Men’s East League: Magpies go top despite being held
- Credit: Archant
Harleston dropped their first points of the season when they were held to a 2-2 draw by visitors Wapping – but still moved to the top of the Premier A table as previous leaders Chelmsford were beaten.
Harleston started well, only to fall behind when their opponents broke through some weak challenges to beat Matt Collinge.
With 15 minutes to go in the first half Harleston were forced into a change as Richard Larkin took a nasty bang to his knee.
The introduction of man-of-the-match Will Martin gave the home side an outlet from the back and Magpies got back on terms when Mark Wheelhouse converted a short corner won by a penetrating run from Tristan Baynes.
Harleston were now in the ascendancy and took the lead when Ben Wright finished from close range.
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Harleston nearly went further ahead through Chris Barber while Baynes, Wheelhouse, Sam Rowe and Larkin repelled any Wapping attacks.
But the hosts were conceding a few too many silly short corners and Collinge was finally beaten with a powerful drag flick. Harleston's man-of-the-match was Will Martin.
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Dereham returned to winning ways with a 2-1 triumph over newly-promoted Felixstowe, although a string of missed opportunities very nearly proved to be extremely costly.
Following last weekend's 4-0 defeat away at Wapping, the Reds came into the match determined to produce a decent performance and the deadlock was broken 10 minutes before the break through man-of-the-match Will Edwards, who drifted along the back line from the right before finishing at the second attempt. Dereham doubled their advantage a minute into the second half when Reece Lafar netted his third goal in his debut season with the club with a close range finish after a fine run and pass from Mark Timm.
Although Lafar's strike gave Dereham some breathing space, their wastefulness in front of goal continued and Felixstowe pulled a goal back with a well executed penalty corner six minutes from time, guaranteeing a tense finish.
'We're pleased to get the win, but we just weren't at our best in front of goal today', said Dereham captain Andy Lawrence. 'We still have a lot of improvements to make, but it was a valuable three points in the end.'
Norwich City got back to winning ways in Premier B after coming away from City of Peterborough III with a 4-1 success.
Barely 10 minutes had been played when Stu Wardle opened the scoring, cleverly deflecting a pass from man- of-the-match Jeremy Elliott between his legs and into the bottom corner
Norwich then doubled their lead straight from the push-back as Stu Wardle stole the ball and squared for Chris Wardale to convert.
Peterborough pulled a goal back early in the second half but Stu Wardle settled any nerves by scoring his second of the game from a short corner.
Elliott capped the performance with a well worked goal from a short corner.
City now go into a week off with scheduled opponents Ramgarhia having dropped out of the league.
Harleston Magpies II were involved in a 13-goal thriller in the same section, with hosts Waltham Forest winning it 9-4.
The young Magpies started well and although Waltham scored first the visitors got back on level terms when Jack Frere-Smith crashed the ball sweetly home following good link-up play between Rob Kinsella, Dave Francis and Elliot Ashurst. It was a finish of high quality for such a young player.
Magpies again went behind but were back on level terms before the break as Will Dunn converted from a goal-mouth scramble.
In the second half the floodgates opened after Waltham had taken the lead with a highly fortunate goal, with a second for Dunn and a first for James Baker providing some consolation.
Norwich Dragons' unbeaten start to the season in Division 2N came to an end when they were pipped 2-1 by visitors City of Peterborough IV.
The one real positive for the home side was the fine performance of goalscorer and man-of-the-match Henry Laming in midfield.
The home side started well and the breakthrough came when George Walker won the ball high up the pitch and slipped to Laming in who ghosted past three defenders before scoring with a terrific reverse-stick strike.
Dragons should have extended their lead after the break but instead they let the visitors catch them on the break twice in five minutes.
Norwich City II's losing start to the season continued when they were beaten 2-1 at home by Cambridge University, with Ben Plumb scoring what proved to be a consolation goal.
Harleston Magpies III recorded a 4-0 victory over the club's fourth team in Division 3NE with Matt Brand opening the scoring and further goals coming from Phil Cobbald linking with Gavin Cole, Andy Johnson and Cole.
Norwich Dragons II went down 4-2 at Ipswich and East Suffolk II (Jason Wolfe, Will Kirby) while Pelicans II beat Sudbury II 2-1 with Vinson and Corbett on target.