With the season beginning to wind up for many teams their was a jovial atmosphere at The Nest on Saturday as all the home fixtures resulted in wins for Magpies. The Girls Development squad put six goals past Watton in the early pushback, with Florence Collins making her debut for the team. Sandra Elliner’s side sit comfortably in second place having won an impressive 15 games this season with a +55 goal difference to boast. Watton were also on the receiving end of defeat by Magpies Boys Development squad who won the game 7-0 and are currently tied on points with Norwich City in the second spot in the table.
The home crowd were treated to an exciting game when Bedford travelled to Harleston to face Magpies Ladies Firsts. Magpies took the lead after captain Lucy Belsey quickly took a free hit on the right sideline, beat her player and delivered a pin-point cross into the circle, Lucy Whiting found herself in space and deflected in off her reverse stick in impressive fashion.
Annie Nunn and Charlie Harrison worked tirelessly in midfield to support the attack and create chances for the forwards. After a good run and shot from Lizzie Clymer was saved by the Bedford goalkeeper, the ball fell to Laura Tibbenham, who cooly doubled Magpies’ tally before Bedford converted a short corner to pull a goal back.
Magpies regained their two-goal advantage with 8 minutes remaining after another run from Lizzie Clymer, this time squaring to Emma Lee-Smith in space to fire home. Bedford scored again but were unable to find the equaliser, resulting in a 3-2 win and fifth place league finish for Magpies.
The news then came in that the Men’s Firsts had won away at Blueharts where Jude Pottruff started upfront for his first team debut. Andrew Bedwell released a trademark slider from a short corner to open the scoring and Mark Flatman pounced on a loose ball following another short corner to double Magpies’ lead.
Flatman added another before club stalwart Tristan Baynes found the backboard with a reverse stick hit. The fifth and final goal of the game came when Jonty Gosling passed to Richard Larkin at the edge of the ‘D’ who committed the goalie before slipping the ball to Pottruff to shoot into the empty net. The Men face a tough game next Saturday away against promotion hopefuls St Albans.
A brace of goals from Alice Evans-Hendrick meant that the Ladies Fourths took a point from their penultimate league fixture against Lowestoft Railway, and have kept themselves in the running to avoid relegation by the skin of their teeth. The ladies require a win against Norwich City Fourths on Saturday and then their fate will be in the hands of UEA who could leapfrog Magpies out of the relegation zone if they win both remaining matches. Sadly however the Men’s Thirds have been relegated following a hard battled season.
After Saturdays successes their were disappointing results for our Cup teams on Sunday. The Mixed ‘A’ team headed to Peterborough hoping to replicate last seasons champion success but were on the losing end of a 2-1 defeat. Matt Bensly opened the scoring for the U18 boys in the semi final away at Marlow but the lads found themselves 2-1 down at half time and, despite another Bensly goal, Marlow capitalised on their chances where Magpies did not and scored twice again to win 4-2.
The U18 Girls welcomed four U16 girls to the squad who faced Reading at The Nest but conceded three goals in the first half. Mia King pulled a goal back for Magpies but Reading scored another two to cement their place in the cup final. The girls can take a great deal of pride in the way they have played throughout this competition, beating Norwich City, Norwich Dragons, Chelmsford and Leicester in the Quarter final. During the campaign Magpies have scored 27 goals and only conceded 9. The squad will lose a few of these players next season due to girls becoming to old for the age group but with a great group of youngsters coming into the U18’s next season, Magpies will be hoping for another long run in the cup competition.