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Scottish Thistles 1 (Duke) England LX Red 6

Glasgow National Hockey Centre 8 July 2017

England LX Red travelled to Glasgow on the weekend of 8-9 July 2017 for a friendly fixture on Saturday 8 July against a mixed age Scottish Thistles side, followed by a match against a Hillhead team the next morning.

The match started evenly, Scottish Thistles putting together some good passing movements while the English side looked lively in the centre of midfield. The home side were just beginning to look the more likely to score when they shot themselves in the foot with a schoolboy error when a sixteen yard pass across the Thistles circle was easily intercepted by a grateful English forward, who had the easiest of tasks to put the ball past keeper Dick Pearce. This turned the game and the Reds began to dominate, scoring a further three goals in the first half to make the score 4-0.

Half time gave the opportunity for Scottish Thistles to re-organise. The 4-4-2 formation of the first half had proved to leave the Scots short in midfield, their four defenders facing only two English attackers. A change to 3-1-4-2 had the immediate effect of cancelling out the extra man LX Red had in midfield while giving protection to the back three. The Scots still had difficulty finding their forwards but at least the flood of goals had been stemmed. Finally, Neil Mackenzie drove through into the English circle and won a short corner, which Geoff Duke converted from a well worked move. Towards the end of the third quarter, a powerful strike from a short corner restored the four goal advantage for the visitors, who scored again in the dying minutes to make the final score 6-1.

This was always going to be a tough fixture, England LX Red having won the Grand Masters Tournament Trophy in Australia in 2016 and their side being much younger on average than their opponents. The match was closer than the result suggests and was played in a very friendly spirit on a super day for hockey - bright but not too warm.

England LX Red went on to win their match against a Hillhead team 1-0 on the following day.

Scottish Thistles and England LX Red 8 July 2017 Glasgow Green

photograph courtesty of Andy Lovat

action photos from the match

Scottish Thistles Squad

Alan Auld, Peter Burns, John Candlin, Alex Cathro, Graham Conkie, Ian Downie, Geoff Duke, Gerry McBride, Neil Mackenzie (Captain), Stevie McDonald (Vice Captain), Ken Moore, Dick Pearce (GK), George Pickett, Keith Raper, Stuart Stephen, Ian Wilson