Dutch defeat for GB Under-23 Women

GB U23 women v NED, June 20 2016

Great Britain U23 Women 2 (1)
Netherlands U23 Women 5 (3)

GOALS from Holly Hunt and Grace Balsdon were not enough as Great Britain Under-23 Women lost out 5-2 to the Netherlands in their second match of the Futures 2020 invitational Tournament in Nottingham on Monday afternoon.

Three goals in a six minute period spanning half time put the Netherlands on the front foot, and although GB battled well to close them down, they couldn’t battle back.

“This is a frustrating result as we competed for large parts of the game,” said Head Coach Colin Clarke. “Unfortunately lapses of concentration either side of half time gave away some opportunities to score that we could’ve prevented.

“But improvements in defensive shape restricted the Netherlands’ attack and showed that we were able to win the ball from them.

“Our work rate into the defensive shapes was a lot better and we’re closing down the channels quickly. Our conversion rate is very pleasing and a lot of the time we get into the D we’re getting something out of it.

After a 16th minute opener from Imme Ven Der Hoek for the Netherlands, GB pulled back level on 25 minutes when Lucy Wood ran down the right and gave the ball to Holly Hunt who fired home.

But goals from Pien Sanders and Joosje Burg on 30 and 34 minutes put the Netherlands into a 3-1 half time lead.

They made it 4-1 with Yentl Leemans scoring on 36 minutes, and although Grace Balsdon’s 40th minute drag flick from a penalty corner narrowed the gap, the final word went to the Netherlands with Ginella Zerbo scoring on 43 minutes.

“We’ve proved we can compete with these World class nations,” added Clarke. “Our challenge is to come back after a rest day, regroup and compete and go out to win the games.”