Harleston Magpies: 4 Belper: 3
The under 18 boys welcomed the Derbyshire team to the nest of the magpie empire expecting to be in for a tough examination. They came well supported but our honest and loyal fans were not to be outdone. (Bertie was nowhere to be seen). The boys were up for the game, many thanks to the variety of different music genres from the captain’s phone and a vast selection of Harbio Starmixs sweets provided by indoor captain Will Blyth. With Dom cancelling on Saturday night due to injury the side came begging for an old face of Tim Alexander to come to the sides’ moment of need. Tim agreed. The squad came to 12 players but then Toby Williamson was obliged to pull out due to injury. The team’s faces dropped with disappointment, pies were in doubt as to whether an 11 man squad could do the business.
Belper looked strong during the warm up, and brought this into the game. Magpies turned their A game on and won 3 short corners in quick succession. Short corner number 2 was converted excellently; it had all the quality of a national league team. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Yeaaaaaahhhhhh coco shouted. Will Blyth finished in style!!! Well done Will. After this Belper hit back in determined fashion and were soon on equal terms despite an excellent initial save by Felix. But Magpies responded catching them on the break. The ball fell to Mitch just inside the half way line and he saw his chance to explode into the space. He picked up speed and there was no stopping him. Some fans say they didn’t even see the goal due to it being that quick. The Belper players inside the D believed he was going to pass it to the left of him to an open James Bensly. This allowed Mitch space and with the quick thinking of the talented young man he decided to fake the pass and continue his great run. Within a second of entering the D the ball flew into the bottom left corner. Unstoppable. Magpies were now 2-1 up. A yellow card was given to a Belper player and with the extra man pies created another chance for Mitch which he took in style to make the half time: Magpies 3- Belper 1.
With a strong, inspirational and uplifting team talk from coaches Riddles and Muzzaa the lads felt confident they could to the business to secure a quarter final place but Belper were soon back in the game with another goal. Like a true captain I urged the boys to keep their heads up and we started playing with style. More robust tackles were made by both team and both teams were punished! Will and Tom saw yellow cards raised towards their faces. When Tom and Will returned they created the best move of the match! William saw the opportunity to lift the ball over the top of the defenders from the half way line for an excited milky to latch on to. This saw him one on one with the keeper, milky did what he does best and saw space to go around the keeper and bang the ball between the posts. Fifteen minutes were left in the game and Belper seemed to push more bodies forward and with this they scored a very cheap and easy goal with two minutes to go. This gave them the motivation that they still had hope and pressure grew on the Magpies defence. Belper then won a short corner and time was up. We knew we had to defend this corner with our lives and see out the victory. The ball was flicked in which astonishing speed and unsure if the ball way flying into the right corner I gave it the lightest of touches and the ball went out of play!! Magpies had won!!
A quality performance from the lads and a special thanks to the Belper team and supporters for travelling so far and for making this a great memory in our youth hockey careers.
Team: Felix Trash (GK), Matt Judge, Giles Flatt (capt), Tim Alexander, James Graham, Will Blyth, Rhodri Furlong, Tom Ridley, Mitchell Tompkins, Tom Graham, James Bensley.