Men’s East League: Impressive away victory keeps Harleston in touch

Chris Barber in action for Harleston Magpies during their impressive win over Chelmsford on Saturday

Chris Barber in action for Harleston Magpies during their impressive win over Chelmsford on Saturday. Picture: Pat Leate - Credit: Archant

Harleston Magpies kept in touch with the Premier A pace-setters as they turned in an impressive performance to win 5-1 at Chelmsford.

Magpies had the better of the early stages and Matt Collinge in goal was a mere spectator as the defensive unit of Sam Rowe, Tristan Baynes, Leigh Sitch, Richard Larkin and Mark Wheelhouse kept the Chelmsford forwards at bay.

Harleston took the lead after a quick break on the left. The Chelmsford keeper made a save, only for the ball to dribble towards the lethal Toby Price, who dispatched a first time shot into the roof of the net.

A deflected flick from Chris Barber at a short corner also found the target and it was 3-0 at the break as a powerful cross-cum-shot from Simon Hipwell allowed Will Martin to deflect into the goal.

Chelmsford pulled one back when the match resumed but Magpies responded by adding a fourth through a well flicked short corner from Ben Wright before an excellent goal from Leigh Sitch after good work from Hipwell and Martin Fields.

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The win kept Magpies seven points behind leaders St Albans, with two games in hand.

Dereham suffered a disappointing afternoon when they were beaten 4-0 at City of Peterborough. They are now fourth from bottom in the table, but well clear of the three teams below them.

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In was also a bad weekend for Norwich City, who were beaten 2-0 at home by fellow mid-table side Waltham Forest in Premier B.

Harleston Magpies II drew 2-2 with Cambridge University II in the same section while Pelicans hit the goal trail in Division 1N, beating Chelmsford II 13-0.

Norwich Dragons boosted their promotion hopes in Division 2NE with a 5-2 win at Ely City.

Rory Jackson picked out Matt Knights to put the visitors one up and it was 2-0 at the break after Alex Browne cracked the ball home.

Early in the second half Nick Deayton marched forward and won a short corner which was converted by Browne but Ely were still in the game and it took some good defensive work from Mitch Smith to keep them out until they got one back from a short corner of their won.

Sam Avery restored Dragons' two-goal advantage from a goalmouth scramble before Ely pulled another one back but it was the visitors who had the final say when Matt Knights finished off the day's proceedings with a penalty corner goal.

In the same section North Norfolk drew 0-0 with Saffron Walden II while Norwich City II drew 1-1 at Dereham II (Adie Land).

Norwich City III lost 4-2 to Harleston Magpies III in 3NE (Dave Skinner, John Grange) while Norwich City IV consolidated their top two position in Division 4NE with a 4-2 win over Norwich Dragons III. Haren Patel scored twice while the other goals came from Paul Gallop and Joe Konieczny.

Meanwhile Norwich Dragons IV are now five points clear in 5NE after an Andy Cross hat-trick helped them to a 6-0 win over Harleston Magpies VI.

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