Gleghorne helps England maintain unbeaten start to World Cup

05 June 2014 / 14:22

Goal scorer Mark Gleghorne signalled a job well done after England eventually swept aside Malaysia 2-0 to maintain their unbeaten record at the Hockey World Cup.

Things had gotten off to a perfect start in The Hague as Gleghorne scored his second goal in successive matches with a clever reverse shot to put England ahead after five minutes.

But despite applying sustained pressure, England were unable to add to their tally before the break with Malaysian keeper Kumar Subramaniam in particularly strong form.

It was a similar tale after the break with Tom Carson seeing his flicked shot saved while record-breaking captain Barry Middleton could only deflect wide.

With time ticking down, Malaysia began to fashion chances of their own with England keeper George Pinner forced into pushing a penalty corner away.

But nerves were finally eased as Ashley Jackson fired into the top corner from a penalty corner three minutes from time – although he appeared to aggravate his shoulder injury in the process.

And, while it was three points secured, Gleghorne admitted England had made it harder than they needed.

“It was job done, I thought we played reasonably well in large periods of the game,” he said.

“We created a hell of a lot of chances, just unfortunately we didn’t take them earlier to kill of the game a bit earlier. But it’s job done.

“It’s a 70-minute game, it doesn’t really matter when you score, you still need to execute your game plan and play properly.

“We probably didn’t after we scored our first one, we took the foot off the accelerator a little bit which caused us a few problems which is probably why it was such a tight game for so long.”

The result means England have picked up two wins and a draw from their opening three games in Pool A.

Next up is reigning champions and world No.1side Australia on Saturday and Gleghorne knows they need to be more clinical if they want to progress to the semi-finals.

“We are OK at the moment, the first half against Spain and in this game, we created a lot of chances but we are not taking them and that’s causing us a few problems,” he added.

“Defensively we are pretty sound and hopefully if we can continue that and take a few more chances then we will start hitting our straps sooner rather than later.

“Every game is so important because the pools are so tight. If you slip up it can have real bad consequences.” 

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