Hockey: Mathews leads England's charge

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David Mathews scored twice as England returned to winning form in their third game in the World Cup in Kuala Lumpur last night with an emphatic 7-0 victory over Cuba, who are quickly becoming the whipping team in the tournament.

The World Cup newcomers clearly lacked match exposure. Indeed, they arrived in Malaysia without having played a single match since they qualified for the World Cup in the Pan-Am Games in Caracas in June 2000. Last night England were off to a splendid start when Danny Hall scored in the third minute at their first penalty corner. Although they continued to make numerous openings it was not until the 20th minute that Mathews scored his first at a penalty stroke. Two goals inside a minute just before the interval from Jerome Goudie and Mark Pearn completed a satisfactory first-half performance.

England kept up the pressure in the second half with Tom Bertram and Ben Sharpe putting their names on the score sheet with Mathews collecting his second. While the coach, Malcolm Wood, expressed his satisfaction with his team's performance it must be disappointing that England scored from only three of 10 penalty corner awards.

England's next game is today against India who came here as one of the favourites but so far have collected only one point.

In a highly explosive, exciting match before a large crowd, Malaysia hung on to a 3-2 victory against India after leading 3-0. After 24 minutes the game, which started with a third-minute goal to ignite the home crowd, was delayed for 39 minutes because of torrential rain, thunder and lightening with Malaysia leading 2-0.

England: J Lewis; B Garrard, J Wyatt, T Bertram, C Parnham Capt.; J Goudie, M Johnson, G Fordham; J Wallis; D Hall, B Sharpe. Substitutes used: M Pearn, D Mathews, M Jones, A Humphrey, B Waugh, R Todd.

Cuba: Y Gomez; Y Blanco; Y Oliva, R Larrinaga, A Bardaji Capt.; J Benavides, J Rodriguez, Y Rodriguez; J Hernandez, Y Perez, A Abreu. Substitutes used: E Aroche, Y Villaneueva, D Garcia, B Sayas, D Garces, Y Mosquera, R Lemus.

Umpires: J Wright (SA) & D Gentles (Aus).