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Harleston Magpies Men's I seeking first win of the new England Hockey League Men’s Conference East season

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Manager Kevin Ridley is hoping Harleston Magpies Men’s I make a fast start when they host joint-leaders Spencer on Sunday (2.30pm), writes Alex Moss.

Magpies found themselves 3-0 down inside the first 15 minutes of last weekend’s trip to St Albans, before coming back to level at 3-3.

St Albans then racked up four unanswered goals to win 7-3 and inflict a second defeat in as many games for Ridley’s men, who have yet to get off the mark in England Hockey League Men’s Conference East so far this season.

Harleston Magpies
Harleston Magpies

But ahead of hosting Spencer, one of three teams to have won both of their opening fixtures, Harleston boss Ridley is calling for his side to start well as they bid to pick up their first points of the campaign.

“To go 3-0 down so early on makes it difficult,” Ridley said. “I know we came back to 3-3, and at that point we had the game in our hands.

“We conceded a fourth and then as we started to push more players forward, we were left exposed at the back.

“Spencer have won both of their two league games so we’re expecting a tough game, but we’re at home, which gives us a little bit of an advantage.

“We need to start well, put the pressure on them and not let them get settled.”

Magpies are set to hand a debut to youth product Ed Bryce, 15, this weekend, while Andrew Bedwell (broken hand) remains out. Leigh Sitch, who was taken to hospital late into Sunday’s game, should be passed fit to feature.

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