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Hockey - 13. June 2009.

England draw with Spain in first of two meetings in Nottingham

ENGLAND V SPAIN: Test 1 of 2

Highfields Sports Club, Nottingham                                                     

Saturday, 13 June 2009

 

ENGLAND 1 (0)

Katie Long 45 (F)

 

SPAIN 1 (0)

Raquel Huertas 39 (F)

There was stalemate between England and Spain in the first of two meetings this weekend at Highfields Sports Club in Nottingham as Leicester’s Katie Long struck a superb effort to equalise Raquel Huertas’ opener.
 


There was stalemate between England and Spain in the first of two meetings this weekend at Highfields Sports Club in Nottingham as Leicester’s Katie Long struck a superb effort to equalise Raquel Huertas’ opener.

 

There was little to choose between the teams in the opening spell with both enjoying periods of controlled possession in the East Midlands sunshine.  The first real opportunity of the match fell to England but Chloe Strong’s penalty corner flew past the left hand post.

There was stalemate between England and Spain in the first of two meetings this weekend at Highfields Sports Club in Nottingham as Leicester’s Katie Long struck a superb effort to equalise Raquel Huertas’ opener.

 

On 17 minutes, Captain Kate Walsh’s mistake inside 25 metres saw her robbed by Montse Cruz, who entered the circle with just Duggan to beat.  In trying to make amends for her mistake Walsh took the stick of the Spanish number eight while she lined up to shoot and the umpire immediately pointed to the penalty spot.  Becky Duggan spared England’s blushes though with a comfortable save from Raquel Huertas’ medium height flick and the scoreline remained 0-0.

 

Further goal scoring opportunities were few and far between as the half wore on; Spain’s only first half penalty corner was miss-controlled at the top of the circle allowing Walsh to charge down before a shot was released and at the other end, Helen Richardson, who had been presented with a cap before the match to mark her 100th appearance for England last month, was crowded out as she attempted to shoot on the reverse.

 

The second half was an altogether livelier affair and with Spain looking more threatening it was the World number seven side that took the lead just four minutes into the period.  Good work down the right culminated in a cross that reached Huertas’ at the back of the circle and with time to pick her spot she made no mistake, firing the ball low into the corner of the goal.

 

Two Spanish penalty corners followed shortly after as they looked to put the game beyond the hosts but after a save from Duggan, with her left glove, and a good block by onrushing defenders at the second, England fought to get back into the match.

 

The equaliser was not long in coming and in the 45th minute good work between Alex Danson and Jo Ellis down the right channel allowed Ellis to feed Leicester’s Katie Long, who struck a rasping shot beyond Maria Jesus Rosa into the far netting.  It was fine strike from a young player, for a second goal in just her fifth senior international match.  

 

The goal gave England renewed energy and just two minutes later Danson found herself with just Jesus Rosa to beat from close range but the World’s best goalkeeper pulled off a good block to keep the scores level.

 

With the pressure mounting on the Spanish defence they conceded two more penalty corners but England failed to make them pay as first Walsh’s flick was comfortably saved, before the goalkeeper made another good block from Chloe Rogers.  

 

A yellow card to Montse Cruz with six minutes remaining saw Spain drop to a half court defence and the game finished 1-1.

 

Afterwards, England Head Coach paid tribute to Katie Long’s equalising goal: “I was delighted Katie Long took her chance so well, especially for a player with so few caps.”

 

Speaking about where he’d like to see improvements, Kerry acknowledged, “Our turnovers at the back gave Spain too many opportunities and we failed to really capitalise on our counter attacks.”

 

England will have the opportunity to go one better tomorrow lunchtime in the second match of the series, which gets underway at midday.

 

SQUAD

 

Started

Name [Position] (Club) England Caps / Age

Becky Duggan [Goalkeeper] (Trojans) 25/26

Gemma Darrington [Defender] (Leicester) 3/22

Natalie Seymour [Defender] (Canterbury) 12/22

Kate Walsh [Defender] (SCHC) 138/29

Sally Walton [Defender] (Bowdon Hightown) 42/28

Helen Richardson [Midfield] (Den Bosch) 101/27

Chloe Rogers [Midfield] (Leicester) 53/24

Susie Gilbert [Midfield] (University of Birmingham) 5/20

Rebecca Herbert [Forward] (Kampong) 44/22

Hayley Brown [Forward] (FC Junior Barcelona) 9/21

Katy Long [Forward] (Leicester) 5/21

 

Substitutes Used

Name [Position] (Club) England Caps / Age

Chloe Strong [Defender] (Pinoke) 5/25

Ashleigh Ball [Midfield] (Slough) 4/23

Kerry Williams [Forward] (Leicester) 19/23

Alex Danson [Forward] (Klein Switserland) 79/24

Jo Ellis [Forward] (Bowdon Hightown) 19/25

 

Did Not Play

Name [Position] (Club) England Caps / Age

Beth Storry [Goalkeeper] (SCHC) 36/31

Sam Quek [Defender] (Bowdon Hightown) 2/20

 

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