Harleston Magpies 4 Ipswich II 1
NE14 Hockey East Premier AHarleston Magpies 4 Ipswich II 1Harleston Magpies punished Ipswich II's ill-discipline to make it six wins from six games.
NE14 Hockey East Premier A
Harleston Magpies 4 Ipswich II 1
Harleston Magpies punished Ipswich II's ill-discipline to make it six wins from six games.
In a fierce encounter Magpies initially controlled possession but were unable to force an early goal as Ipswich allowed the home team to move the ball around the back but prevented any successful attacking play.
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Harleston forced a number of short corners in the first half but they were unable to convert as the Ipswich keeper was forced into making a fine diving save from an Andy Hipwell drag flick.
Ipswich had their own periods of sustained possession and scored from a drag flick that experienced keeper Iain Martin was unable to stop.
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In response Magpies looked to pick up the pace of their attacks and Carl Sitch produced an excellent through-ball for James Wheeler. Unfortunately as Wheeler dived for the ball he clashed with the Ipswich keeper leaving him floored and unconscious.
At this point the Ipswich keeper was determined to continue and play was resumed although the break disrupted the game severely and both teams struggled to half time with Magpies finishing the half down 0-1.
The second half started in confusion as the Ipswich keeper, still suffering from his earlier head injury, refused to leave the pitch.
As a result an additional break to the game ensued during which the Ipswich team finally persuaded their keeper to leave the pitch and appointed a replacement.
In the meantime Magpies were taking advantage of the disruption to pass the ball around and stay focused on the game ahead and as play resumed Magpies stole the initiative from Ipswich and produced some fluent attacking moves which pressurised the Ipswich defence.
In particular Tom Sumner displayed fine stick skills walking freely down the right channel through a multitude of Ipswich players, whilst James Fanger caused problems for the Ipswich players with runs down the right flank.
A controversial goal broke the deadlock as Richard Ling deflected a cross from Richard Gill which brought the scores level.
The Ipswich team objected to the goal being given and surrounded the umpire refusing to accept that the ball had been touched by Ling.
As a consequence of their objections an Ipswich player was shown a yellow card and in quick succession Ipswich were reduced to nine players as the team continued to argue the decision.
The depleted Ipswich team were powerless to prevent Magpies' ascendancy as they started to control the game with an athletic performance from Andy Bedwell at left back helping to stretch the play.
Magpies' continued pressure resulted in a short corner which was expertly converted by Andy Hipwell, giving them the lead for the first time in the game.
However the best move of the game, involving Fanger, Sumner and Hipwell, produced one of the best goals of the season, converted by Richard Gill with a fine finish into the top corner.
As the game continued Magpies persisted to dominate the play and when a Neil Toulson shot struck an Ipswich foot on the goal-line Hipwell added his second of the match from the penalty spot to secure victory.
The result leaves Harleston Magpies and St Albans both with six wins from their opening six games ahead of their first clash of the season next week.