Travelling Harleston settle for a score draw

LATE EQUALISER: Pete Bale earned Harleston a point at Bedford
LATE EQUALISER: Pete Bale earned Harleston a point at Bedford

EAST MEN’S LEAGUE

DIVISION A

Bedford I 2

Harleston Magpies I 2

After winning the previous three matches in a row, Harleston Magpies’ first team shared four goals evenly at Bedford on Saturday.

Following a cagey opening 15 minutes the game turned more chaotic, with players on both teams putting in some strong challenges that were punished.

Although determined, both sides lacked enough quality to break the deadlock during the opening exchanges.

It was Magpies, however, who first managed to find the net after excellent play by Archie Winter saw him pick out Elliott Marsh, who executed a neat finish.

However, the away side’s lead was shortlived as Bedford replied with a goal of their own.

An unexpected aerial was not dealt with by Magpies captain Leigh Sitch and the Bedford attacker saw his shot go in off the visitors’ Jonty Gosling to leave the scoreline level at one goal apiece at the break.

Harleston quickly found themselves 2-1 down in the second half after some poor defending and missed tackles allowed Bedford’s calm and collected forward to drive with the ball base and goalkeeper Chris Leek, who targeted both man and ball, came away with only man and conceded a penalty stroke.

And Leek was unable to make amends as the ball was hammered beyond his reach.

A spirited response followed from Magpies as they grouped together to fight against the grain and withstand an aerial bombardment.

And they were soon rewarded by an equalising goal as Sam Patterson picked out Pete Bale and he duly powered in the leveller.

With the score tied at 2-2, temperatures rose on the pitch with both teams once again losing players to cards as the encounter ended all square.

Magpies are back in competitive action tomorrow at home against Blueharts I (12pm).