Narrow defeat for GB men in Amsterdam

Narrow defeat for GB men in Amsterdam
Great Britain’s men suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat in a spirited defeat to the Netherlands.

Despite seeing chances falling at both sides, a solitary strike in the final minute of the first-half was enough to hand the three points to the hosts.

Goalkeeper Ollie Payne impressed on his international debut with several crucial saves whilst it was also a special occasion for Harry Martin who won his 100th GB cap.

A frantic start to the match saw Payne given an early test to international hockey with the debutant making a smart save with his left hand inside the first five minutes of the game.

Breaking quickly to the other end of the field, Phil Roper earned the side a penalty corner where Adam Dixon’s powerful flick was well stopped.

Both sides were creating chances, James Gall’s shot unable to truly test the Dutch goalkeeper before Tom Sorsby made a fantastic goal line clearance to deny Jeroen Hertzberger’s thundering drive from a penalty corner.

Though the opening quarter finished goalless, the attacking intent remained as the hosts fired narrowly wide in the opening minute of the second quarter.

Bjorn Kellerman’s skewed strike came close but sailed wide before GB came within inches of making the breakthrough immediately after. Zach Wallace’s ball into the centre of the circle was cut out by the Dutch goalkeeper just in time to prevent it reaching Rupert Shipperley for a tap in. The rebound fell kindly for Harry Martin whose reverse stick shot was saved spectacularly by the outstretched ‘keeper.

With the half coming to a close Payne pulled off another pair of brilliant saves, the first to prevent a high drag-flick before recovering quickly to deflect the follow up.

There was little the GB ‘keeper could do to prevent Floris Wortelboer’s final minute rocket on the reverse though, as the Dutch took a slender advantage into the half-time break.

The two sides continued to push in search of the next goal, Dixon coming close from a penalty corner as his effort whistled narrowly wide of the target in a fast-paced third quarter.

A fast start to the fourth quarter saw the ball fall perfectly for Justen Blok to tap in at the far post, however he was unable to divert it goal-wards from close range.

A flurry of chances quickly developed as a scramble ensued in the Dutch circle which was somehow kept out of the goal before Billy Bakker’s thumping hit was smartly saved by the foot of Payne.

Despite seeing some exciting attacking play, the game would be decided a singular goal with the hosts’ opening-half strike enough to take victory in Amsterdam.

The teams will meet again on Thursday at 18:00 live on BT Sport.

After the match, Dixon commented: “Whilst it’s great to be playing international hockey again, the result was disappointing. We are fairly happy with our performance after such a long break, there was plenty to be positive about, so we’ll look forward to game two on Thursday.” 

Starting XI: Forsyth, Shipperley, Martin, Roper, Dixon (C), Creed, Payne (GK), Ansell, Sorsby, Wallace, Draper 
Subs (Used): Goodfield, Condon, Waller, Gall, Smith, Taylor
Subs (Unused): Pinner

2020/21 FIHPL Banner

You can watch Great Britain’s stars in action when the FIH Hockey Pro League returns to London for six double headers in May 2021. The Hockey Family Window is open now and you can save on all ticket types, including up to 20% on White and Blue Category Adult tickets. Plus, we’re offering a refund guarantee for all tickets. Click HERE to find out more.