4 Nations: England draw with Spain

EH

A last minute penalty stroke from Mark Gleghorne saw England rescue a draw against hosts Spain at the Four Nations.

England dominated the contest for large spells but twice fell behind to the hosts, but goals from David Goodfield and Gleghorne saw them fight back.

The squad bounced back from a 9-1 defeat to the dutch in their 4 Nations opener before beating Germany 3-0 and ending the campaign with a draw against Spain.

Attentions now turn to the Rabo EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam as England’s men return to the Wagener Stadium where they won gold at the 2009 tournament.  

The hosts were quick to put England on the back foot winning a flurry of penalty corners inside the opening minutes. It proved to be third time lucky for Spain who converted at their third corner, Arana’s strike beating goalkeeper George Pinner.

However England responded immediately with a number of circle penetrations of their own and David Ames firing over. From here on England began to control the game in terms of possession and attacking intent, pushing Spain deep into their own half but they held their lead as the teams entered the first break.

England continued to press and when Liam Sanford was brought down after a fine run, Spain were reduced to 10 players. It looked like England would make this advantage count immediately when they won a penalty stroke but Gleghorne’s high flick was tipped over the bar by the Spanish keeper.

After the half time break England’s dominance was unwavering as they piled on more pressure. Sam Ward’s drag flick was well saved before the keeper repeated the feat to turn Gleghorne’s smashed volley over the bar once again.

England’s tenacity eventually paid off after 37 minutes when they won another penalty corner. This time Ward slipped the ball right to Barry Middleton who crossed back to Goodfield who rolled home to level the scores.

Mid way through the final quarter though Spain were able to restore their lead against the run of play as Beltran’s drag flick flew into the net.

However England stuck to their task and attacking game plan, electing for a kicking back and they were rewarded in the final minute when they were given a penalty stroke for a push by a Spanish defender.

Despite his earlier miss Gleghorne stepped up and made no mistake from the spot to level the scores and save England from defeat.

Starting XI: George Pinner (GK), Liam Sanford, Ollie Willars, Brendan Creed, David Ames, Ian Sloan, Mark Gleghorne, Phil Roper (C), Barry Middleton, Jonathan Griffiths, David Condon

Subs (Used): Harry Gibson (GK), Henry Weir, Michael Hoare, Sam Ward, Adam Dixon, David Goodfield, James Gall