Improving England fall to France

England Women's Indoor side sing the national anthem

France 3 (2)
Gwenaelle Dutel 15, 16, (PC, PC)
Emilie Begue 26 (FG)

England 2 (0)
Grace Balsdon 23 (PC)
Giselle Ansley 34 (PC)

England put up a much improved display in their second match of the EuroHockey Indoor Championshsips II but were defeated 3-2 by the hosts, France in the last game of the day.

Having slipped to a heavy defeat in their opener against Russia, Andy Halliday’s side created a number of excellent chances against the French but were unable to convert them, leaving them searching for their first win of the competition after two matches.

Two goals in quick succession in the first half from France’s Gwenaelle Dutel left England trailing at the break despite Anne-Sophie Daire being arguably the busier of the two goalkeepers.

Three minutes after half time Halliday’s team hit back through a Grace Balsdon penalty corner, the Canterbury captain’s second goal in as many games. But just three minutes later, with England pushing hard for an equaliser Emilie Begue restored France’s two-goal cushion with a neat finish to beat Amy Tennant in the England goal.

Undeterred England hit back through another penalty corner. Giselle Ansley found the net to give her side hope with six minutes remaining. Despite more chances at both ends, it stayed 3-2 to the hosts, to the delight of the home crowd.

Head Coach Andy Halliday told England Hockey:

‘We had enough possession and opportunities to win the game, however the acquisition of indoor skills has been tough against two very well drilled indoor teams. We now find ourselves in a battle to avoid relegation; I hope that the positivity and the spirit within the group will contribute to some winning performances to keep this team in the division. Today’s results have really highlighted the minimal preparation we have had in the lead up to the tournament.’

England face Wales in their final pool game tomorrow with both sides looking to get off the mark. That match starts at 1020 UK time.

For all the fixtures, results and tables, click here.