Great Britain slipped to defeat on Thursday night going down 4-3 in a seven goal thriller at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.
The game saw some spectacular goals after Surbiton’s James Gall just failed to put away a rebound from Great Britain’s first penalty corner in the ninth minute. Within seconds, former Surbiton player Will Calnan gave Great Britain the lead with a spectacular deflection from Henry Weir’s hard hit ball from the right.
Sam Ward, whose shot was saved to set up Gall’s rebound opportunity was again denied by German goalkeeper Tobias Walter in the 18th minute, but three minutes later Phil Roper doubled the lead with a perfectly placed drag-flick.
At this point, Great Britain seemed well on the way to victory, but Germany fought back to level with goals either side of the half time break. Two minutes before the interval, Johannes Grosse’s powerful shot beat goalkeeper George Pinner and two minutes after half time, Florian Fuchs equalised with an equally unstoppable shot, this time beating Surbiton’s Harry Gibson, who replaced Pinner for the second half.
The quality of goals were worth the admission money alone, but the crowd were to get even more value for money when Ward restored Great Britain’s lead in the 35th minute, deftly lifting the ball over Walter.
Germany were not to be denied with Marco Miltkau making the score 3-3 with yet another fierce shot and stole the victory when Timm Herzbruch smashed the ball into the goal with two minutes remaining.
Great Britain went with 11 outfield players following the fourth German goal, but Germany held on comfortably for only their third win in the FIH Pro League and the first in their last six games having suffered two outright defeats and drawn three, securing a bonus point from the resulting shootouts on two occasions.
The defeat saw Great Britain drop down to sixth behind Germany.
Surbiton’s Alan Forsyth, Brendan Creed, Gall and Zach Wallace were all in the GB starting lineup with Tom Sorsby coming on as a sixth minute substitute.
After the match, Creed was naturally disappointed by the result, saying “We were frustrated to lose the lead in a game where we outplayed them at times but they cut through us as well.”
More information about the Men’s FIH Pro League can be found at the FIH website
All the games can be seen on BT Sport and the schedule for all their channels can be found here
The Great Britain Hockey match report can be read here