St Albans 2
Harleston Magpies 0
Harleston Magpies travelled to St Albans hoping to finish the first half of the league season with a win, but were left disappointed.
St Albans started the game with more intensity and it took Magpies 15 minutes to gaining any momentum.
Once Magpies gained a foothold in the game, the tide started turning and the best chances fell to the away team. Despite this, a breakaway goal led to Magpies going 1-0 down.
The half-time team talk focused on stepping up the pressure and the intensity.
Magpies followed the instructions perfectly and created chance after chance, putting the St Albans defence under increasing pressure.
Despite the impressive performance, Magpies were unable to beat an outstanding goalkeeper, and a second breakaway goal meant the visitors came away losers.
Magpies certainly deserved something considering the number of chances created.
Despite the loss, coach Rob Sorrell said: “The performance was fantastic and one of the best of the season.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t turn it into points today, but it gives us great confidence for the second half of the season.”
The result leaves Magpies fifth in the table with 10 points.
Magpies have a second round home tie against Bedford in the England Hockey Championship Tier 1 Cup on Sunday, and the league resumes in February after the winter break.
n Magpies travelled to Ely on Sunday in the preliminary round of the England Hockey mixed cup, winning 13-1.
The deadlock was broken when an Ely defender deflected Simon Hipwell’s cross/shot into her own net. Sam Paterson doubled the lead, picking up a loose ball and powering home.
Ely pulled a goal back with a breakaway, before Lucy Whiting got in on the act with a brace.
Emma Lee-Smith then showed her class with a brace of her own.
At half-time with the score at 6-1, manager Kevin Ridley called for more of the same in the second half.
Early in the second half Magpies four goals in eight minutes. Whiting completed her hat-trick, Lizzie Clymer to score first-time on the far post, and Hipwell added two more after some strong running from midfield.
Tom Ridley scored goal of the game with a spectacular reverse stick strike leaving the goalkeeper stunned.
Katrina Sitch converted a penalty corner with a powerful strike from the top of the D, and Whiting completed the scoring with ten minutes to go after Hipwell selflessly squared the ball.