National League: Time is running out for lowly Harleston Magpies

Teddington 3, Harleston Magpies Men 3: Magpies let a two-goal lead slip as they remained bottom of the Men's Conference East on Sunday.

They made a second trip in as many weeks to south west London to play Teddington, who lay six points ahead of them and had narrowly won at Weybread earlier in the season.

The team was almost at full strength with only Stuart Leate missing through injury.

Magpies started strongly and good pressing led to a short corner down the left which was well converted low and hard by Elliot Smith past the flailing keeper.

Teddington responded to this early goal and pressed high up the pitch looking for any chance to draw level.


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Initially Magpies' defence stood firm but one of Teddington's more skilful players wriggled his way through on 13 minutes and drilled a back hand strike into the bottom left corner.

The home side then dictated much of the rest of the half with only a few breaks by the visitors. Magpies went down to 10 men on two occasions when Smith was sin binned with a yellow card, only to be sent back on after two minutes by the technical delegate, who thought a green card had been shown. The umpire realised this error a few minutes later and Smith was left to sit out the remainder of the half.

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Magpies re-grouped and started the second half in strong fashion. They were denied a penalty stroke despite a defender stopping the ball rolling into the goal with his body while lying on the ground. A short corner was given which was converted at the second attempt when Tristan Baynes' shot was deflected home by a defender.

Soon it was 3-1 when James Fanger stole the ball off a defender down the right and fed Ben Wright, who produced a perfect cross for Richard Ling to tap in at the back post.

Magpies were now on course for only their third win of the season but after a facial injury and short term patch-up for captain Mark Wheelhouse, Teddington dragged themselves back into the game.

Ex-GB international Calum Giles, star of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, scored a trademark short corner to make it 3-2.

Only five minutes later a second corner was scored after an initial save by man-of-the-match Reese Leonard fell to a forward, whose shot took an unfortunate deflection off Baynes to make it 3-3. Both sides had their chances to win the game but in the end a draw was probably a fair result.

This Saturday Magpies have a must-win game at home to Indian Gymkhana.

• Harleston Magpies Ladies 1, Sevenoaks 2

Magpies' five-match unbeaten run was halted by Sevenoaks on Saturday.

Emily Wilford scored from a penalty corner to give Magpies the lead on 18 minutes and they remained in front at half-time.

They held the lead until 11 minutes from time, when Nicola Lloyd equalised and three minutes later, Jet Van Zalen scored the winner from open play.

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