Magpies are ready for biggest test yet

Harleston Magpies warmed up for Saturday's top-of-the-table clash at St Albans with a comprehensive 4-1 home success against Ipswich II.In a fierce East League Premier Division encounter Ipswich opened the scoring from a drag flick that keeper Iain Martin was unable to stop.

Harleston Magpies warmed up for Saturday's top-of-the-table clash at St Albans with a comprehensive 4-1 home success against Ipswich II.

In a fierce East League Premier Division encounter Ipswich opened the scoring from a drag flick that keeper Iain Martin was unable to stop.

The Ipswich keeper then sustained a head injury which eventually led to him being replaced and when play resumed Magpies stole the initiative and produced some fluent moves.

A controversial goal put them back on level terms as Richard Ling deflected in a cross from Richard Gill. The Ipswich team refused to accept that the ball had been touched by Ling and surrounded the umpire. They were eventually reduced to nine players as they continued to argue.


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Magpies' pressure resulted in a short corner which was expertly converted by Andy Hipwell. Then the best move of the game, involving Fanger, Sumner and Hipwell, produced one of the best goals of the season, converted by Gill with a fine finish into the top corner.

Magpies continued to dominate and when a Neil Toulson shot struck an Ipswich foot on the goal-line Hipwell added his second of the match from the penalty spot to secure victory.

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Dereham lost their unbeaten home record to St Albans, who won 3-0, but will feel heartened after controlling the game for long periods.

The hosts lost Steve Jackson with a pulled muscle early on and his replacement, 15-year-old Ed Turner, put in a solid performance on his debut.

The second piece of bad luck came in the dying seconds of the first half as an innocuous pass from the byline was deflected into his own net by Richard Timm.

Dereham were unlucky not to equalise when Mike Timm pounced on a rare defensive lapse, only to see his shot superbly saved by the St Albans keeper.

St Albans increased their lead with two goals in five minutes after the break and then shut up shop to protect their lead.

Wisbech Town maintained their excellent start in the Premier B section when they won 2-1 at Colchester to stay top. After a goalless first half Wisbech took the lead when one player down as Drew Harvey converted from a short corner.

The hosts levelled almost immediately but Wisbech kept their composure and Matt Levanda's close range finish from a short corner earned them the points.

Norwich City had a disappointing afternoon, losing 5-2 at West Herts, with Tom Hindle and Chris Perry getting the goals.

Pelicans also remain in mid-table after losing 7-5 at Chelmsford II. Their six league games have now produced the amazing tally of 49 goals.

Norwich Union moved up to sixth in Division One after a 3-2 win at Saffron Walden. They are two places below Harleston Magpies II, who drew 1-1 at Brentwood.

Norwich City II conceded a late goal to lose 1-0 at home to leaders St Ives in Division Two NE. While St Ives had the bulk of the possession, and City can certainly play better, their effort probably deserved a point in the end.

For City Key, Circuit and Bradley-Watson were very strong in defence.

Norwich Union III won 4-3 at Dereham III in Division Four NE (Will Kirby 3, Olly Browne) while Thetford won 3-0 at Sudbury III to stay top of Division Five NE (Snow, Godbold, McMurtary).

Norwich City IV shared eight goals with Bury II in the same section, with Louis Clabburn, Ashley Raghu (2) and Nigel Cushion on target.

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