SCOTLAND MEN BEAT WALES IN CRUCIAL RELEGATION CLASH
By Colin Pike
Scotland Men boosted their chances of staying in the top tier of the EuroHockey Championships with a 4-2 over Celtic rivals Wales in Antwerp on Thursday.
With all four teams in Pool C carrying over one point from their earlier matches, a win was vital and it was Scotland who earned the three points on offer.
Scotland made the perfect start after Welsh goalkeeper James Fortnam kicked the ball straight to Cameron Golden to rifle the ball past him and into the Welsh net in the second minute.
Craig Falconer doubled the Scottish lead in the twelfth minute with a superb strike into the top right corner after excellent approach work from Alan Forsyth.
Scotland led 2-0 at half time and extended their lead in the 35th minute, Nick Parkes running towards goal before smashing the ball into the far left corner from the right of the circle.
In the 40th minute, Wales pulled a goal back through Owain Dolan Gray’s acute angled shot from wide of the right post.
Scotland’s three goal advantage was restored in the 53rd minute when Golden scored his second goal of the match, spinning around beyond the left post before firing home.
Wales struggled with their penalty corner routines as Gareth Furlong was thwarted by the Scottish defenders, but finally made a breakthrough in the last minute when Lewis Prosser eventually finished a routine which Scotland failed to clear.
Surbiton’s Forsyth captained his team from the starting lineup with Parkes coming on as a fourth minute substitute followed by Tim Atkins a minute later.