England show their fighting qualities

Hockey: England 0 Argentina 1

England's women, minus their Olympic players, fought a brilliant rearguard action against Argentina at Lilleshall yesterday restricting the World Cup silver medal team to a single goal scored by their outstanding right- winger, Karina Masotta.

Pinned in their own half for long periods of the game, England showed great courage in holding their own with a side who earlier this week had beaten and drawn with the full Great Britain Olympic squad. From the encounter two quality players emerged for England - goalkeeper Carolyn Reid and the diminutive Jackie Empson in the midfield.

Only a fine save by Reid denied Sofia Mackenzie putting the visitors ahead in the 12th minute at the first of two successive penalty corners, the second of which led to a penalty stroke which Luciana Aymar put wide and high.

Argentina's solitary goal came in the 28th minute as Masotta weaved her way through the English defence which seemed to offer only desperate lunges as she showed her great skills, finally giving Reid no chance from close range.

The one-way traffic continued in the second half apart from a brief couple of minutes when Jane Smith made progress down the right to cross to Lucy Newcombe who had England's only shot at goal, which went well wide. Three penalty corners followed but without testing the goalkeeper.

Great Britain's men tomorrow face Germany, the Olympic champions, at Milton Keynes in the final game before the Atlanta Olympic squad is announced on Tuesday. The Germans, lining up with eight Olympic gold medallists, should provide formidable opposition. The surprise omission in the British squad is Hounslow's Guy Fordham, whose place goes to Teddington's Phil McGuire.

ENGLAND: C Reid (Hightown); J Crook (Hightown), L Bayliss (Sutton Canada Life), C Gilbert (Hightown), L Marsden (Clifton, capt), S Gibson (Trojans), J Empson (Canterbury), K Bowden (Balsam Leicester), L Culliford (Clifton), J Smith (Ipswich), K James (Trojans ). Substitutes not used: M Clewlow (Canterbury) F Greenham (Loughborough Students), S Blanks (Balsam Leicester), L Newcombe (Hightown).

ARGENTINA: M Arnal; S Mackenzie, S Corvalan, L Aymar, J Castellan, G Sanchez (capt), G Pando, J Rimoldi, K Masotta, V Oneto, M Castelli. Substitutes used: C Rognoni, M Aicega, O Gonzalez.

Umpires: D Hennings (Eng), L Crespo (Arg).

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