Plenty of entertainment as Magpies fight back for draw
EAST MEN’S LEAGUE
Harleston Magpies I 4
Wapping I 4
Harleston Magpies Men’s first team rounded off an important weekend in the team’s season by playing out a high-scoring draw with fellow high flyers Wapping on Saturday.
This was a rearranged fixture and within 30 seconds the visitors had broken the deadlock.
It was a disappointing goal for Harleston to concede so early, but they rallied hard and within 10 minutes were level with a well-executed short corner that saw Leigh Sitch deflect in from an Andrew Bedwell delivery to make it all even.
The hosts, however, struggled to cope with the Wapping forward line and before half-time they were behind again failing to clear their lines.
The away team added a third goal shortly after the restart, but Magpies refused to accept their fate and they pulled one back when Sam Patterson played a superb pass out to Giles Flatt.
He duly delivered a sweetly struck reverse ball into the circle, to be finished by Jake Sewell from close range.
The momentum was with Harleston at this point, but once again they allowed Wapping an opportunity to score and were punished as the visitors went 4-2 in front.
Magpies continued to press, though, and they reduced the deficit once again with 10 minutes remaining when Thomas Ridley delivered into the circle and ex-Canada international Elliott Marsh skilfully deflected the ball in.
And a few minutes later a counter-attack from Harleston drew a badly-timed tackle in the circle and a stroke was awarded, which Tim Whiteman converted to level the scoreline up at four goals apiece.
Harleston looked the more likely to grab the victory during the remaining minutes, but it was not to be and they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
• Twenty-four hours earlier in Ipswich, Harleston Magpies Men’s I ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.
An unmarked Sewell got the ball rolling with the game’s first goal, before a penalty stroke from Tim Whiteman doubled the advantage.
Further goals from Mark Flatman and Richard Larkin sealed the victory for Magpies, who remain fourth in the league standings after their exploits last weekend.
Next on the agenda is a home encounter against eighth-placed Letchworth I (12pm).
Magpies go into the contest with a four-point gap to league-leading St Albans, who also have two games in hand.