Price on target in Magpies victory
- Credit: Archant
Harleston Magpies are up to second in the East Men's League Premier A table after maintaining their 100pc start to the season with a 2-1 win at Wisbech Town.
Good work from the home keeper kept Harleston at bay early on, but exceptional pressing from Chris Barber robbed the defence and set up Ben Wright for the opening goal.
Magpies continued their dominance, but the home side got a goal back after a deliberate foot from Leigh Sitch led to a short corner which was converted.
Harleston responded with good work from Thomas 'Neo' Ridley and Barber leading to a short corner, with fourth choice drag flicker Toby Price stepping up to the mark to rocket the ball into the roof of the net.
The second half was a quieter affair and the score stayed the same for Magpies to leave with the points.
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Magpies V tasted their first defeat of the season and got a thorough soaking at the same time away when they lost 2-1 to Sudbury III. They opened the scoring against the run of the play when John Pope calmly lifted the ball over the keeper. Sadly as the heavens opened Magpies shape and fluidity failed to hold together and Sudbury took the win.
Magpies Ladies II welcomed Ipswich and started confidently, pressing high up the pitch early on and forcing errors from the visiting midfield and defence. With Mel Ludlam and Ellie Tennant forming a new and strong partnership in the middle, Lucy Field and Catriona MacIver were given the opportunity to push forward and make attacking runs into the circle.
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The deadlock was broken after the continued pressure from the forward line of Tor Findlay, Rachel Herod and Kara Kilbourn forced a turnover and Kara forced the goal home.
After a positive team talk from manager Megan Brown and the promise of fresh legs with the imminent arrival of Lauren Mickleburgh from a work commitment, Magpies started the second half determined to score again – but while they were able to create plenty of chances they failed to convert them due to some great saves from the goalkeeper and defenders on the line.
However, after an excellent ball up the left, Tor Findlay put the ball in the back of the net for a well-deserved goal. The defensive line of Amy Tuffs, Frances Taylor and Kira Wooltorton were rarely troubled and kept out any Ipswich attacks.
Magpies Ladies III drew 0-0 with Broadland.
East Grinstead 2 Harleston Magpies 0
Harleston travelled to top-of-the-table East Grinstead, in West Sussex, and endured the tough day they were expecting.
With the Magpies hit by injuries, including Kath Johnson out for up to six weeks through an injury sustained in the previous week's 2-1 win at Ipswich, Lucy Whiting was welcomed to the squad for her first-team debut.
In the first half East Grinstead started the better and had Harleston under a lot of pressure. Magpies stuck together and fought hard to keep the ball out of the goal.
With East Grinstead pressing so high, Magpies were able to attack on the break, but no chances were created with the hosts defending well.
The home team kept attacking and won several short corners. This tested the Magpies defence, but they stood strong and defended all the corners strongly.
Harleston started the second half strongly and put East Grinstead's defence under pressure, causing them to make mistakes.
Against the run of play East Grinstead attacked and the ball found one of their players at the top of the D and was crossed for a forward to tap in at the far post. Magpies continued pressing and trying to create some chances but just couldn't find the final pass.
East Grinstead then put Magpies under increasing pressure and found another breakthrough in the defence for a forward to have another tap in.
Harleston battled well and showed the team spirit they have and will look to bounce back next week when they are back at home against Chelmsford.