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Maddie Hinch and Sophie Bray shine for England women

LONDON – June 22, 2013 – England, in their first serious test under new coach Jason Lee, produced a fine attacking display against what was an experienced South Africa.

Goals from Susie Gilbert, Sophie Bray, Alex Danson and Giselle Ansley did the job, although South Africa looked in contention for a while after SA brought the score to 2-1 with a Piete Coetzee corner on half-time.

Danson’s fantastic reverse-stick strike soon after the break settled matters, and one equally fine reverse strike from the lively Bray drew an excellent save from Sanani Mangisa.

Down the other end, Maddie Hinch had a fine game between the sticks with one spectacular second-half diving save to her right off a Coetzee corner particularly notable.

Lily Owsley also looked impressive in attack, on one occasion producing a 70-metre run to produce another save from Mangisa.

Owsley also set up Bray’s first-half goal with a baseline run to set up a nice jink over the keeper. Ansley showed England now have another useful drag-flick option as she buried a low flick to Mangisa’s left.

Gilbert set the ball rolling for England in the first period, tidying up a rebound from a good diving deflection from Hannah Macleod.

Lee was pleased with the result although he thought the score didn’t fully reflect the game as South Africa forced to chase the game after England’s third goal.

“I’m very happy with the scoreline, because to be honest it does flatter us a bit. But the quality of our play probably means we deserved to win.

“That’s my first official game as coach and if they are always like that, I will be happy. It was a team performance.”

Day one pictures here.

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