Hockey: Crutchley cracks five on debut: England trounce Czechs in European Indoor Cup qualifier

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The Independent Online
BOB CRUTCHLEY, winning his first indoor cap, scored five goals in England's 8-3 win against the Czech Republic in their opening game in the European Indoor qualifier last night, writes Bill Colwill from Lille.

After Phil McGuire had failed to put away two early chances, England conceded a goal to the Czechs, scored by Idenez Svaton, in the eighth minute at their first penalty corner.

However, England's first substitution brought a dramatic change in fortunes, Crutchley coming on and scoring from two corners and two penalty strokes to give the side a 4-1 lead at the interval.

Second-half corner conversions from McGuire, two, and Soma Singh put England 7-1 ahead before casual defence resulted in two more goals from the Czechs. Finally, Crutchley, the Hounslow striker, collected his fifth at another penalty corner.

David Whitaker, the coach, summed up England's victory as not inspiring but effective. Their play at times lacked pattern but Julian Halls and Andy Humphrey were masterful in defence.

Meanwhile, England's opening opponents, Belarus, failed to arrive. Earlier, Sweden caused a surprise by drawing 5-5 with Switzerland.

EUROPEAN INDOOR CUP Qualifier (Lille): Sweden 5 Switzerland 5; France 8 Lithuania 1; England 8 Czech Republic 3.

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