EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Harleston Magpies I 4
Bedford I 1
Harleston Magpies bounced back from their disappointing result against City of Peterborough last time out by recording a routine home victory over Bedford on Saturday.
After the pitch had beaten the freezing conditions, Magpies started the game at a high tempo with the energetic forward line harassing and hassling the Bedford back line.
It took the hosts 12 minutes to break the deadlock as Simon Hipwell smashed a trademark reverse stick finish into the bottom corner.
Magpies continued to threaten with their slick passing skills and strong ball carrying from midfield and another smart passing move found Richard Larkin free at the back post to double the advantage.
Up the other end Bedford were always dangerous on the break, but Jon Livings and the back line were up to the task.
The visitors were never allowed any clean shots at goal and were limited to a couple of short corners.
Magpies came out for the second half determined to put the game to bed and after more pressure resulted in a penalty corner, Sam Moore and he was able to squeeze the ball in.
Bedford continued to probe, with Livings making a fine save to deny the visitors, only for good work down the Magpies’ right leading to a goal being pulled back.
This could have been a nervy time for Harleston but the home team refused to sit back and let Bedford dominate.
Magpies continued to press aggressively across the pitch and turnovers were happening more and more.
One such turnover led to a slick passing move that went from right to left before Hipwell was left with a simple tap-in after the goalkeeper had been eliminated.
This sealed the win for Magpies, who sit fifth in the league standings with a return of 38 points to their name.
Tomorrow they are on the road at Blueharts I (12pm) — a team that are second from bottom and who have won just one game all season.