ball to the midfield where we could then go on the offensive. When Hipwell took a trademark short corner and fired it into the bottom corner we thought something might be changing and when Hipwell got his second with a tap in and Kinsella fired in a trademark backhand shot into the roof of the net it looked like we were going to be staying in Div 1, but fatigue and fear started to show its ugly face and to give Wisbech credit they never gave up. Even with the rolling subs of Dave Francis, Hugo and Jamie Hudson we were unable to keep the work rate going and Wisbech soon clawed a goal back. One goal became two and it was now 5-4 and the horrid sense of the return fixture was soon become very real. Sadly a well executed finish from a tight angle made it 5-5 and Wisbech had the score line they wanted. Time ran out and with it our hopes of Division 1 hockey went with it.
We have had a tough season with multiple changes each week meaning a consistent side has rarely happened but have never given up and no player has ever given less than 100%.
A massive thanks to Bob Skinner for giving up his time in the last few months to manage the side and to Tris Baynes for picking up the captaincy when Stu Field sadly had to be sidelined with injury. We also wish Lawrence Baynes a speedy recovery after he underwent surgery for a hernia.
We will look to bounce straight back next season and look forward to all your support again.