Great Britain men avenged their 3-2 defeat on Tuesday lunchtime winning 2-1 on Wednesday night in the match arranged to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of GB Men winning Olympic Gold.
Great Britain wearing specially designed retro red shirts sponsored by Toshiba, put early pressure on the Belgian defence, but it was Belgium who forced an early penalty corner which was saved by George Pinner.
Florent van Aubel, the scorer of Belgium’s winning goal the day before, opened the scoring in the eleventh minute rotating and falling to the floor before dispatching the ball into the goal.
In the second quarter, Surbiton goalkeeper, Harry Gibson, who rotated with Pinner by quarter in the GB goal, prevented Belgium from doubling their lead with stunning saves from penalty corners, notably from Loick Luypaert in the 19th minute.
Belgium had a spate of three penalty corners starting in the 24th minute but GB held firm, and then had to cope a player short for five minutes when Sam Ward was shown a yellow card for an incident with Nicolas de Kerpel to which the Belgian player reacted to in the 26th minute.
Great Britain still trailed 1-0 at half time, but Ward turned from villain to hero with two quick goals at the start of the third and fourth quarters. Just 28 seconds into the third quarter, Surbiton’s Zach Wallace, the Man of the Match and Alan Forsyth combined, Forsyth passing the ball from the right for Ward to score from short range and then 44 seconds from the start of the fourth quarter, Wallace and Forsyth combined on the left for Ward to finish and not only score his second goal of the match but the 50th international goal of his career.
Belgium threatened, forcing a total of seven penalty corners in the match, but their last throw of the dice, replacing Vincent Vanasch with kicking back Luypaert, failed and Great Britain successfully negotiated the last three minutes and fifty-three seconds to secure the victory.
Surbiton’s Luke Taylor joined Forsyth in the GB starting lineup, James Gall coming on in the fifth minute and Wallace in the seventh.
New GB Head Coach, Danny Kerry got off to a winning start at the second attempt.
After the game there was an opportunity for spectators to play on the famous blue pitch.