Jackson earns Great Britain a draw with Germany

Ashley Jackson scores the equaliser from a penalty corner. Credit Ravi Ghowry

Great Britain 1 (0)
Ashley Jackson 48 (PC)

Germany 1 (1)
Tobias Hauke 29 (PC)

A second half penalty corner from Ashley Jackson secured a hard-earned draw for Great Britain in their Hero Hockey Champions Trophy match with Germany. Bobby Crutchley’s side went into the final quarter trailing to Tobias Hauke’s 29th minute goal, but Jackson, his country’s all time top scorer; stepped up with 12 minutes left to ensure a share of the spoils.

Great Britain started well and created the first clear chance of the match. Henry Weir found space in the channel on the right and slid the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper only for a defender to slide in to clear off the line. Germany’s first threat came from a penalty corner. A nice move involving Lukas Windfeder and Tom Grambusch brought the best out of Barry Middleton who cleared off the line. At the other end Nicolas Jacobi performed heroics to repel a Mark Gleghorne penalty corner. It was a real end to end contest but it remained 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was no less frantic and Germany forced a series of penalty corners. Grambusch’s shot got a deflection and seemed to hit Mikey Hoare on the goal line. A penalty stroke was awarded but on referral it was downgraded to a penalty corner. Grambusch resumed his duel with Pinner but again the goalkeeper excelled making a fine save. Germany were knocking on the door and Pinner was keeping it slammed shut, denying Grambusch again whilst at the other end Adam Dixon’s thunderous shot hit the woodwork to frustrate the hosts. Some lovely skills from Nick Catlin won GB a penalty corner but Jacobi performed heroics to stop Jackson scoring and Middleton’s follow up flew over the bar.

With a minute to go to half time, Germany finally ended Pinner’s resistance. A slick penalty corner routine forced another good save from the goalkeeper but the rebound was slammed in by Hauke to make it 1-0 at the interval.

Great Britain forced an early penalty corner in the third quarter. Jackson opted to go low but Jacobi got down well again to save. Great Britain’s No7 seemed to be taking the match by the scruff of the neck and after some outrageous close control in the circle he drew another good save from the German goalkeeper. Jacobi was at it again just before the break, somehow getting a left glove on another Jackson rocket from a set piece to preserve Germany’s lead heading into the final quarter.

Three minutes into the final quarter and Great Britain finally found a way through. Jackson stepped up to take the penalty corner once again and despite Jacobi getting his body behind the ball the shot was too powerful for the goalkeeper and it went through him and over the line to level it up.

Great Britain continued to press for another goal and had Germany on the back foot. Despite this, they were indebted to their goalkeeper once again with a few minutes left. Jonas Gommol was clean through but Pinner somehow snaked out a left pad to block brilliantly. There was still time for Germany to mount one last assault on goal. A late penalty corner beat the goalkeeper but Captain Middleton was on hand to hook the ball away with a cricket style shot to preserve the score and help Great Britain to hard-earned point.

Nick Catlin said afterwards:

“We always want to win but a point is a fair result on reflection. Both goalkeepers played superbly. George made some fantastic saves and there were a lot of corners, so it’s surprising it was only 1-1. We put in another solid display and we’re still progressing. We want to finish the tournament on a high.

Our corner defence is so important. We’d like to concede fewer but our defence is digging us out of a hole a little bit. We pride ourselves on it and in Dan Fox we have the best number one runner around, so we’re happy with how that’s going.

We’re always confident going into games. We’ve played Belgium a lot over the years but it’ll be interesting to see where they are. We’ll recover tomorrow, take a look at the video and come back strong for another tough game.”

In today’s other games, India defeated Korea 2-1 and Australia beat Belgium 2-0. The results mean Great Britain need to beat Belgium on Thursday and hope for a favourable result from India vs. Australia in order to make the final.

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