MENS 1ST TEAM REPORT 4TH NOVEMBER 2017

Mens 1st Team v Spalding 1 (Home (L) W 13-0)

On a wet and blustery day, Harleston sponsored by Dynamic Club Shops welcomed Spalding to the nest, hoping to continue their good run of form and keep the pressure on league leaders St Albans. Magpies immediately started the game with intent committing players forward and looking for an early breakthrough. It was Spalding though that had the first clear cut opportunity of the game. A hopeful aerial from the back eluded both Leigh Sitch and Tom Sumner in defence and an opportunistic Spalding player raced behind the flapping defenders to set up a one on one with Chris Leek in the Magpies goal. Unwilling to give up his clean sheet so early in the game, Leek showed excellent composure to force the striker wide and then safe the shot with his trailing leg. Magpies responded well and it wasn’t long before Matt Richardson, showing that the best players can play in any position, powered the opening goal past the Spalding keeper. With their tails up, it wasn’t long before the Magpies lead was doubled when Sam Patterson, the self-titled league’s best flicker, added some credibility to his claim with a bulleted drag flick that flew in off the crossbar. Patterson shortly added his second goal as he showed excellent close control in the D to make room for himself to slide in from his reverse. The goals continued to flow for Magpies as Archie Winter got in on the act, first almost knocking the Spalding keeper over with a vicious shot before adding another as he followed up his own short corner with a composed volley into the net. 5-0 to Harleston at half-time.Some spurring words from player-coach Whiteman (adding new meaning to the term ‘Pep-talk’) had Magpies starting the second half eager to continue the good form of the first half. After missing what can only be described as a boat-load of chances in the first half, Simon Hipwell – proving that if you give a monkey enough chances at goal even he will score – finally added his name to the score sheet as he followed in on a short corner. Sam Patterson then completed his hat-trick when he added Magpies’ 7th of the game. At this point in the game Harleston could have taken their foot of the gas but if anything they increased the energy further and continued to push for more goals. The excellent Tom Sumner was commanding from the back, stepping in front of the opposition on numerous occasions to win the ball back and set Magpies off on the attack. Veteran defender Andrew Bedwell could only watch this man-of-the-match performance from the side lines and must be worried at the emergence of this young, athletic talent. With Tom Sumner dictating from the back and the midfield working tirelessly to build attack after attack Dave Gilbert soon added two more goals for the Pies, showing a strikers instinct to be in the right place at the right time. Jake Sewell was quickest to respond after his first shot was saved to pounce on the rebound and ensure that he got a goal to reward his excellent play. Jack Hobbs added two more goals to the Magpies tally as Harleston continued to pile on the pressure, not letting Spalding have any time on the ball. The day’s scoring was completed as Sewell added his 2nd, and Magpies 13th, with an excellent back post tap-in. This rounded off a fantastic performance from the home side and the excellent effort from the whole team leaves them looking to continue the good form next week as they travel to Bedford for what will be a very tightly contested game.