Scotland cruelly lose to Wales in dramatic shootout
12 March 2017
Scotland men lost their second match of Hockey World League 2 in Belfast 4-2 in a shootout after the game finished 2-2 in normal time.
Scotland got off to a great start with an early goal, a ball in from the right was deflected goal-bound by Ed Greaves to give Scotland the lead.
Wales struck back immediately with an equaliser from Benjamin Carless; he buried a penalty corner into the corner of the net to make it 1-1.
The Blue Sticks responded instantly via Alan Forsyth to give Scotland a 2-1 lead. Forsyth was clinical from a penalty corner when he hammered the ball into the net from the top of the D to make it 2-1.
The very entertaining first quarter continued as Benjamin Francis drilled the ball just wide for Wales. However it was Scotland in control - the hockey was electric and the Scots were dominating the match.
Scotland had the chance to further their lead when they were awarded a penalty stroke when a Welsh foot stopped the ball on the line. Kettle sprung into action again when he saved Alan Forsyth’s penalty stroke low to his right to keep the score 2-1 to Scotland.
In the second quarter it was end-to-end stuff as David Kettle made some good saves in the Welsh goal as the Scots broke at pace.
Scotland had a couple of chances from a penalty corner; a scramble in the D saw blue jerseys pile in on goal, but the ball was eventually forced clear by the Welsh rear-guard.
Kettle in the Wales goal continued making some very important saves including a dive to his left from a one-on-one with Lee Morton. Wales made it to half time with the Scots leading 2-1.
The third quarter was very even as the Scots allowed the Welsh back into the contest. A good save by Tommy Alexander in the Scotland goal kept his side in the lead; saving low with his legs from a penalty corner.
The Blue Sticks instantly won a penalty corner of their own but failed to convert from a swift move on the left, which found a shot saved low at the post by Kettle.
Then another penalty corner for Scotland was saved by Kettle. A quick pass out right found the keeper out quickly to block.
The up the other end of the pitch and Rupert Shipperley fired the ball across the circle for Wales but found nobody on the other end of it.
Wales looked strong in the final quarter, edging possession but unable to penetrate the Scottish D.
Wales then equalised through Gareth Furlong to draw the game level with seven minutes to go – a penalty corner slammed low against the backboard to make it 2-2.
The late equaliser resulted in a draw at full time and a penalty shootout to decide the fixture.
Lewis Prosser was first up for Wales in the shootout and scored, Willie Marshall followed for Scotland and failed to convert. Alexander saved James Carson’s effort for Wales before Alan Forsyth was denied to keep the score 1-0 to Wales in the shoot-out. Liam Brignull made it 2-0 before Lee Morton converted for Scotland to make it 2-1. Owain Dolan-Gray made it 3-1 before Gavin Byers scored to pull it back to 3-2. Benjamin Francis won it for Wales when he scored to give the Welsh a 4-2 win in the shoot-out.
Scotland men’s Head Coach Derek Forsyth said, “It’s disappointing to lose the match in a shootout. The match was ours to win, in the first half especially we created plenty of chances to score more goals. In the second half we allowed Wales too much time on the ball; we weren’t as aggressive as we were in the first half and let them back in.
“Today’s performance was better than the previous game’s performance, and it gives us something to build on for the match against Poland.”