GB Men Suffer Second Narrow Defeat To Belgium

Belgium v GB Men Adam Dixon 2020FIHPL
Belgium 2 (2)
Dohmen (18’, FG); Hendrickx (30’, PC)

Great Britain 1 (1)
Condon (10’, PC)

Great Britain suffered a second narrow defeat at the hands of Belgium in the FIH Hockey Pro League.

Having been beaten 3-2 the previous day, the hosts came out on top at the end of another closely fought game in Brussels.

John-John Dohmen and Alexander Hendrickx bagged the goals for the Belgians after David Condon had given Danny Kerry’s side the early lead.

GB have several good chances, with Rupert Shipperley almost levelling proceedings late on, but couldn’t make the best of them.

Both goalkeepers were called into action early on, George Pinner showing smart reactions to keep out Maxime Plennevaux before Loic van Doren stopped a flick from Phil Roper and then Will Calnan’s follow up.

Zach Wallace forced van Doren into another save shortly after before Condon pounced on a corner rebound after the shot stopper had blocked Luke Taylor’s initial effort.

The hosts hit back at the start of the third quarter as Dohmen smashed home in the 18th minute after a period of concerted pressure.

But it was GB who continued to create the best chances as Alan Forsyth, David Goodfield and Taylor all saw efforts saved by van Doren.

Hendrickx then made them pay on the stroke of half-time as he fired home a second corner in as many games to give the reigning world champions the lead at the break.

Buoyed by that goal, Belgium dominated much of the third quarter as Tanguy Cosyns drew a smart save from George Pinner and Plennevaux just failed to steer home a wicked van Aubel cross, while at the other end van Doren saved a snapshot from Forsyth.

Harry Martin then produced a brilliant clearance on the goal-line with nine minutes remaining before Shipperley had a golden chance to bring the scores level shortly after, only for his diving effort to slide just the wrong side of the post.

After the game, Zach Wallace said: “We wanted to go out with a fast start to the game, put them under pressure and go at them. Yesterday we felt like we had quite a lot of chances so we thought we could go out and press them hard then we could put them under pressure and I thought we did that.

“In the second half we maybe just ran out of legs a little bit. We’ve played four games in six days so the guys are a bit knackered.

“I think it’s a bit of a reality check for us. We put in four good performances but it just shows how close it is as the top of international hockey. You’ve got to put away your chances and unfortunately we’ve not done that.”

Great Britain’s men are next scheduled to be in action at home to Germany on 14-15 November in games that will be held behind closed doors at Bisham Abbey. Both games will be shown live on BT Sport.

Starting XI: Pinner (GK), Forsyth, Shipperley, Martin, Roper, Dixon (C), Creed, Condon, Waller, Wallace, Draper
Subs (Used): Taylor, Goodfield, Gall, Sorsby, Smith, Calnan
Subs (Unused): Payne (GK)

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