New Zealand 0 (0)
Great Britain 3 (1)Dixon (14’, PC; 55’, PC); Ansell (50’, PC)
Great Britain’s men recorded their first victory in the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League with a comfortable win over New Zealand in Auckland.
Captain Adam Dixon led from the front with two clinical flicks to inspire his side to their first win of the season.
Liam Ansell was also on target and Ashley Jackson made his 250th combined international appearance for England and Great Britain as the team finished their first set of matches in this year’s league in style.
Unlike yesterday, this meeting started at a sedate pace as both teams sized each other up. Indeed Dixon’s precise flick from a 14th minute corner was the first chance either side had mustered up until that point.
That gave his side the confidence to be a little more adventurous in the second quarter as they fashioned a few more chances, with two Luke Taylor corners cleared while a Black Sticks defender smashed another deflection of the line as it looked to be heading in.
George Pinner was called into action for the first time early in the third quarter, while Richard Joyce produced two fine saves to keep out efforts from Alan Forsyth and Phil Roper.
The visitors increased the pressure in the final quarter and added a second as Ansell fired a corner through the man stationed on the post in the 50th minute.
Five minutes later Dixon wrapped up the points with another superb finish, finding the other corner with ease to ensure Great Britain’s men ended their tour of Oceania on a high.
After the game, Dixon said: “I’m feeling very happy with the result. Obviously we’ve been here for a while and not found a win so to come away with the full points is reflection of the work we’ve put in.
“We’ve been trying a lot of new stuff over the last couple of weeks so to see it come together is all very nice.
“We didn’t feel like we played that badly yesterday to come away with the draw but we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal. So to see a few things click into place is great and to wrap the tour up with a win is great for team morale.
“It felt nice to score. It was a bit of a shock. They were the first flicks I’ve had on this trip so it was a bit of a bonus for them to go in. It was a good day at the office.”
Tickets for this summer’s FIH Hockey Pro League games in London go on general sale from 20 February.
The team will next be in action away to The Netherlands on 28-29 April.
Starting XI: Pinner (GK), Martin, Dixon (C), Jackson, Ansell, Waller, Gall, Sanford, Sorsby, Calnan, DraperSubs (Used): Taylor, Forsyth, Shipperley, Sloan, Gleghorne, RoperSubs (Unused): Ames, Griffiths, Gibson (GK), Wallace