Mens 3rd XI match report Saturday 3rd November 2012

Norwich Dragons 1st XI 4 – Harleston Magpies Mens 3rd XI 1

Magpies 3’s travelled to local rivals Norwich Dragons on a high after beating fellow strugglers UEA 2-1 the week before.

With a couple of changes to the team, Pies were always going to have a tough game against a well drilled Dragons side who sat mid-table before Saturday’s game.

Pies started well and with in-form striker Gavin Cole always had a chance. Cole soon took a chance as he swept home a cross from the right to make it 1-0 with ten minutes gone.

However, Dragons hit back with a sweet strike five minutes later to level the scores. The home side looked the better in attack and pressed the Pies defence hard until an open cross found a Dragons stick to deflect past Lane in the Pies goal.

Tompkins came close for Pies but found the Dragons keeper in fine form just before the break to deny him a deserved goal.

Two one at half time and Pies were still in the game, winning a penalty stroke for a foot on the line, but after a conference the umpires rightly decided on a penalty corner instead.

However, despite Pies’ best efforts the experience and tenacity of the Norwich side paid as they forced a third through a strike which deflected off Flatt, leaving Lane with no chance. An injury to left back Cumming caused for a defensive reshuffle and ultimately Dragons’ class showed as they finished the game with a fourth to win 4-1.

Pies take heart from a gritty performance but remain on four points at the foot of Division 2N. They face league leaders IES on Saturday 10th November, a tough call for this young and developing side.

Squad: Brand (C), Lane (GK), Flatt, Graham, Laschelles, Cumming, Middleton, Payne, Baynes, Stacey, Brice, Cole and Tompkins.