Pelicans boost East Region Division 2N promotion hopes
Pelicans boosted their East Region League Division 2N promotion aspirations by beating top-of-the-table Magpies 4-1 at Alive Lynnsport.
With only two promotion places up for grabs and, with Pelicans level on points with second-placed UEA, the team avenged the 7-2 defeat handed out to them in the reverse fixture.
Pelicans set about their task with confidence, soaking up all the pressure from the visitors and attacking with speed to hit their opponents on the break.
They took the lead in the first half following a nice move down the left side of the pitch.
It involved Alex Pigott, Alex Palmer-Silcock and then Ian Simmons, who expertly flicked the ball over the defence for captain Jack Major to beat two Magpies defenders before squeezing his shot past the goalkeeper and over the line from a narrow angle.
The rest of the half saw the strength of Pelicans defensively, that started with goalkeeper Dan Upton-Jillings who, when called upon, made two vital saves before half-time, as well as watching some fierce shots fly past his goal and wide.
In all honesty though, Upton-Jillings was kept far less busy then he may have been because of the Herculean effort the rest of the home squad put in.
The back four of Sam Major, Iain Page, Pigott and Palmer-Silcock were solid and halted many dangerous attacks or quite simply forced Magpies into giving up possession.
The back four were shielded fantastically by the midfield five, who worked tirelessly for the whole 70 minutes.
Chris Page prevented many attacks before starting many a counter attack for his own side too.
Simmons and Josh Widdowson brought pace and skill to the wide positions when going forward but were also disciplined in defence.
Widdowson in particular was a thorn in the side for the whole game, while Jonny Styzaker and Sam Phillips injected even more pace and skill throughout.
The second half followed a much similar routine to the first, and once again though Pelicans stood firm, as the wind picked up.
Special mention must go to Will Lankfer and Jack Yule at this point who, although used to a role much higher up the pitch, worked tirelessly in unfamiliar surroundings all for the good of the team.
The second goal in the game was always going to be crucial and so it proved when Iain Page played a beautiful ball for Major to run onto.
With the angle against him, Major unleashed a fantastic reverse stick shot which flew past the goalkeeper before he could move.
This was what Pelicans needed, the insurance policy, the goal to know that the league leaders were there for the taking and that it proved when their third goal arrived, Sam Phillips smashing the ball home after being nicely set up after a typically powerful and pacy Widdowson run.
A fourth and final goal arrived, on the break again and from another pass over the top.
The Page and Major combination worked perfectly, this time Major assisted brilliantly for Will Lankfer to divert a powerful cross past the keeper for a well deserved goal.
Not even a late consolation for Harleston Magpies could damper the spirits of Pelicans who return to league action, away at Dereham, on February 29.
Pelicans man-of-the-match sponsored by 4Way: Jack Major.