Great Britain's men earn fighting draw vs India

Alan Forsyth celebrates for Great Britain's men

Great Britain 2 (Carson 25 (FG), Forsyth 52 (FG))
India 2 (A Singh 19 (PC), M Singh 47 (FG))


Great Britain's men's got their Sultan Azlan Shah Cup off to a very positive start with a fighting 2-2 draw against India.

Bobby Crutchley's side showed great resilience, twice coming from behind thanks to goals from England's Tom Carson and Scotland's Alan Forsyth. In addition, the team had to deal with a near-two hour delay to the game getting underway thanks to near monsoon conditions.

The tournament is an important step in the England and Scotland teams' progress towards vital World Cup qualifiers taking place in London this June, and there was much to be pleased about.

Dan Kyriakides became the first Welshman to pull on a GB jersey in recent years, a great moment for both him and the nation.

In addition, England's Barry Middleton and Mark Gleghorne made welcome returns for the first time in this Olympic cycle.

Crutchley said, "For the start of a tournament, that was a good performance. We allowed India few scoring opportunities. I would have liked to have seen us create a few more than we did and we will look to improve on that when we play Japan tomorrow."

The game started evenly, with both sides enjoying decent possession but unable to break the deadlock in the first quarter. Talwinder Singh was closest for India but inadvertently knocked the ball onto Mandeep's Singh foot.

It was India who broke the deadlock, a penalty corner initially being misplaced, only for Akashdeep Singh to poke home well after Harry Gibson made a good save.

The lead only lasted a few minutes though and Carson scored the game's best goal, smacking home an arrowed low finish after excellent play by Chris Griffiths, who continues to impress as he works back from long-term injury.

The third quarter was equally as competitive, and with 46 on the clock India worked the ball nicely down the left, Mandeep Singh turning home from Sunil's Sowmarpet's handiwork.

Again though, GB were not easily beaten, and Ian Sloan this time was the provider for Scotland's Forsyth to show why he has won England's domestic league's top goalscorer and Player of the Year award twice in a row, firing home a tidy - and timely - finish.

GB won a penalty corner in the last minute and it looked as if Crutchley's team would take victory, but Gleghorne's effort was narrowly wide, ending a cracking game of hockey.

England, Scotland and India are all taking part in this summer's World Cup qualifiers in London at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre from June 15-25, tickets on sale now: http://eng.hockey/HWL2017London

Team: Gibson (GK), Creed, Sanford, Kyriakides, Roper, Middleton, J Griffiths, C Griffiths, Sloan, Ward, Forsyth
Subs (used): Willars, Weir, Gleghorne, Goodfield, Carson, Gall
Sub (unused): Wyver (GK)