Mansfield Hockey Club played a second prestigious fixture against current World and European Champions, England Masters, at Bisham Abbey as part of England’s build-up to the European Championships.
In 2017 England won 8-0, but this time Mansfield claimed a 4-2 success.
Mansfield, who had prepared under first-team manager Andy Taylor, an ex-England manager, opened the scoring when new first XI captain Richard Younger found Adam Denley, who rolled the ball past the keeper.
They doubled the lead before the end of the first quarter with Mansfield’s Lloyd Stanway showing a great turn of pace down the right wing. As he entered the circle he slipped the ball inside to Roy Greasby, who hit a fantastic strike high into the goal leaving the England goalkeeper with no chance.
The second quarter started and after a change of personnel it wasn’t long before Mansfield found themselves three goals ahead with a goal from Nathan Wakeland after some excellent link up play and a delicate through ball from Adam Denley left him one-on-one.
England, however, started to realise their position and applied some solid pressure throughout the remainder of the second quarter but with Mansfield goalkeeper David Smith in fine form half-time saw the score remain 3-0 to Mansfield.
At half-time it was clear that the second half would require a disciplined performance from Mansfield to be in with any hope of a win, and as the third quarter began England started to apply increased pressure on Mansfield.
As the game progressed however Richard Younger in the middle of the pitch continued to battle and control the midfield, which led to a fourth goal, a second for Adam Denley, and a lead to protect.
The final quarter began to take its toll on players from both sides and the experience of England saw two late goals from the home team to put a dent in Mansfield’s hopes of a clean sheet.
It was, however, a great win for Mansfield.
Mansfield Hockey Club play at Kingsway Park, Kirkby,and currently have five men’s teams playing in leagues, together with a junior academy. We welcome players of all ages and abilities regardless of experience of hockey. For more details see www.mansfieldhc.co.uk or find us on Facebook.