Battling England U18 Boys go down to Spain

England U18 Boys, Santander, July 2014 - 450

Spain Under-18 Boys 5 (2)
Jordi Malgosa 4 (FG)
Gonzales Mesones 12 (FG)
Jordi Farres 55 (PC)
Manuel Ortiz 62 66 (FG FG)

England Under-18 Boys 2 (1)
Conor Caplan 30 (PC)
Mat Ming 54 (PS)

Drawing shortly after half time, England Under-18 Boys conceded three second half goals as they lost out 5-2 to hosts Spain in their first match of the Four Nations Tournament in Santander on Monday evening.

A battling display had given England heart and at 2-2 the game could have gone either way. But the home side scored a minute later and built on that lead to take a somewhat flattering victory.

Head Coach Jody Paul said afterwards: “There were some pleasing features in parts of the game, but defensively we were weak at times in trying to deal with their fast counter attacks. But we will regroup and aim to tighten up against the Netherlands tomorrow.”

England hit the bar in the opening two minutes, but it was Spain who scored first on four minutes with Jordi Malgosa finding the net after England had given the ball away cheaply.

They doubled their lead with Gonzales Mesones scoring on 12 minutes, George Oyebode having made a great save, but just failing to stop the rebound from being whacked in.

A deflected goal from a 30th minute penalty corner gave England heart, and on 54 minutes Mat Ming scored from a penalty stroke, awarded after a stick block in the circle.

But just a matter of seconds later the Spanish were back in front with Jordi Farres scoring from a counter attack. And Manuel Ortiz added further goals on 62 and 66 minutes to cap a big win for the hosts.

England Under-18 boys play the Netherlands on Tuesday at 12noon, (11am UK time).