Harleston Magpies win again to maintain unbeaten start
- Credit: Archant
Harleston Magpies maintained their unbeaten record in the East League Premier Division when they beat lowly Blueharts at Weybread.
With many tactical and formational changes implemented by player coach Tim Whiteman, Magpies started strongly and took an early lead when Dave Gilbert calmly slapped the ball first time over the shoulder of the opposition's goalkeeper.
The hosts then added a quick second, which came from a powerful carry along the Blueharts' baseline from Sam Moore. He looked up and passed to an unmarked Giles Flatt who guided the ball home.
Andrew Bedwell then found himself with the ball in the circle and his effort towards goal was stopped on the line by a body of the Blueharts' defender.
A penalty-flick was awarded and youngster Archie Winter capitalised with a powerful push down the centre of the goal.
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Blueharts tried their very best to reply but found it impossible to get past Harleston's solid defence, with Jonty Gosling looking particularly impressive.
From this counter-attacking duel Gilbert added his second of the day and Harleston's fourth by rounding the keeper and sliding the ball home.
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After an encouraging first half display of hockey Magpies went looking for more goals and Sam Patterson failed to convert past the Blueharts' goalkeeper with a number of short corners. Simon Hipwell was another who missed three consecutive attempts to score from close range, with the post stopping his final effort.
Hipwell then atoned with a superb reverse stick shot from the top of the circle to make it 5-0,
With this Blueharts shut up shop and made life difficult for Magpies to play as goal difference can always be a factor over the course of a season.
Harleston closed out the game in a professional manner and the final whistle blew. Gosling showed his class right until the very end and was deservingly man of the match.
The majority of the team came off the pitch slightly disappointed after having chances but being unable to capitalise on them. However another solid performance builds things up nicely ahead of Saturday's fixture at Cambridge University.
Harleston Magpies seconds maintained their 100 percent record in Division 2N when they won 2-0 at Norwich Dragons.