Great Britain draw with Korea to set-up tense finale

In the penultimate game of the preliminary stages at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Great Britain faced Korea knowing that a win would take them to the top of the standings in Malaysia.  Korea came into the game in sixth place hoping to move up the table to fight it out for the higher placings on Sunday.  As it was both sides had to settle for a 1-1 draw in the searing heat.

The first half saw very few clear cut chances for either side. Korea had the majority of the possession and scored the solitary goal of the half thanks to Yoon Sung Hoon who fired home from the top of the circle.  Great Britain came out refreshed and dominated significant spells of the second half with Reading’s Jonty Clarke evening up the score line in the 50th minute with a fantastic solo effort.

The story of the match was two goalkeepers playing at the very top of their games; Great Britain and Cannock’s James Fair made two world class saves in the first and final minutes and Korea’s Myung Ho Lee kept his side in the game on numerous occasions in the second half. Continue reading →

Great Britain stay in contention with victory over Black Sticks

Great Britain have their kept their hopes of winning the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup alive with a much improved performance against the tournament’s top side, New Zealand.

First half goals from East Grinstead’s Ashley Jackson and Surbiton’s Matt Daly gave Great Britain a well deserved 2-1 victory over the Black Sticks, who had been unbeaten in their first three games.  Kiwi penalty corner specialist Andrew Hayward did pull a goal back in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Great Britain’s defence stood strong and they managed to hold onto their goal advantage to take all three points.

Speaking after the game Great Britain’s Head Coach, Jason Lee was delighted with his side’s performance, “It was a much improved performance following the Argentina game where I had been very disappointed.  I thought the players showed a lot of spirit and we played some good tactics to win the game.” Continue reading →

Jackson double not enough as GB lose

Despite two goals from East Grinstead’s Ashley Jackson, Great Britain’s men went down 3-2 to Argentina at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in a match that began 20 minutes late following a rain delay.

Against a well organised side, Great Britain struggled to break down the Argentina defence and paid the price for conceding two poor goals in the second half having hauled themselves back into the match through Ashley Jackson’s 39th minute equaliser.  Not even the replacement of goalkeeper James Fair for an 11th outfield player with four minutes remaining could salvage a point for GB, who will be without Surbiton forward James Tindall for the remainder of the tournament after he turned his ankle in Sunday’s victory over India.  Jonty Clarke, who began on the bench, made his 50th appearance for Great Britain in the match.

A disappointed Head Coach Jason Lee said afterwards, “Quite simply it was an appalling performance.  If we play like that in the Olympic Games we will finish in the minor placings.”

Great Britain fell behind to a well struck strike from Enrique Paredes after just eight minutes.  Defending a cross from the right, the ball came loose off a British stick and fell perfectly to Paredes, who fired his shot beyond the dive of James Fair in goal. Continue reading →

Great Britain Beat India to Climb the Table

Great Britain men battled to a deserved 3-2 victory over India in their second match of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia on Sunday. Despite high temperatures and humidity which clearly suited their rivals, Great Britain dug deep and held them at bay to secure a win which leaves them second in the table ahead of the next set of matches on Monday.

Great Britain had much of the possession in the first half and dominated for long periods, but India looked dangerous on the counter attack.

British pressure paid off when, seven minutes before half time, good team play led to a well worked penalty corner move was finished by East Grinstead’s Glenn Kirkham.

Britain were worth their half time lead, but Cannock goalkeeper James Fair had to be alert on two occasions, saving well from Danish and Gurbaj Singh. Continue reading →

Great Britain Suffer Late Malaysian Fightback

Great Britain’s men found themselves pegged back in the stifling final stages of their opening match at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia as the hosts scored twice in the final three minutes to draw 3-3.  Great Britain had stormed into a 3-1 lead at the break thanks to goals from East Grinstead pair Glenn Kirkham and Ashley Jackson and one from Surbiton’s Rob Moore.  And there were further chances to extend the lead in the second period before Malaysia hit back late.

Things began well for Great Britain, who welcomed back Surbiton’s Matt Daly to the side after a long term injury kept him sidelined for much of the year.  Continue reading →