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Scotland men defeat England in indoor test match
08 Dec 2022 09:13

© FIH / EHB / Ady Kerry

The men’s Indoor team of Scotland defeated England in a test match in Birmingham 7-3. The English women appeared to be better than the Scottish indoor team (3-1).

Men: England-Scotland 3:7 (1:1)
Goals England: Simon Egerton 3,37 (PC,PC), Will Naylor 26 (F)
Goals Scotland: Adam MacKenzie 9 (PC), Niall Stott 17,29,40 (PC,PC,PC), Stephen Dick 24 (PC), Chris Wilson 25 (F), Kenny Stibbles 35 (F)

An inexperienced England side went down 7-3 to Scotland’s men in the second of the evening’s matches at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

With eight indoor international debutants in the side, it was a new look England side that took to the pitch at the NIA but it did not take long for them to find their feet with Bowdon’s Simon Egerton netting a third minute opener from England’s first penalty corner of the match.

Scotland, never a side to lie to the English, reacted ferociously with England goalkeeper George Pinner soon thrust into the action with a series of excellent saves.  The first came from Scotland’s first corner of the match as he made amends for conceding the set piece with a good block at the top of the circle after sprinting quickly from the goal line.  Pinner saved again shortly after Simon Egerton and Surbiton’s Matt Daly had gone close for England but Scotland found a way through on nine minutes, Adam MacKenzie scoring low to Pinners right with a deflection off the goalkeeper’s stick.

Gareth Andrew then deflected wide and at the other end Pinner was sharp to deny to Niall Stott.

England were happy to allow Scotland time on the ball inside their own half and when a quickly released ball found Beijing Olympic Stephen Dick down the left channel it looked like Scotland might score but again Pinner did well, advancing off his line to block Dick in the corner.

On 17 minutes Niall Stott gave Scotland the lead with the first of his hat-trick, scoring from the top of the circle with a penalty corner that went high into the net off the legs of the goalkeeper.  At the other end David Cooper, one of the eight uncapped players, forced Stephen Dick’s brother Allan into a save on his near post.

Three minutes into the second half and England had the opportunity to equalise but Matt Daly’s flick after patient build up play went high over the crossbar and it was to prove costly a minute later when Stephen Dick scored from a low penalty corner effort down the middle of the goal to make it 3-1. 

England soon found themselves in trouble again when Chris Wilson, wearing number 20, scored a minute late to make it 4-1; patient passing play ended with Wilson in space in the circle and he made no mistake from close range.

Will Naylor gave England hope and reduced the deficit as the pace of the game went up a level, along with the cheers of a loud and boisterous home crowd.  A great drive down the right hand side from Harry Slater was well finished off when he found the waiting Naylor at the back post.

England will be disappointed with the fifth Scottish goal, Stott’s second, which seemed to heading for Richard Springham on the post only for the ball to creep into the bottom corner, although the Reading man might have been unsighted by the face mask he was wearing to defend the corner.

A series of penalty corners came and went for England and with a gamble from the bench the substitute goalkeeper Stuart Hendy was withdrawn to be replaced by Richard Springham as a kicking back.  Scotland took advantage of the situation in the 35th minute when Kenny Stibbles rolled the ball into an unguarded net from wide on the left.

Two minutes later Egerton had his second, England’s third with a powerful low flick after the match had been subject to a lengthy injury delay but the comeback wasn’t to be and, still without a full goalkeeper, England conceded again on the final hooter, Stott placing the ball high into the top right corner.

When asked afterwards whether he felt his side had been routed, England head coach Andy Halliday insisted they had not.  “I wouldn’t go that far,” he said.  “Scotland had more corners than us.  We’re obviously very disappointed to lose, we hate losing to Scotland but we had to gamble by withdrawing the goalkeeper.  If they had won by two goals I think that would have been a fairer result but we missed some chances.

 “Our indoor season has just started and our players have only had four or five sessions together whereas Scotland are well practiced.  We also had eight debutants out there tonight although that’s certainly not an excuse.”

England will have an opportunity to exact their revenge in just under two weeks when they travel north to Paisley’s Lagoon Centre to take on Scotland in four more indoor test matches, beginning on Friday 18 December.

Women: England-Scotland 3:1 (2:0)
Goals England: Jo Ellis 7 (F), Susie Gilbert 14 (F), Chloe Rogers 28 (F)
Goal Scotland: Vikki Bunce 40 (F)

England’s women beat Scotland 3-1 in their International indoor test match at the National Indoor Arena thanks to goals from Jo Ellis and indoor debutants Susie Gilbert and Chloe Rogers. 

Scotland began strongly with an early break into England’s circle resulting in a corner from an England foot but England survived the early scare as the corner broke down.  Scotland continued to battle against the strong defensive pairing of Sam Quek and Sally Watkins and got another early break, which resulted in a weak shot on goal easily saved by England goalkeeper Becky Duggan. 

Jo Ellis gave England the lead in the seventh minute, finishing off a move from the left side of the circle beyond Carmin Dow before Chloe Rogers, making her international indoor debut against Scotland, then provided the creative spark that England needed to double their lead.  After rounding two Scottish defenders the Leicester midfielder’s shot was saved by Dow and Susie Gilbert capitalised on the rebound, sweeping the ball into the goal only seven minutes into the match.

Soon after, England broke again through Kerry Williams whose shot was saved by the sliding single arm of Carmin Dow.

Another Williams breakaway effort went narrowly wide of the far post and Scotland responded with a break to the far end where Elspeth Cockburn swept wide of the near post.  

Taking advantage of a quick free hit Scotland broke quickly but Duggan was again up to the task in the English goal.  In the final minutes of the half good pressure from Kerry Williams and indoor debutant Sophie Bray forced a penalty corner but the move broke down.  Sally Walton though quickly regained possession and her reverse flick flew past the goalkeeper only to be intercepted by an excellent stick save from Rebecca Ward at mid-height in front of the goal mouth. 

The second half began with both teams changing their goalkeepers and England again found themselves on the back foot with Scotland’s Linsey Glass showing expert skills as she deftly bypassed England’s defence before forcing replacement goalkeeper Maddie Hinch into a smart save. 

England captain Sally Walton then demonstrated her experience by playing a brilliant cross court pass but a miss-trap in the circle cost England the chance to extend their lead. 

England did extend their lead though in the 28th minute through Rogers, who thoroughly deserved her goal.  Following a breakdown in play, Rogers made a leading surge towards the goal, rounding several Scottish players before netting to put England three up.

Scotland kept battling but England’s defence was proving to be resolute.  With four minutes remaining Scotland tactically called for a time out, a new addition to the indoor rules this season.  After a talking to from the coaching team Scotland came out strongly, winning a corner after Sally Walton dallied inside her defensive circle and Vikki Bunce’s flick from the top of the circle flew just wide of the right post.  England broke quickly but the pass forward was intercepted by a Scottish defender who countered quickly, feeding Bunce inside the circle who put the ball through the legs of Hinch for 3-1.  It was too little too late for Scotland though and England’s women celebrated victory over a side ranked significantly higher in the indoor game

After the match, England coach Nick Clarke was pleased with the outcome:  “With just a couple of days training the girls’ practice paid off, utilising the skills and set pieces they’d been working on.  Although a couple of players are being rested for the upcoming Great Britain trip to Argentina, it was a good chance for a few of the under 21s to impress.  Sophie Bray did particularly well on her international indoor debut, as well as the other girls who have gained their first international indoor caps today.” The two sides will go head to head again in less than two weeks time in four matches at the Lagoon Centre in Paisley, beginning on 18 December.

Source: England Hockey

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