Mens 1st Team v City of Peterborough (Away (L) L 3-4)
It was a blustery day at Bretton Gate which saw a top of the table clash between Peterborough and Harleston Magpies, sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops. As action got underway it was the home team asserting their dominance, capitalising on a slow start from the visitors. Some well placed aerials kept Harleston on the back foot and caused a tactical headache for the Magpies. This bombardment resulted in the Peterborough forwards having the lions share of possession which eventually materialised in the form of a short corner. Peterborough had a slick routine which saw the ball moved quickly to the far post for an easy tap in, giving the home side an early lead. Unfortunately for the visitors they struggled to play at their normal tempo, passing too often going awry and although there were some small flashes of good link up play, it was the Peterborough which struck next. Some good build up play on the wing resulted in a harsh short corner decision for a slightly miss-times tackle. Again the home team moved the ball around well and scored another deflected short corner routine. Heading it to the half time break it was 2-0 and looked like it could be a long day for the Harleston players as they failed to mount any serious momentum. Harleston player coach Tim Whiteman had some stern words for his team and demanded more as the team were on the receiving end of some much needed hairdryer treatment. Harleston reverted to their aggressive full press stance and as the second half got underway the pep talk looked to have done the trick as the team started to link up and play the fast assured hockey they are renowned for.
The visitors looked like a different team as some flowing moves were starting to ask questions of Peterborough’s defence. Magpies defender Sam Paterson was having a sterling game and managed to find himself in the opposition’s area after some good link up play with midfielder Pete Bale. As he tried to round the last defender a cynical foul resulted in a penalty flick and a glimmer of hope for the Magpies. Shouldering the responsibility himself, Sam was quick to dispatch the penalty flick and Peteborough found they had now had a game on their hands. Harleston had now found their feet and fired in a quick second when Archie Winter dispatched from close range.
Peterborough continued to push forward but were rebuffed, Leigh Sitch making an outstanding 1v1 tackle to keep his team in it. It was Peterborough who found the break through though when a reverse stick shot found it’s way to an attacker to finishe from close range. Harleston were not done and player coach Tim Whiteman stepped up to wobble his way around 4 defenders at a short corner and calmly slotted home. Harleston continued to press and created two more clear cut chances, one cleared off the line and one a near post miss. With the game clearly at bubbling point Stuart Leate was fourtunate not to see yellow for a rough stick tackle.
Peterborough managed to hang on and claim a vital 3 points. Harleston again left feeling disappointed that they left themselves too much to do in the second half of a game. Next week they face Bedford at home at midday.