England beat Black Sticks

England 3 (2) - 1 (0) New Zealand
Richard Mantell 17 (PC)           Nick Wilson 41 (F)
Adam Dixon 29 (F)            
Rob Moore 67 (F)            

The full house at Chiswick on Friday was given a lot to cheer as the host nation England played entertaining fast hockey to beat New Zealand 3-1 in their last round robin match of the London Cup.  Reading’s Richard Mantell fired home England’s first penalty corner goal of the tournament midway through the first half; and there was a special moment for Beeston’s Adam Dixon, whose diving finish earned him his first international goal in his 50th appearance for England. 

New Zealand’s Nick Wilson bagged his third in three games to half the deficit but Wimbledon’s Rob Moore made sure of the victory three minutes from time, sending the capacity crowd home happy.

Richard Alexander, Stephen Jenness and Ben Hawes in action during England v New Zealand at The London Cup, Chiswick

It was England’s first victory in the tournament and Jason Lee’s side will now take on archrivals Belgium tomorrow in the bronze medal match.   

Afterwards, Lee said: “We did pretty well tonight. We were a bit low on confidence but it was a strong performance. We were addressing the appalling performance against Belgium and today shows that we’re a high quality team; it has just come a bit late in the tournament.  It’s obviously good in terms of European [Championships] preparation.”

Putting behind them the disappointment of their first two matches, England played with a lot more purpose and resilience to record a strong victory. The first half began with England putting together a series of attacks and they finally earned their first penalty corner in the 17th minute. Reading’s Richard Mantell wasted no time in converting the corner to put reigning European Champions in the lead.
Playing his 50th match for England, Beeston mid-fielder Adam Dixon made it a memorable one as he then netted a diving effort from open play in the 29th minute to extend the lead further. The Black Sticks found it difficult to match England’s pace in the first half and the English front line pressed the New Zealand defence throughout.
Mark Pearn and Richard Smith congratulate Rob Moore on his goal for England against New Zealand at The London Cup, ChiswickCommonwealth bronze medallists New Zealand halved the deficit in the fifth minute of the second half when Nick Wilson scored through open play.  It was his third goal in as many games at The London Cup.  Refusing to allow the Kiwis back into the match England continued to attack and the pressure paid off when Rob Moore scored from open play three minutes before the final hooter to seal a well-deserved victory.
England were unlucky not to score more goals as New Zealand goalkeeper Stephen Graham came up with a series of excellent saves. 

Talking about his goal, Adam Dixon said, “It’s a monkey out of my back.  I can hardly remember when my last goal was. The ball came free, the goalkeeper came out and I just put it in with a diving effort.”
England will now look to avenge their opening day defeat when they play Belgium tomorrow at 3:00pm.

In the evening’s first match, between Belgium and Korea, it was the Koreans who sealed a place in Saturday’s London Cup Final with a confident 3-1 victory.  The Koreans went into the break 1-0 up courtesy of Kyu Yeob Jang and two second half goals from Hyo Sik You and tournament leading scorer Nam Yong Lee secured the points.  Belgium’s only goal came from Cedric Charlier as they were unable to overcome a strong Korean side, who fielded a kicking back for much of the second half having lost goalkeeper Myung Ho Lee to injury.

The result, coupled with New Zealand’s defeat to England, means Korea top the table, with the Black Sticks second on goals scored. England leapfrog the Belgians ahead of their clash on Saturday.

Seated tickets for Saturday have sold out; however, ground passes are available on the gate.  The gates open at 1:00pm with England’s bronze medal match underway at 3:00pm and the Final at 5:30pm. 

Follow the whole tournament, standings and top scorers here.

James Fair (Cannock) Goalkeeper; Ben Hawes (Wimbledon) Defender; Iain Lewers (Loughborough Students) Defender; Richard Mantell (Reading) Defender; Richard Smith (Loughborough Students) Defender; Adam Dixon (Beeston) Defender/Midfielder; Barry Middleton (c) (Der Club an der Alster) Midfielder/Forward; Mark Pearn (East Grinstead) Forward; Nick Catlin (Loughborough Students) Forward; Simon Mantell (Reading) Forward; Jonty Clarke (Reading) Forward

Substitutes Used
Alastair Wilson (Beeston) Defender; Richard Alexander (Surbiton) Defender/Midfielder/Forward; Iain Mackay (Reading) Midfielder; Rob Moore (Wimbledon) Midfielder/Forward; James Tindall (Surbiton) Forward

Did Not Play
Nick Brothers (Reading)  Goalkeeper; Glenn Kirkham (East Grinstead) Midfielder

The London Cup Standings

  Pl W D L GF GA GD Pts
Korea 3 2 0 1 8 7 1 6
New Zealand 3 2 0 1 6 5 1 6
England 3 1 0 2 9 10 -1 3
Belgium 3 1 0 2 7 8 -1 3