New Zealand inflict a cruel defeat on England

Adam Dixon celebrates scoring against New Zealand during their pool game at the XX Commonwealth Games Glasgow 29th July 2014 - credit Ady Kerry

New Zealand inflicted a cruel defeat on England in their penultimate Pool B match at Glasgow 2014 as Simon Child fired home in the 68th minute to seal victory for the world number six side.

Andy Hayward 51 (PS)
Simon Child 68 (PC)

Adam Dixon 59 (FG)

To see highlights from today's match on the BBC, click here.

Both teams headed into the top-of-the table clash with a one hundred per cent record; England having comprehensively beaten Trinidad and Tobago and Malaysia previously. However Tuesday morning’s match was a much tighter affair as New Zealand defended in numbers during a first half which saw two Ashley Jackson penalty corners saved by keeper Devon Manchester.

England captain Barry Middleton superbly cleared Andy Hayward’s penalty corner off the line after the break, but the Kiwis took the lead on 51 minutes. Michael Hoare was adjudged to have unfairly pushed Blair Hilton in the circle, and with New Zealand winning a successful team referral, Hayward dispatched the resulting penalty stroke. England equalised eight minutes later as Phil Roper showed great skill to get behind the New Zealand defence to cross for Adam Dixon who fired home on the volley past Manchester. But the Kiwis secured all three points with two minutes remaining as Simon Child reacted first to score following a penalty corner.

England play their final group game against Canada on Thursday at 9am as they look to secure a top-two finish to progress to the semi-finals.

Defender Michael Hoare said after the game: “That was disappointing, we completely had the momentum after we scored the equaliser and we had a few chances and then the goal was a real kick in the teeth. That happens sometimes, I’m sure we’ve done that to teams in the past, we just need to make sure we are ready for our next game against Canada.”

England Men's Head Coach Bobby Crutchley, added: “It’s quite frustrating I thought we played well for long periods, probably didn’t penetrate enough and these things fall on very small things and I thought we probably didn’t get the run of the green in the end. But if we can be better, then we know that doesn’t affect us and that’s what we will be working on next time. 

"A lot of the performance was good, we will have to focus on the next game which is Canada and then we will see where that takes us. I think these guys are playing some good hockey, today was a bit frustrating for us but there are still a lot of positives to take from the game."