German defeats for England boys

England Under-16 Boys dominated the opening 20 minutes of their game against Germany and built a two-goal lead, but they conceded goals at key moments and the game slipped from their grasp as they lost 2-6 in the in the Easter Four Nations Tournament in Valencia on Easter Sunday.

Andrew Oxburgh burst down the right hand side before rounding the keeper and pushing the ball into the net with just four minutes on the clock to get England off to the perfect start.

Then, on 12 minutes, Rhys Smith doubled the advantage as he set off on a mazy 40-yard run with the ball, beating four opposition players before slipping the ball under the keeper to cap a great goal.

England could have scored more in the opening period as they imposed themselves impressively. But the Germans were handed a lifeline as Timm Herzbruch tucked away a penalty stroke and then Johannes Grosse hit the equaliser.

Herzbruch then bagged his second just before the break and an own goal just after the restart made it 2-4 to Germany and knocked the stuffing out of England a little.

But the English pressed forward and were still in it up until the final ten minutes when Germany got their fifth and sixth goals.

Despite the loss, England are much-improved and feel as though they are making good progress.

“They have shown that they can compete at this level, we now need to show a little more attention to the details and carry on progressing. We will look forward to our game against the Netherlands with this in mind,” said head coach Charlie Bannister.

England will now face the Netherlands in their final game.

* England Under-18 Boys will play hosts Spain in the 3rd/4th play-off match on Easter Monday after they were beaten 3-1 by Germany in the Easter Four Nations Tournament in Valencia on Sunday.

The squad battled well and were level with their rivals early in the second half, but Germany captain Tom Grambusch completed a hat-trick of goals to sink English hopes of victory.

“It was a tough game against a very strong German team,” said Head Coach Jon Bleby. “Our team showed plenty of fight and character, especially in the second half but there were many details in attack and defence we needed to improve on today in order to truly compete.”

Germany started well but England got more tactically astute as the game went on and competed evenly.

But at the end of the half England conceded several penalty corners and the pressure finally told with Germany taking the lead through Grambusch on 35 minutes.

In the second half England soaked up a spell of Germany pressure in the opening two minutes, with goalkeeper Caelan Dillon on good form, and they got back into the game on 44 minutes through Chris Proctor, who cut inside from the right blank and scored with a powerful back hand shot into the top left of the goal.

However, Germany retook the lead 15 minutes later from a penalty stroke, awarded after an England defender had fouled an attacker, and they made it 3-1 two minutes later, Grambusch again scoring from a penalty corner with a straight flick into the bottom left corner.

Monday’s clash with Spain is at 11am BST (12noon local time).