This week saw Harleston Magpies mens first team sponsored by Dybamic Club Shop take on local rivals Ipswich in a thrilling game of hockey. Even before the whistle there were scraps as a vocal Ipswich team fought for the push back even after the toss. Magpies warm up started very flat and needed lifting! A quick team gathering and a few words put us all on the right track which saw the Harleston boys hitting full speed before the final whistle.
The game began and Magpies quickly took control of possession, however it was Ipswich that had the first sniff at goal. Some good play from them saw the ball flicked over the bar from open play. An early eye opener for Magpies that this was going to be a battle until the final whistle. Chances began to come for the men in white as a few balls fizzed into the box narrowly missing an attackers stick for a deflection. The first break through came when Ipswich made a loose challenge outside their D resulting in a penalty corner. A miss placed injection came out to the wrong castle at the top of the D which was controlled and hit low and hard into the bottom corner by James Gray to give Magpies a 1-0 lead. Not long after this Magpies doubled their lead when Dave Gilbert on the back post tapped in a bouncing ball that came across the D. 2-0 Magpies! With just seconds on the clock, we became sloppy and lost our discipline for the first time in the game. A bad tackle outside the D was upgraded into a short corner. unfortunately an early break saw the shot charged down by Magpies number 1 runner but was only resulted in a re-award. A clinical drag flick from Ipswich took the score to 2-1 before half time.
The first half was fast and ferocious and was only going to get more intense as the game went on. We knew a 2-1 score wouldn’t secure us victory so we pressed on and despite the run of play early into the second half, Magpies extended their lead through Jack Hobbs with a nice reverse into an empty goal. 3-1 Magpies. We were quickly put on the back foot with Ipswich attacking our circle and winning another short corner. This time there was no early break from Magpies but this didn’t stop the Ipswich flicker closing the gap. A flick low to the right beat John Livings and the score now 3-2. A composed last 15 minutes saw us hold the ball better and dominate play, and eventually we were rewarded from our patience. A short corner – again from a poor tackle outside the D. This time the injection was good and Oli Whiteman found Leigh Sitch on the back post to deflect it into a Ipswich body and a stroke to be awarded. Dave Gilbert stepped up and slotted the ball calmly into the bottom right of the goal. Some poor language from the Ipswich keeper saw a yellow card pulled out and Ipswich were down to 9 (with a green given for the short corner challenge prior to the flick). Some more bad language from Ipswich saw a kicking back also receive a yellow before play had even begun again from their keepers yellow. Ipswich down to 8. with 14 minutes on the clock Magpies didn’t change tactics. We still pressed high as instructed by skipper Thomas Ridley himself. Tired Ipswich legs began to show as Harleston increased their lead through hatrick hero Dave Gilbert who tapped the ball in at the back post past the substitute keeper! 5-2 was the final score despite a corner gives to Ipswich on the last play of the game.
A huge result for Harleston who make it 3 games unbeaten and are rapidly climbing up the league table!
Next week the squad travel to Chelmsford looking to avenge their disappointing result last year.