Harleston Magpies 3 Havering 1

NE14 Hockey East Men's LeaguePremier AHarleston Magpies 3 Havering 1FOLLOWING on from an emphatic victory away to Wisbech, Harleston Magpies Men's 1st XI, sponsored by Hunton Legg, entertained second place Havering at Weybread.

NE14 Hockey East Men's League

Premier A

Harleston Magpies 3 Havering 1

FOLLOWING on from an emphatic victory away to Wisbech, Harleston Magpies Men's 1st XI, sponsored by Hunton Legg, entertained second place Havering at Weybread.

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This was always going to be a tough match and it certainly proved to be just that. The first 15 minutes were hectic with Magpies battling hard against a vociferous Havering outfit. Magpies gained a plethora of free hits but were unable to capitalise on them. Havering gained two penalty corners but were both well defended with Richard Harms making a string of outstanding saves.

Magpies then began to dominate the game and were awarded a penalty corner of their own. Richard Gill got on the end of a good save from the keeper and pushed the ball towards the goal only for it to be stopped by the defenders arm on the line. This was deemed worthy of only another penalty corner, which almost found its way into the goal only to be stopped on the line by a defenders foot.

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The resulting penalty stroke was expertly converted by Tristan Baines who came back into the side after a one-match suspension.

Magpies scored again shortly after this with a classic Richard Ling finish after good work down the right side of the pitch from Pete Bale.

James Wheeler nearly made the quickest exit from the hockey pitch this season, when he made a suspicious tackle 20 seconds after coming on the pitch. Luckily he got away with a green card and a stern word from the umpire.

As the half drew to a close, Andy Hipwell made a fantastic weighted pass to James Wheeler who struck a blistering shot across the goal only for the keeper to make a full stretch save. The game finished 2-0 at half time.

Shortly after the interval Magpies were reduced to 10 men after Chris Barber was adjudged to have tripped a Havering player deliberately. Havering hit back while Magpies were adjusting and scored after a couple of unusual defensive errors to bring the game to 2-1.

Back to a full 11 men, Magpies looked the most likely to score. Another penalty corner was won and Andy Hipwell duly converted to bring the two-goal cushion back and make the score 3-1.

The game finished with Magpies still pushing for their fourth goal but Havering held on, even after making the decision to take their keeper off and play with a kicking back, to leave the score 3-1.

Magpies end the first half of the season unbeaten and eight points clear at the top of the table with a game in hand.

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