Great character on display as Magpies topple leaders

NARROW WIN: Tom Hughes goes for goal during Magpies IIs win over City of Peterborough III
NARROW WIN: Tom Hughes goes for goal during Magpies IIs win over City of Peterborough III

EAST MEN’S LEAGUE

PREMIER A

Old Loughtonians 3

Harleston Magpies 4

Harleston Magpies came from behind to get the better of league-leading Old Loughtonians in a seven-goal thriller on Saturday.

It was slow start by Magpies and they were duly punished as the hosts opened the scoring with a goal from close range.

It got worse for the visitors soon after when a deflection took the ball out of goalkeeper John Livings’ reach and into the back of the net.

Harleston’s James Meek was forced off with an injury before the half was out, but they held out to take a 2-0 deficit into the break.

Magpies made a better start to the second half, yet they ended up falling further behind when a lapse in concentration presented the Old Loughts forward with a tap-in.

However, rather than lick their wounds, Magpies responded positively and with 17 minutes remaining Myles King got them back in the contest.

Now in the ascendancy, Harleston managed to draw themselves level thanks to two short corners in quick succession — Jack Knight and Matt Richardson the scorers to restore parity.

With the victory now up for grabs, Magpies went and claimed it with four minutes left to play.

Stuart Leate freed Richard Larkin down the left, and he in turn picked out Ben Wright.

The player-coach’s pass to Knight bobbled somewhat, but he was still able to steer the ball in to seal the win in dramatic fashion.

Tomorrow, Leigh Sitch’s side return to home comforts against Cambridge City II (2pm).

n Harleston Magpies Men’s II recorded a 2-1 victory over City of Peterborough III, with Tom Hughes and Matt Bensly both getting their names on the scoresheet.

Tomorrow they travel to Norwich City II (2.30pm).

n Harleston Magpies Ladies’ I returned to winning ways by recording a 2-1 victory at Chelmsford Ladies I.

They broke the deadlock through Maria Andrews, who pounced after Victoria Findlay’s initial shot had been saved.

Andrews went on to make it 2-0 before the break when she used her power to drag flick the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

Chelmsford reduced the arrears in the second half, but Magpies held out to claim the three points ahead of Sunday’s home game against Investec Women’s Hockey League Conference East leaders Sevenoaks (2pm).

n Goals from Jess Howland and Laura Tibbenham earned Harleston Magpies Ladies’ II a 2-0 win on the road at Bury St Edmunds I, while Harleston Magpies Ladies VII lost 4-0 away at Broadlands Ladies III.