Hockey: England eclipsed by Dutch

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The Independent Online
Netherlands. .4

England. . . .1

ENGLAND, who came back well after conceding two careless goals against the Netherlands on Saturday in The Hague before losing 3-2, yesterday paid the penalty for sloppy marking and a lack of composure when they were swamped 4-1 by the Dutch in Amsterdam.

In the tense, exploratory first stages of yesterday's game the probing and passing of the inside forwards, Russell Garcia and Jason Laslett, presented a few problems for the Dutch defence, but it was the home side who opened the scoring in the 19th minute.

Taco van den Honert's penalty corner scoop was illegally stopped on the line by Amarjit Degun. The Dutch captain, Marc Delissen, made no mistake from the resulting penalty stroke.

A powerful penalty corner shot from Nick Thompson was saved at the expense of a long corner by the Dutch goalkeeper, Bart Looije, but Rupert Welch was on hand to jab home John Shaw's corner for the equaliser.

Within a minute Delissen, from another penalty stroke, had restored the Dutch lead. This time the goalkeeper David Luckes was penalised for bringing down Stephan Veen as the Dutch mounted yet another attack. Honert, direct from a penalty corner, put the Dutch further ahead on the interval.

From the restart England could find little rhythm against their well- drilled opponents who leave for Singapore on Thursday for two Tests against Australia before moving on to Malaysia for next month's Champions Trophy.

The second-half move of Jon Potter to centre-half went some way to healing a leaking English defence and together with a series of fine saves by Luckes limited the Dutch to one second-half goal, Honert claiming his second in the 50th minute.

England's coach, David Whitaker, will have learnt much as a result of the weekend's two games and in particular will know that he must establish a second penalty corner routine to cope with occasions when Rob Hill is not available.

ENGLAND: D Luckes (East Grinstead; J Halls (Old Loughtonians), P Bolland (Hounslow), J Potter (Hounslow), Kalbir Takher (Cannock), A Degun (Barford Tigers), P McGuire (Teddington), R Garcia (Havant), J Shaw (Southgate, capt), J Laslett (Teddington), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians). Substitutes used: A Humphrey (Welton), M Woods (St Albans), R Crutchley (Hounslow), R Welch (Southgate).

NETHERLANDS: B Looije; W Drenth, W van Pelt, E Jazet, D Smolenaars, J Brinkman, M Delissen (capt), L Klein Gebbink, S Veen, T van den Honert, R van Wijk. Substitutes used: P Hein Geeris, B van Ede, G van Hout.

Umpires: M Graham (England) C ten Brink (Netherlands).