Hockey: Mayer in storming form for England

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND, with just five of their side who beat South Africa in Madrid on Sunday, yesterday proved too strong for the visiting Americans in the first of their two games at Bisham Abbey. But it took England some time to settle down after so many changes, writes Bill Colwill.

Cannock's speedy Chris Mayer, who missed the Madrid trip because of an injury, was in devastating form on the right wing, provided the pass for Andy Humphrey to open the scoring in the 28th minute, then scored two cracking second-half goals.

When Bobby Crutchley set up Mayer for his first goal - a crashing shot through the roof of the net eight minutes after the interval - an American fightback seemed unlikely.

But the introduction of 18- year-old Dan Ekhner brought immediate rewards as he intercepted a poor clearance from Kalbir Takher to send Mark Mellor goalwards. Helped by a casual tackle from Jon Wyatt, Mellor broke through to pull back a goal.

England stormed back on to the attack, forcing a number of penalty corners but without success. It was left to Mayer to put the game beyond doubt with another powerful goal in the final minute.

ENGLAND: J Barrow (Hounslow); P McGuire (Teddington), S Hazlitt (Hounslow), A Humphrey (Hull), K Takher (Cannock), M Sutton (Bournville), C Mayer (Cannock), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), B Crutchley (Hounslow), J Laslett (capt, Teddington), C Giles (Havant). Substitutes used: A Degun (Barford Tigers), S Mason (Firebrands), R Davis (Harleston Magpies), J Wyatt (Reading).

UNITED STATES: J O'Haire; B Maruquin, J Horrocks, M Barakat, P Sykes, L Amar, S Jennings, J O'Neill, M Ruvalcaba, M Mellor (capt), O Steffers. Substitutes used: E Wassenaar, D Ekhner.

Umpires: A Hoyes (SCHUA), Amrit Kohli (US).

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