Hockey: England restore order with successful series against Spain

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The Independent Online
England continued their rehabilitation, following their recent 10-0 defeat by Australia 10 days ago, in the Olympic Stadium in Terrassa with a 2-1 win on Saturday and a 1-1 draw yesterday against Spain, the Olympic silver medallists.

In both games they came from behind, showing great strength of character and as a bonus introduced East Grinstead's Ben Barnes to the international scene with two workmanlike initial appearances.

It was, however, England's positive approach which first manifested itself in the second game against Australia, built out of solid defending and fast counter-attacking, which has been so commendable.

Yesterday, after a first half in which England conceded the territorial advantage but created the greater number of chances, it was Spain who took the lead with only 14 minutes to go. Russell Garcia, the England captain winning his 100th cap, made a rare mistake, giving up the ball in midfield to Jan Dinares. He set up the move for Pablo Usoz to beat Jimmi Lewis in the England goal.

Within a couple of minutes, in a repeat of Saturday's game, England were on terms, specialist corner striker Calum Giles giving Ramon Jufresa no chance.

There were opportunities at both ends, and, in a frantic finish, England managed to keep two penalty corners in the final minute.

The England coaches, Dick Clarke and Sean Kerly, were delighted with the disciplined performance but disappointed that the team did not put away a number of first half chances.

Spain: R Jufresa; J Malgosa (capt); S Amat, R Sala, J Arnau; P Usoz, J Dinares, J Maurino; N Ventallo, J Escarre, X Arnau. Substitutes used: A Bou, O Barrena, V Pujol, J Colomer.

ENGLAND: J Lewis (Havant); A Humphreys (Cannock), J Wyatt (Reading), J Halls (HDM), B Waugh; D Woods (both Southgate), J Pidcock (Cannock), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians); C Mayer (Cannock), R Garcia (HDM, capt)), D Hall (Guildford). Substitutes used: C Giles (Klein Zwitserland), B Barnes (E Grinstead), G Fordham (Hounslow), B Crutchley (Cannock).

Umpires: H Jamson (Eng), X Adel (Sp).

n In Seoul, England went 2-0 up against China, through Sally Wright and Fiona Greenham, in the women's junior world cup, but lost 4-2, with Wang Jiu Yan scoring a second-half hat-trick.

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