Hockey: England unimpressive

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND could only draw 2-2 in the second match of the two-Test series against the United States at Bisham Abbey yesterday, a game which was a shadow of the previous day's exciting contest which England won 4-3.

Fielding a completely different side from the first game, coach Mike Hamilton has used the matches to finalise selection for the European Cup squad.

England got off to another splendid start, Jimmy Wallis scoring with a well-placed shot after three minutes, although there was more than a suspicion that Stuart Head's pass had been illegally lifted into the circle.

Stunned by this setback, the young Americans were quickly back on the attack with Larry Amar and Paul Lewis posing plenty of questions to an English defence which, in spite of experienced players like Paul Way and John Wyatt, was looking very shaky.

In the 12th minute the defence stood off to allow Amar to take the ball across the top of the circle and then, finding himself in space with time to pick his spot, the American captain equalised.

The Americans kept up the pressure before taking the lead in the 24th minute when Steve Danielson scored from their first penalty-corner. England came back to force a couple of penalty-corners but with their principle striker Bill Waugh side-lined through a hamstring strain their drill looked ineffective.

After Mark Harradine had equalised for England from a penalty-corner nine minutes into the second half the game was disrupted by an endless interchange of players. The traffic was now almost one way towards the American goal, although England's goalkeeper Matthew Prestwich made a fine penalty-corner save to deny Danielson.

The Americans move on to Cardiff for two games against Wales, their Irish coach, Lenny McCaigue, delighted with their progress and their first-ever draw with England.

ENGLAND U21: M Prestwich (Teddington); J Wyatt (Reading), C Carter (Durham University), S Leeming (Beeston), M Harradine (Stourport), P Way (capt, Slough), M Smith (Bournville), C Bloor (Bournville), S Head (East Grinstead), J Wallis (Teddington), H Hoskin (Reading). Substitutes: S Organ (Firebrands), C Giles (Havant).

UNITED STATES U21: A Stewart; S Danielson, S Williams, O Steffers, J Horrocks, B Lloyd, G Horrocks, L Amar (capt), T Trickle, P Lewis, B Hoane. Substitutes: C Kane, G Reed.

Umpires: N Lockhart, A Woolley (Eng).