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GB hockey defeat India in Santander, Spain
GREAT BRITAIN 3 (1)
James Tindall 17 (PC)
Ashley Jackson 45 (PS)
Harry Martin 62 (F)
INDIA 1 (1)
Shivendra Singh 3 (F)
Great Britain’s men’s hockey team began their final warm up tournament ahead of the Olympic Games with a 3-1 victory over India in Santander, Spain. Ultimately, it was a comfortable result although GB were forced to come from behind to take victory. Goals from Surbiton’s James Tindall, East Grinstead’s Ashley Jackson and Old Loughtonians’ Harry Martin cancelled out Shivendra Singh’s early opener.
In weather similar to that being experienced back home, Great Britain found themselves behind in the third minute of the match as India began the sharper. An early Indian counter attack down the left hand side by Tushar Khandker saw Shivendra Singh deflect home Khandker’s cross to give his side the lead.
Within two minutes Great Britain’s Rob Moore forced goalkeeper Bharat Kumar Chetri into a two-stage save - the captain doing well to sweep the ball off the goal line having initially blocked Moore’s reverse stick strike.
Playing well, Great Britain scored a deserved equaliser midway through the half when Surbiton’s James Tindall lashed home a loose ball at a penalty corner to make it 1-1.
Into the second half and Cannock goalkeeper James Fair saved smartly at his near post early on before Great Britain took control. Ten minutes into the second period a stick foul on Tindall saw GB awarded a penalty stroke that Ashley Jackson converted skilfully to put his side 2-1 up.
Great Britain found themselves down to nine men for a short while in the second half with Jackson and Tindall both ordered to serve temporary suspensions. India looked to take advantage of the situation and won a penalty corner, their only one of the half, but the British defence stood strong.
Eight minutes from time Old Loughtonians’ midfielder Harry Martin extended the lead with a shot beyond Chetri as he followed up on Jackson’s scooped effort that the goalkeeper could only parry. It was his third goal of his young career.
Late on, captain Barry Middleton came close.
Following the game, Team Manager Andy Halliday said, “After a stuttering start we found our rhythm and controlled the match for long periods. In the end we deserved our victory today.”
Reading defender Richard Mantell made his 50th appearance for Great Britain in the match.
Great Britain have a rest day on Sunday before facing hosts Spain on Monday evening (18:00 BST). Spain are in Great Britain’s pool - Pool A - at the Olympic Games. India will play in Pool B in London.