IESHC 6 Harleston Magpies III 6

NE14 Hockey East Men’s League

Division 2N

IN what would easily be described as ‘a game for the neutral’, IES and their local Norfolk rivals exchanged six goals apiece at Copleston on Saturday, which gained the home side a point but it felt like a loss having been ahead for most of the game.

With only 12 on the team sheet due to injuries, IES turned to Scott Cole for the firepower to match the guile of Farrow up front. James Pettitt came in for his second appearance of the season, but started on the bench for the Ipswich side. Harleston’s third string fielded a mixed side of youth and experience, with veteran Phil Cobbold running the show in midfield for the Magpies.

In what was a cracking half of hockey, IES fell behind after being asleep to initial Magpies attacks. The ball fell to their skipper on the left of the goal and from an acute angle beat Lane on his post for 1-0. Shell shocked at a poor start, IES soon rallied and Cole opened his first team account for the season against his old side with a cute dink past the advancing Harleston keeper for one-one. Game on and IES forced forward, with Cole working well with Farrow, Oakley and Aveling in the forward line. Cole soon doubled his tally by slipping the ball past the Magpies keeper to give the home side the lead. IES were well on top now but another defensive mistake led to a sweet strike by the Norfolk side to make it 2-2. IES took the lead again as Nick Aveling pounced to dispatch a finish after the ball had richoted off the post, must to the Harleston keeper’s despair. IES, however, soon conceded to make it 3-3 at half time.

After half time, the game went more IES’ way, with Oakley and Pettitt making good runs, which eventually led to James Klug bundling the ball home for 4-3. But Harleston did not give up and came back through Cobbold who was given time to shoot reverse stick and made it 4-4. This game swung back to the hsots again though, as Cole collected his hat trick in style with a smashed shot past the keeper’s ears and Sam Oakley made it six with a deflection. IES looked home and dry but poor discipline in defence led to first a one on one which Harleston scored with aplomb, and then with seconds left the visitors’ skipper found himself unmarked at the back post to tap in a drilled pass, although IES suspected it hit a Harleston foot before crossing the line.

IES were denied their 100 per cent record at home, but remain unbeaten at Copleston this season. They travel to March Town this Saturday in search of three more points on the road after beating Market Deeping last weekend.

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IES Squad: Lane, Brown, Coulson, Curtis, Howe, Aveling, Jones, Klug, Oakley, Farrow, Cole, Pettitt.