Harleston Magpies 2 St Albans 1
Premier AHarleston Magpies 2 St Albans 1Harleston Magpies all but secured the title with this won over second-placed St Albans.The win, which completed the double over their title rivals, means the Magpies are now 12 points clear with just 12 points left for grabs.
Harleston Magpies 2 St Albans 1
Harleston Magpies all but secured the title with this won over second-placed St Albans.
The win, which completed the double over their title rivals, means the Magpies are now 12 points clear with just 12 points left for grabs.
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One more point will therefore secure Harleston the title and, more importantly, a play-off spot for possible for promotion to the national league.
St Albans only brought eleven players to the game and set up defensively with a half court press from the start, clearly not wanting to give Harleston any early chances.
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As a result Magpies kept possession early on but the organised St Albans defence restricted them from creating any clear-cut chances.
Magpies did maintain good pressure on the St Albans defence with an effective press and ensured that the away team never got an extended period of possession.
Magpies eventually forced a short corner that was well converted by birthday boy Andy Hipwell, making up for missing an earlier chance when he put the ball wide after being quickly closed down by the St Albans keeper.
St Albans did then enjoy a little more of the game and forced a string of short corners which were well dealt with by the defence, Ian Martin making a good save by getting down very quickly to stop at his right hand post.
Magpies then grabbed their second of the game when Hipwell snaffled possession on the half way line and put through super-sub Jimmy Wheeler who coolly slotted the ball past the oncoming keeper.
However, St Albans ended the half strongly after a forward turned in a rebound after Gill saved an initial short corner shot.
Despite being 2-1 down, St Albans continued to employ a negative style of play with a deep press and the Harleston team continued to enjoy extended pressure in the second half.
However, the home team never managed to produce the flowing hockey they are capable of and were restricted to fewer chances than they would have liked.
Despite this, Hipwell had a drag flick bound for the top corner brilliantly saved on the line by the St Albans post man and Carl Sitch was unable to turn the ball in after being left free at the back post.
A solid defensive display from the entire team ensured David Ling and Leigh Sitch enjoyed a relatively comfortable second half at the back, denying St Albans a short corner or even a shot on target.
In the end the match finished 2-1 to Harleston, mirroring the result from the seasons previous fixture.