ENGLAND Men beat hosts Scotland 3-1 in their second match of the Four Nations campaign in Glasgow on Saturday.
England 3 (1)
Barry Middleton 22 (F)
Tom Carson 43 (F)
Simon Mantell 65 (F)
Scotland 1 (1)
Chris Nelson 33 (F)
Drawing with Scotland at half time following captain Barry Middleton’s 22nd minute goal, England chipped in with two second half goals from Tom Carson and Simon Mantell to register their first victory of the tournament and keep on track for victory.
“It was a far more positive performance today. We dominated possession for long periods but couldn’t break down a resilient Scottish defence until the last quarter of the game,” said Head Coach Bobby Crutchley. “There are still areas we need to improve, we look forward to the challenge that Belgium will present on Monday.”
Barry Middleton’s 22nd minute goal was England’s only score of a first half which presented them with several chances on goal. They had been building the pressure on Scotland, and found space down the right baseline. Simon Mantell managed to find Middleton in front of goal with the goalkeeper struggling to cover, and the Holcombe ace tapped in an easy opening goal.
But Scotland continued to press and – after Ashley Jackson hadput a 31st minute penalty stroke onto the crossbar – the hosts levelled shortly before half time. Dan Coultas put the ball into the D from a free hit on the 25 yard line, and a narrow deflection by Chris Nelson was enough to ensure the ball went between George Pinner’s legs for the equaliser.
Both sides began the second period in lively fashion, but it was England who broke through. England broke down the right side and looped round the baseline before the cross was deflected in by Tom Carson. The umpire reviewed the goal after Scottish claims that it had come off a defender, but the goal stood.
Both sides had penalty corner chances in the following few minutes, but all were well defended. But the breakthrough came with five minutes remaining. Ashley Jackson edged along the right baseline with great skill before crossing for Simon Mantell to score.
England take on Belgium on Monday in their final pool game (11am), before the placement matches on Tuesday.
* Above photograph of Ashley Jackson is by Rodrigo Jaramillo.