GB Under-23 Women battle hard against Australia

GBW v AUS, June 19 2016 - 450

Great Britain U23 Women 3 (1)
Australia U23 Women 4 (2)

A battling display from Great Britain Under-23 Women was not enough as they narrowly lost out 4-3 to Australia in the opening match of the Futures 2020 International Tournament in Nottingham on Sunday.

Head coach Colin Clarke praised his side’s character as they battled back from two goals down to level the score, only to concede a late goal.

“We’re disappointed to lose the game but I’m really pleased with the character of the girls to fight back,” said Clarke. “We’ve got focus on the decision making under pressure and stick to the structures for longer periods of the game which will allow us to reduce the number of momentum swings.”

Grace Balsdon scored from a penalty corner after just three minutes, her drag flick being just reward for a great opening period of play from GB.

But Australia levelled the game with Madison Fitzpatrick scoring on 16 minutes as GB lost some of their structure and momentum swung away. Madeleine Murphy doubled their score to put the Aussies into a 2-1 lead at half time.

GB came out fighting for the second half, but Australia added further to their score early in the half through a penalty corner from Savannah Fitzpatrick which gave them a 3-1 lead.

But Great Britain didn’t give in, and battled back in style.

A cross from the right was deflected into the top of the net by Hannah Martin on 47 minutes, and she scored similarly – this time from the left hand side – on 64 minutes to make it 3-3.

Australia retook the lead two minutes later through Michaela Spano, prompting GB to take off their goalkeeper and go in search of a final goal. They created several scoring opportunities, but Australia held out against the onslaught.

Great Britain are back in action on Monday with a match against the Netherlands at 1.30pm at the Nottingham Hockey Centre, while GB Men will take on the Netherlands at 4pm.