Harleston Magpies Mixed 5 – Havering Mixed 1
Harleston entertained Havering in the third round of the National Mixed Cup. After beating Norwich in the first round and receiving a walkover in the second round Harleston entered the game in high spirits. The squad slightly changed from their last outing with Chris Barber out injured with a torn hamstring and Simon Hipwell unavailable due to a Birthday Bash Bonanza.
The first 5 minutes of the match flowed end to end with Havering setting a high press which Harleston struggled to get out of. Despite this and when Harleston found their feet they soon got into the game and soon took the lead when Ben Wright slotted home from close range after good attacking play from Lizzie Clymer and Amy Campbell. Harleston soon found themselves two goals up after good attacking play from Martin Fields, Richard Larkin, Andrew Bedwell and Katrina Sitch where the ball rolled kindly to Toby Price in the circle who slotted home.
The home side were cruising at this point creating chance after chance but were unable to convert any of their clear chances as the Havering goalkeeper made a string of good close range saves. The most audacious effort coming from Lucy Whiting who’s deflected effort from the top of the circle looped agonisingly over the bar. Harleston were made to pay for the wastefulness just before half time as the Havering centre mid eluded the close marking of Ben Wright to drive at the centre of the Harleston defence leaving Leigh Sitch with a 2v1 and Havering were able to finish the move off in style with a powerfully struck reverse stick shot into the corner of the goal.
Harleston knew that they would need to come out fighting and had a couple of areas to work on in the second half. The half started much as the first half had played out. Harleston dominated possession while Havering looked to hit Harleston with the long ball through the centre of the pitch. Harleston soon scored their third when Andrew Bedwell took the direct approach and fired the ball into the mixer for it to pop free to Martin Fields who slotted home at the near post.
Havering tried to respond straight away but the defensive unit of Leigh Sitch, Katrina Sitch, Andrew Bedwell, Lauren Barber, James Meek, Frances Taylor and Matt Collinge stood firm. Harleston were able to score two more goals, firstly Ben Wright scored from close range before the goal of the game fell to Maria Andrews. The move started with Toby Price picking the ball up just outside his 25 yard line after pinning down the Havering attacker before out gassing the entire Havering midfield, laying the ball off to Ben Wright who played it back into Price’s path before he played the ball across the goal for Maria Andrews to slot home.
The final score staying at 5-1. Harleston will now look forward to their next round on the 26th April where they will be away at Wisbech.