EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Spalding I 2
Harleston Magpies I 10
Harleston Magpies were in clinical mood on the road at Spalding on Saturday with a 10-goal performance.
They were on the front foot early on as good interception from Jonty Gosling released the ball through Elliot Marsh, who fed Tom Ridley.
The young midfielder quickly accelerated through two challenges before unleashing a fierce reverse stick shot across goal where a Spalding defender turned it into his own net.
Harleston continued to win the ball in midfield allowing quick counter attacks at the Spalding defence, and within eight minutes were three goals up and the game was out sight.
Mark Flatman scored a neat deflection before Matt Bensley smashed home from close-range, following a good save from the Spalding goalkeeper.
Against the run of play Spalding did pull a goal back, but Harleston soon took back control as Ridley and Flatman claimed their second goals of the contest.
Harleston were awarded a penalty stroke just before half-time when a powerful Tim Whiteman drag-flick hit a defender’s body on the line.
After some confusion in the rules as to whether Bensley was allowed to take the stroke, Matt Richardson stepped up with a swagger and dispatched the flick into the top left-hand corner of the goal.
Magpies were very composed in the second half, keeping the ball for long periods of play and deciding when to hit Spalding on the counter attack.
Flatman quickly completed his hat-trick before captain Leigh Sitch notched a rare goal from open play.
Harleston soon had their ninth and 10th goal of proceedings, with Ridley finishing off his hat-trick and then player-coach Whiteman getting in on the act.
Spalding managed to claim a late consolation, but the day belonged to the rampant away side, who are without a fixture over the Easter weekend.