Hockey team's unlucky defeat

Gorleston 1, Harleston Magpies III 4After a six-week lay-off Gorleston returned to action in Division Three North East of the NE14 East Men's Hockey League against the strongest possible opposition - unbeaten and clear league leaders.

Gorleston 1, Harleston Magpies III 4

After a six-week lay-off Gorleston returned to action in Division Three North East of the NE14 East Men's Hockey League against the strongest possible opposition - unbeaten and clear league leaders.

Playing at Cliff Park, Gorleston welcomed back Jason Austin and Adam Stone. Only missing from the full squad were James Clarkson Monty Raymond and close-season signing Neil Hutson from Lowestoft. With Magpies also at full strength the result was a superb game of hockey, full of fast-flowing skills producing frequent goal-mouth action with the visitors only having the edge thanks to more clinical finishing.

For the first 20 minutes the game was absorbing with each attack and counter attack meeting resilient defence and some brave and at times brilliant goalkeeping. In the Gorleston forward line the nippy skills of Richard Pallant Russ Crawford Simon Long and Adam Stone were a constant problem for ex-international Phil Cobald and his hard-worked defence. Magpies Matt Brand Gavin Cole and James Goodson had to be at their best to get the better of Andrew Lilly Herman Cheung Mark Vaudin and skipper Kevin MacDonald.

The stalemate was broken on 23 minutes - the visitors were awarded their second short corner and Matt Brand receiving the ball at the top of the D neatly slipped two defenders before striking home under Barney King from close range.

Gorleston struck back immediately to gain penalty corners as MoM Jamie Higginbotham down the left combined well with Russ Crawford and Simon Long to spark some dangerous runs. But the visitors' keeper was fortunate more than once to clear his lines.

Most Read

After the break Gorleston again started strongly but were caught cold with Magpies' first break and second goal - Gavin Cole cutting in to work the bye-line neatly and beat Barney King at the near post.

Five minutes later Martyn Vaudin fired home another short corner to make the score 2-1.

The turning point came after 15 minutes as Richard Pallant worked his way brilliantly into the Magpies' circle only to be pushed off the ball by two defenders. No penalty was given and when Adam Stone a few minutes later repeated the move and shot wide on the reverse, it seemed Gorleston were destined to get nothing out of the game.

And so it proved as in the final eight minutes the visitors added two more quick goals. Another short corner was converted by Gavin Cole who moments later, with a defender slipping on the greasy surface, put Matt Brand in for his second to complete the league leader's flattering scoreline.

Next, Gorleston entertain Sudbury II (2.30 pm).