Harleston Magpies 3 Southgate 1

England Hockey League

Conference East

Harleston welcomed Southgate to Shotford Heath for their opening league game of the season.

It was a bright opening to the game by the home team as they forced an early goal line clearance. The game then flowed from one end to the other with neither team creating clear cut chances. Then midway through the half with a well worked goal Harleston took the lead through Duncan Graves. This spurred Harleston on as they started to dominate the possession and create more goal scoring chances.

As half time drew close Southgate started to respond applying good pressure on the Magpies back line. The pressure resulted in two good goal scoring opportunities which the brilliant on the day Richard Harms thwarted with a double save. Southgate were then reduced to ten as they received a yellow card for constant team foul play. Magpies lead 1-0 going into break.

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The second half started slowly with Southgate still down to ten men. As the game built in pace it once again flowed from one end to the other with neither creating clear cut goal scoring chances. Once again Harleston found away through with Tibenham tipping the ball to James Fanger to tap home at the back post extending the lead to 2-0. This seemed to stun Southgate as once again they were reduced to ten as they received another yellow card. As the game went on Southgate started to push, throwing more men forward which resulted in a couple of short corners with 10 minutes to go. Second of these resulted in a penalty stroke being given following a block on the line. This was dispatched bringing Southgate back into the game at 2-1.

More ill discipline saw the Southgate captain receive his second yellow of the match. Magpies capitalised putting the game out of reach with Andy Hipwell bravely diverting the ball into the Southgate goal as the defender tried to clear. This made it 3-1 with only minutes to go. Harleston defended the final few minutes well as they had all game.

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