Magpies held to a draw at Bedford

Pete Bale scored the equaliser for Harleston. Picture: PAT LEATE

Pete Bale scored the equaliser for Harleston. Picture: PAT LEATE - Credit: Archant

East Premier A Harleston Magpies 2 Bedford 2 On a brisk yet beautiful armistice autumn afternoon Harleston started the game brightly but were matched by Bedford’s intensity.

After a cagey 15 minutes the game turned more chaotic, with both sides seeing players spend time on the naughty step.

Although determined, both sides lacked enough quality to break the deadlock and one would be forgiven for thinking that they were watching a ping pong match.

It was Magpies, however, who first managed to find the net after excellent play by Archie Winter to find un-retired Canadian international Elliott Marsh in the perfectly placed power position, guiding the ball phenomenally in and lighting up the game. But alas, Magpies lead was short lived. Bedford replied with a goal of their own coming from an unexpected aerial which wasn’t dealt with by captain Leigh Sitch.

After collecting the ball the attacker powerfully crossed the ball which escaped the outstretched foot of goalkeeper Chris Leek, and found Magpies’ very own Jonty Gosling, who diverted the ball into the goal to level the score and make it 1-1 at halftime.

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After an inspired team talk, Harleston quickly found themselves 2-1 down after some poor defending and missed tackles allowed Bedford’s calm and collected forward to drive the ball baseline and goalkeeper Leek, who targeted both man and ball, came away with only man, resulting in a penalty stroke.

A spirited response saw Magpies group together to fight against the grain and withstand an aerial bombardment.

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They managed to get back on to level terms after a rare piece of quality provided by Sam Patterson to find Pete Bale in the most powerful of power positions to sweep home the equaliser.

With the score tied at 2-2, temperatures rose on the pitch with both teams once again losing players to cards. Despite Magpies knocking on the door with an intensity which was earlier missing in the game, genuine chances were too few and too far between to find the goal once more as the game finished 2-2.

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