EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Harleston Magpies V 9
Ipswich Cranes I 2
The Caston family took centre stage for Harleston Magpies as they recorded a big victory over a depleted Ipswich Cranes side on Saturday.
Visiting Cranes arrived with only eight players, but they were nevertheless determined to fulfil the fixture.
Not surprisingly Magpies dominated possession but early on did not move the ball wide enough and quick enough to find a way round the Cranes defence.
However, the number superiority eventually told when Toby Hughes opened the scoring after Tom Caston pass found him unmarked in front of goal.
The second goal followed swiftly after, this time Andy Caston volleying in a bouncing ball.
To their credit, Cranes did not give up and Chris Flatt in Magpies’ goal was forced to make a save after 15 minutes after a well worked counter-attack.
Magpies responded and at the other end Ed Brice put a sharp chance over the bar after a good first save by the Cranes goalkeeper.
Moments later Andy Johnson’s shot was illegally stopped on the line, but Jake Caston hit the post with the resulting penalty stroke, so it took Andy Caston to add his second to move the scoreboard on to 3–0.
However, lax defending allowed Cranes to get a goal back, which was just reward for their hard work.
Tom Caston made it onto the scoresheet and, just before half-time, Jake Caston added another to give Magpies a comfortable 5-1 lead at the break, with the Caston family have scored four of the goals.
Once the second half was under way, it was then all about moving the ball to spread play and open up space in front of goal.
Quick decision making, unselfish play and pass quality would make the difference and when Magpies did this well opportunities were created.
Three quick passes on the right gave Hughes a simple chance to tap in from close range.
Up the other end, when Magpies over-elaborated or became complacent, Cranes broke down possession and looked dangerous in attack.
One such venture forward saw a Cranes breakaway lead to a short corner and another goal thanks to a well-struck shot.
Meanwhile, Ed Brice — showing good control and a calm head — made it 7-2, James Bensly made it eight and finally Tom Caston diverted an Andy Johnson shot which was going wide into the net to finish off the game’s scoring.
Tomorrow, the fifth team will be on the road with an early morning encounter against Bury St Edmunds IV (10am).