ENGLAND HOCKEY LEAGUE
Harleston Magpies 2
Harleston Magpies Men came out on the wrong end of five-goal thriller as they suffered a 3-2 defeat away at Sevenoaks.
The game started at a steady pace, with both teams having their fair share of possession but neither being able to create any clear-cut chances to break the deadlock.
Magpies caught Sevenoaks on the break when a crashed long ball from Leigh Sitch bounced off Andy Hipwell before falling to Toby Price who nipped in front of the last defender before smashing the ball past the oncoming keeper.
After a short spell of pressure supplied by the opposition, the hosts then drew level after a move down the right hand side.
This is how the half finished after some strong defending from the Harleston back four of Andrew Bedwell, Sitch, Richard Larkin, Stuart Leate and Zaman Akhtar.
After a period of prolonged pressure after the break, Sevenoaks took the lead from a low reverse stick strike.
Magpies responded strongly to the setback and drew level from Ben Wright’s penalty stroke after Robbie Kinsella was upended by the Sevenoaks goalkeeper.
Despite being a man down to the sin-bin Sevenoaks managed to regain their lead shortly after from a similar goal to their first beating the keeper at the near post.
Magpies had their chances to draw level but Larkin, Hipwell and Wright from a last-gasp short corner, all spurned opportunities as Sevenoaks held firm in the closing moments.
The defeat left Harleston rock bottom of the table, where they sit seven points adrift of nearest side Bromley and Beckenham.
Express man of the match: Goalkeeper Donnie Archer made a host of smart saves throughout.
n Magpies will be aiming to get back on track when they host fifth-placed Oxted on Saturday.