Hampstead & Westminster duo on target for GB Hockey
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Hampstead & Westminster's Harry Martin and Sarah Robertson were both on target as Great Britain returned to FIH Pro League action on Wednesday.
Martin netted as the men beat Germany 5-3 at Lee Valley, while Robertson's goal proved in vain as the women 3-2 to their rivals.
After a long-awaited return for international hockey in the UK, the action came thick and fast right from the off as Germany took an immediate lead through Moritz Rothlander.
The lead didn’t last long though as Liam Ansell levelled the scores with a skilful finish.
One goal was quickly followed by another, a constant theme through the match, as Brendan Creed latched onto a loose ball following a scramble in the circle from a penalty corner, sparking jubilant celebrations from the defender in scoring his first international goal.
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Three goals in the space of just four minutes followed, Phil Roper commencing the frenzy with a brilliant drag flick before Thies Prinz responded straight from the restart to capitalise on a rapid attack.
Chris Griffiths ensured GB would maintain their two-goal cushion with a sublime solo goal after pinching the ball high up the field and producing a tidy finish but Paul Doesch converted with a powerful effort from a penalty corner just before the whistle sounded to end a frantic half.
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The excitement didn’t end there, though, as Adam Dixon’s effort from a penalty corner was expertly deflected by the diving Martin past the German keeper just two minutes after the restart.
While the goals dried up, the energy certainly didn’t and despite several chances falling their way, GB secured an impressive win in their first home match since the 2019 FIH Olympic Qualifiers.
The GB women's first match since November ended in defeat as Charlotte Stapenhorst struck three minutes from time.
Robertson opened the scoring on her 150th appearance, prodding home from close range after Shona McCallin's run into the circle enabled Ellie Rayer to pick her out.
But Germany hit back less than five minutes later as Maddie Hinch saved a penalty corner, but Jette Fleschutz converted the rebound.
Hampstead's Lily Owsley bravely charged down another penalty corner later in the half as the score remained level.
And GB flew out of the blocks after the restart as Susannah Townsend found herself in space to fire home.
Lena Micheel produced a moment of magic to make it 2-2, showing excellent close control to fire into the far corner.
And after Izzy Petter's deflection from a GB penalty corner went just over, Hinch made several saves before Stapenhorst secured victory late on.
Robertson said: "Despite the result, it feels amazing to be back out here. I think it was around 18 months ago we were last here for the Olympic Qualifiers against Chile, so it felt amazing to be back, although we’re disappointed with the result.
“They had a lot of ball, we need to go away and have a look at how we can get a bit more pressure on them. They’re obviously renown for keeping the ball for long periods of time, I think it was a competitive, physical game. We just need to be better.
“Germany are a team we should be beating, they’ve obviously got some world class forwards and that showed, but I think we can definitely up our game.
“It’s awesome to pick up my 150th international appearance, it seems that only recently I got my 50th for GB and soon the 100th will come for Scotland so it all seems to be happening at once!
"It’s nice to have scored on both of them too, keep the milestones coming and the goals might keep coming too! It’s a special occasion, it means a lot to me to play for Scotland and GB so it’s a memorable might even if we didn’t get the result.”
The two sides play again on Thursday, with the men starting at 5.30pm and the women at 8pm.