England too strong for South Africa

Simon Mantell scores the sixth goal for England against South Africa at the Investec London Cup - Photo by Ady Kerry

England delivered a superb first half performance to record a 7-0 victory this evening in their second match of the Investec London Cup.

England 7 (5)

Ashley Jackson 6 21 (FG PC)
Nick Catlin 17 32 (FG FG)
Barry Middleton 19 (FG)
Simon Mantell 57 (FG)
Mark Gleghorne 66 (PC)

South Africa 0 (0)

It took the home side just six minutes to break down the South African defence with Ashley Jackson opening the scoring for the men in red. South Africa came close to bringing the scores level when Lloyd Jones had a one-on-one with George Pinner, however the England Goalkeeper rushed out his goal to make a great save.

England’s second goal came courtesy of Nick Catlin who, on the seventh minute and on his 100th appearance, lifted the ball over South African goalkeeper Erasmus Pieterse. England captain Barry Middleton made it 3-0 before the game reached the 20 minute mark. Jackson took the score to 4-0 two minutes later from a well-executed penalty corner. The first half was rounded off with a second goal from Catlin, and a fifth for England, with the team running in at half time still yet to concede a goal this tournament.

The second half opened with both Catlin and Jackson searching for hat-tricks however a tighter South African defence kept their opposition at bay. On the 56th minute, after much England pressure, Simon Mantell found the back of the net, slotting home England’s sixth goal.  With five minutes remaining in the match, Mark Gleghorne rounded off England’s night in style with a seventh and final goal, firing a vicious drag-flick into the roof of the South African net from a penalty corner.

Nick Catlin commented after the game: "It was an absolute privilege to get my 100th cap today, and goals don't come around too often for me so to get a couple was a really good way to celebrate it. The crowd have been great here today and we're looking forward to even more people coming out at the weekend to see our games."