28 March 2017
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Hockey: Strong start for England at EuroHockey Indoor Nations Challenge

January 17, 2010

Chloe Rogers inspired an England side missing captain Sally Walton to a solid 6-0 victory over rivals Wales in the opening match of the EuroHockey Indoor Nations Challenge campaign, giving England the best possible start in their quest from promotion.

Despite the final outcome the game began slowly, with England exhibiting signs of early nerves, no doubt not helped by losing Walton to illness prior to the start of the tournament.

England got into their stride after ten minutes had elapsed and Chloe Rogers’ first goal, opening the scoring on 17 minutes with a penalty corner high into the right of the net, settled the side visibly.  From then on England played with composure and Rogers scored a second just before the half time hooter.

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Nick Clark’s side returned to the pitch for the second half intent on showing they have what it takes to make the step up the second tier of international European hockey.  Within four minutes the game was beyond Wales as Leicester midfielder Rogers completed her hat-trick, finishing off a dynamic move, and Canterbury’s Natalie Seymour scored England’s fourth from open play.

Stand in captain Chloe Strong fired home a sixth goal from a penalty corner with six minutes remaining to give England a well deserved 6-0 win.  It was her first international indoor goal.

Head Coach Nick Clark was happy with his side’s performance after the match: “We looked nervous early on but when we converted that seemed to take the pressure off and we turned in a solid performance.  I thought we played with good control and we scored some good goals.  Chloe Rogers played excellently today.”

England gave their hosts France something to think about in the final match of the day in Rouen with a 7-0 win after France had earlier beaten Turkey 11-1 in the opening match.

Doubles from Leicester’s Chloe Rogers and Beckie Herbert and Slough’s Ashleigh Ball matched the scoreline against Wales before Canterbury defender Natalie Seymour scored England’s seventh from a penalty corner seven minutes from time.

Despite the comfortable scoreline, Nick Clark said afterwards that this was a very different game to the match against Wales claiming “it could have been 7-3 or 7-4 rather than 7-0”.

England got off to the perfect start with three goals in the opening ten minutes thanks to Chloe Rogers penalty corner double and Beckie Herbert’s goal from open play.  The shell shocked France side hit back, competing throughout the pitch and creating three good chances before the break.  England were thankful to goalkeeper Becky Duggan for maintaining their clean sheet as she pulled off a great save from the last of those three chances.

Into the second half, England went through what Clark later called “something of a purple patch” as they took the score from 3-0 to 6-0 with Herbert’s second and two from Ball.  During that time France received a couple of yellow cards and England took full advantage of being a player up to put the game beyond the hosts.  Seymour scored with seven minutes remaining and with the result determined the match drew to a rather calm close.

A very pleased Clark said of his side afterwards, “They put in a very good performance; the best of the day.  I’m particularly pleased because it was a real team performance, although to be fair to France it wasn’t a 7-0 game, it could have been 7-3 or 7-4 rather than 7-0.”

The performances against Wales and France are all the more impressive given that England have been operating with a bench of four outfield players rather than the usual five after Walton’s withdrawal.  University of Birmingham’s Sarah Haycroft will join the squad on Friday evening and be included in time for Saturday’s games against Sweden and Croatia.

Louise Hudson, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Hockey: England continue to shine indoor tournament | Sportsister

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