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Great Britain stays in good shape
31 Jul 2008 15:05

© FIH / Vino John

In a real crowd pleaser of a match, Great Britain men ran out 3-2 victors over Blacksticks New Zealand in front of a full-house at Hong Kong FC with Simon Mantell netting a brace.

The first opportunity of the match fell to New Zealand from a penalty corner but keeper Ali McGregor was equal to the shot, acrobatically keeping the ball out of the top right-hand corner of the goal.

However, it was Britain who opened the scoring when Barry Middleton got the final touch on a penalty corner taken by Jonty Clarke.

New Zealand cancelled out the goal through Ryan Archibald who made no mistake from the penalty spot with a powerful strike into the bottom left hand corner.

Britain were back in front just before half time when the younger of the Mantell brothers dived at the right post to direct the ball into the net from an Ashley Jackson pass after good perseverance from Middleton.

Just after the interval, Archibald leveled the scores once more when he drove into the circle and finished with a straight strike from the top of the circle beating goalkeeper James Fair, who played the second half, but the Brits had the final say when Stephen Dick fed the ball through to Simon Mantell who netted the winner from close range.

Head Coach Jason Lee said after the game “I still don’t think we played very well – we can certainly do better.  People were playing very tentatively which is understandable given the fact they are trying to avoid injury.”

All 18 players were used in the match.  This was an unofficial game in which caps were not awarded.

New Zealand – Great Britain 2-3 (1-2)
0-1 Barry Middleton 22 (PC), 1-1 Ryan Archibald 27(F), 1-2 Simon Mantell 32 (F), 2-2 Ryan Archibald 40 (F), 2-3 Simon Mantell 53 (F)

Source: Great Britain Hockey ltd.

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