England progressed to the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Championships with a 2-0 win over Scotland in their final Pool B match. Second half goals from Jo Hunter and Giselle Ansley (making her 100th international appearance) eventually guided England to victory and ensured top two finish in their pool.
The win sees England take on either Belgium or hosts Holland in their Semi Final at 7pm on Thursday night. Those two nations face off on Tuesday night to decide who tops their Pool.
Reflecting on the match, Giselle Ansley said: “We had a lot of the ball and kept playing our way, we had to keep emotion out of it and to win 2-0 we are pretty happy.
“We’re not going to shy away from the fact we are defending champions. It looks like we will have a tough semi-final but we have done it before and are looking forward to it.”
It was an end to end opening with both sides creating chances as goalkeepers Maddie Hinch and Amy Gibson were called into early action, however both were equal to their tasks.
The best chance of the opening quarter fell to Giselle Ansley, making her 100th international appearance, but Gibson was able to kick away her penalty corner effort before the first break.
Neither side were able to get into their rhythm with possession constantly changing hands, but England improved before the half-time break.
A strike from Alex Danson strike was deflected at goal by Ellie Rayer before Ansley flicked at target from another penalty corner, but Gibson saved smartly on both occasions to ensure the sides entered the interval level.
England’s continued to press for an opener and on 35 minutes they eventually moved ahead. Toman fired a cross into the circle from deep which was met by a diving Hunter whose touch helped send the ball high into the net.
This buoyed England who went on to dominate the third quarter and were unfortunate not to extend their lead when Sophie Bray fired just wide.
A scrappy last fifteen minutes followed with four cards being shown but the result was put beyond doubt in the closing stages as Ansley fired in a low drag-flick from a penalty corner to ensure the win for England.
England: Maddie Hinch (GK), Laura Unsworth, Hollie Webb, Anna Toman, Giselle Ansley, Shona McCallin, Hannah Martin, Susannah Townsend, Lily Owsley, Alex Danson (C), Sophie Bray, Jo Hunter, Ellie Watton, Emily Defroand, Ellie Rayer, Sarah Haycroft, Zoe Shipperley
Sub (Unused): Amy Tennant (GK)
Report courtesy of England Hockey