GALLERY: Wisbech push leaders Harleston Magpies all the way

17:11 13 January 2014

Wisbech men

Wisbech men's hockey vs Harleston Magpies. Picture: Steve Williams.

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Captain Jonathan Shippey says Wisbech can approach Saturday’s must-win game at Dereham with confidence after they gave top of the table Harleston Magpies a fright.

Wisbech threw everything they had at the runaway Premier A leaders but lost 2-0 at Harecroft Road.

Wisbech find themselves immersed in a relegation scrap with rivals Ramgarhia, who they lead on goal difference, and basement side Norwich, who are two points adrift.

They beat Dereham 4-3 in a thriller on October 5, one of only two wins they have picked up all season.

Shippey said: “We have to start this game the same way we started the home game against Dereham, where we went 2-0 up in 20 minutes.

“I’ll warn our players about their bobbly pitch but we can’t use it as an excuse.

We travel there with a strong squad and full of confidence after the Harleston game, but we need to get a win under our belts because it has been a while.”

Harleston had the majority of early possession, but Wisbech defended stoutly to prevent a score.

But the visitors’ pressure paid off and they went ahead from a penalty corner.

Wisbech showed real character and came back into the game but could not convert several good chances.

Brad Apted almost grabbed an equaliser early in the second half but his lob was clawed away by a Harleston defender.

Wisbech kept pressing but Harleston sealed the win late on with a second goal.

Shippey said: “I told the players before the game we might as well have a go and they responded. All the players did well, especially goalkeeper Tom Peggs.

“Afterwards, their manager came up to me and said he had no idea how we were near the bottom of the table, but the problem is we have not played like that every week.”

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