England 4 defeated Spain 0
Goals: England – Helen Grant PC 27m PC 67m, Lucilla Wright PC 38m, Cathy Gilliat-Smith FG 43m
Three second half goals provided the emphasis on a dominant 4-0 win for England over a youngish Spanish team in the first of two matches in Valencia.
“A good disciplined and structured performance enabled us to control much of the game. Still much work to be done but a good basis for development,” England coach Danny Kerry said.
At a cold and coastal location outside Valencia, England controlled the match, particularly in the midfield for all but the opening five minutes.
However they had to wait until eight minutes before the break to open the scoring when Helen Grant deflected home a well-worked penalty corner to give the visitors a 1-0 half time lead.
Lucilla Wright’s shot from the top of the circle made it 2-0 for after 38 minutes during a spell when the Spanish were forced into errors while in possession.
It was from one of these errors that Cathy Gilliat-Smith capitalised on and intercepted a pass in the circle to shoot home England’s only field goal for a decisive three-goal advantage.
Despite several other good open play chances, England completed the scoring on 67 minutes from another penalty corner when Helen Grant scored her second of the game after pouncing on a rebound off the goalkeeper.
Although Spain won two second half penalty corners they rarely troubled a resolute English defence.
The final match of the series will be played on 25 February.
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