Crucial win for Magpies men

Indian Gymkhana 1, Harleston Magpies 3.HARLESTON Magpies Men, sponsored by Hutton and Legg, made the long journey down to Heathrow this weekend to face Indian Gymkhana in a potential six-pointer.

Indian Gymkhana 1, Harleston Magpies 3.

HARLESTON MAGPIES, sponsored by Hutton and Legg, made the long journey down to Heathrow this weekend to face Indian Gymkhana in a potential six-pointer.

The win moves Harleston nine points clear of the relegation play-off place, with only three games to go, and a far superior goal difference.

Next week the team travels to Old Loughtonians, who slipped to second in the league following a 0-0 draw away at Holcombe.

The team, without Ben Wright and Duncan Graves due to school commitments, welcomed Matt Stainthorpe and a sprightly Toby Tibbenham to the squad.

Harleston started the slower team, struggling to adjust to the sandy pitch and had John Livings in goal to thank for the keeping the scores level after 10 minutes of play. Once Harleston settled, they started to see more of the ball, moving it around well and creating opportunities.

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Unfortunately it was Indian Gym who took the lead after Magpies lost possession high up the pitch and a direct long ball bypassed the whole Magpies team where the lone Indian Gym forward beat Sitch before slotting past Livings.

This goal spurred Harleston on to improve and a little more than five minutes later, Harleston found an equaliser after the ball ricocheted around the D and fell to Andy Hipwell, who finished superbly, giving the keeper no chance. Harleston were now in the ascendency and soon took the lead following a short-corner strike. Bale rucked the ball out to smash the post, which allowed Fanger to slot home the second rebound from close range.

Just before the end of the half, Magpies were reduced to 10 players when Andy Hipwell was sin-binned, but were able to hold on until the half-time interval.

Harleston started the second half the brighter team, allowing Indian Gym to come onto them before using the pace of Simon Hipwell and James Fanger to hit them on the break. Halfway through the second half Harleston were again reduced to 10 men when Stuart Leate brought down an attacker.

The resultant short-corner was dealt with well by Richard Harms in goal to keep Harleston in the lead. With Indian Gym stepping up the tempo, looking for the vital equaliser, Harleston were able to use aerials to exploit the space behind their opposition.

On one ariel Harleston were able to win a short-corner which again was dealt with by the Indian Gym keeper, but Toby Tibbenham reacted quickest, only to see his goal-bound effort kicked off the line.

Tristan Baynes stepped onto the pitch to slot home the resultant penalty flick. Harleston managed to hold onto their two-goal advantage for the rest of the game.