England went down to a 2-1 loss against Australia in their opening Pool B clash in the Champions Trophy. Danny Kerry’s side trailed to an early penalty corner strike from Jodie Kenny but were level in the 40th minute thanks to Ellie Watton’s 5th goal for England. It had looked like the sides would share the spoils but Kenny had other ideas, netting the winner with five minutes to play.
England’s next game is against Germany, live on Sky Sports from 19:30 GMT.
England fell behind in the sixth minute as Kenny’s penalty corner found a gap between goalkeeper Kirsty Mackay and Laura Unsworth on the post. England suffered a further blow in the seventh minute when Reading’s Alex Danson, captaining the side in the absence of Kate Richardson-Walsh left the field after a nasty collision with Anna Flanagan. Danson left on a stretcher and was taken to hospital for treatment.
England’s best chance of the opening half was a Giselle Ansley penalty corner but Ashlee Wells in the Hockeyroos goal beat the ball away.
Australia led at the break but it wasn’t long before England hit back. Joie Leigh threaded the ball through to an unmarked Watton on the top of the circle and her mis-hit shot squeezed through Wells’ legs and into the goal to level the scores. England grew in confidence and Lily Owsley was agonizingly close to tipping in a penalty corner with the final quarter approaching.
As time was running out Australia threatened again and forced a penalty corner with five minutes left on the clock. Kenny stepped up again and fired a bullet of a drag-flick into the bottom corner giving Mackay no chance. England were unable to force a way back into the match and were left to rue another late goal by the Australians.
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England Head Coach, Danny Kerry said: “The team and staff are pleased with the level of performance today. We felt we had the balance of play in the second half but you have to credit Australia for converting their corners. I thought the young players did well and I’m pleased at the progression we’ve made in the last three months.”
England’s next game is against Germany, this evening at 1930 GMT. All the matches are being shown live on Sky Sports. For the schedule click here.
England play host to The EuroHockey Championships 2015 next summer on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. More information and tickets are available from www.eurohockey2015.co.uk