SCOTTISH LADIES SET UP MOUTHWATERING ENGLAND CLASH FOR PLACE IN SEMI-FINALS

Posted by Keith MacMillan on 28 July 2014

SCOTLAND SEAL WALES WIN TO SET UP ENGLAND CLASH

28 July 2014

Two first half field goals from Ali Bell and Linda Clement sealed a comfortable 2-0 win for Scotland over Wales in Pool B of the Women’s Hockey competition at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

 

Match Highlights.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/commonwealth-games/28253089

 

The Scots now join home nation rivals England on six points in Pool B, setting up a mouth-watering clash between the two sides on Wednesday morning, with the winners guaranteed a place in the semi-finals later this week. England lost 3-0 to Gold Medal favourites Australia earlier in the session.

Following today’s match, Scotland Head Coach Gordon Shepherd said, “Three points and a win were the most important thing to make sure we were on level points with England in the final game.

“We know we will have to win the game as they have a better goal difference than us but from the start of this whole campaign, when we knew what the draw was going to be, we knew if we got our wins against Wales and Malaysia that 9am on 30th July was going to be D-day for us, an opportunity for us to do something that we had never done before and that's to step into the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games.

“The players are a great bunch and they knew that had a job to do and come out today and they certainly did that job and did it brilliantly. Main thing was to secure the three points, may have not been the scoreline we wanted and we would have liked to score more goals.

“We are now in the position where the England game really matters so it does get me excited. All our friends and family will be there. It’s the type of game you coach for, you want the big games and big prize at the end of it which is the semi-finals.”

Scotland captain Linda Clement added, “Delighted with the three points and we came here today with one sole focus and that was to win the game so we are going away happy.

“We will recover from this match and come out ready to put in a good performance against England. I believe we can win that match.

“They are a team that are higher ranked than us but the last few times we have met we have lost by just a single goal so will take faith and confidence from that. We know if we turn up and put a good performance in we can win that match on Wednesday.”

The Scots stormed into an early lead in the ninth minute when Ali Bell collected a ball from Nikki Kidd inside the scoring circle, and with her back to goal she subsequently left her marker for dead with a swift turn and shot that Wales goalkeeper Victoria Male was powerless to prevent finding the back of the net.

Ali Bell v Wales

(Ali Bell opened the scoring for Scotland against Wales. Photo Credit: Iain Steele)

Two minutes later, Scotland were awarded a penalty corner for a Welsh foot inside the circle, but this time Male was on guard to parry away Kidd’s drag-flick attempt.

Vikki Bunce demonstrated quick stick-work to fashion an opportunity on the left of the circle, but her shot sailed over the bar.

Excellent build-up play between Ailsa Wyllie and Cat Ralph provided Nicki Skrastin with a half-chance, but the Clydesdale Western midfielder’s snap-shot was smothered by Male.

The home side were not to be denied for much longer though; Bell collected the ball on the right of the circle and fired a shot on target that Male could only parry and captain Linda Clement slid in from close range to flick the ball into the opposite corner to make it 2-0 in the 27th minute.

A third Scottish goal almost came to fruition with two penalty corners five minutes before half-time. McGilveray’s first goal-bound attempt was blocked by a Welsh foot, with Kidd’s subsequent penalty corner effort being cleared off the line by a Welsh stick intervention.

On the stroke of half-time, excellent work by Wyllie along the baseline to cut the ball back to Bunce gave the Dundee Wanderers’ star an opportunity to shoot first-time on goal, but her election to cut back inside and shoot on the reverse stick ended in the ball going wide of the far post.

A frustrating second half ensued for Scotland, with chances restricted by a dogged and determined Welsh rearguard, and the analysis of the video umpire who denied the national side penalty corner opportunities with two rejections.

Kidd’s penalty corner strike in the 59th minute came off a Scottish team-mate’s foot, while her shot with her back to goal didn’t have enough power to trouble the goal shortly after.

A notable clear chance fell to Bell ten minutes from the end, with the forward’s resolute run from the left hand touchline ending in a shot being blocked by Male.

A goalless second half concluded with the job done and now England await.

 

Team Scotland: Amy Gibson, Vikki Bunce, Morag McLellan, Ali Bell, Becky Ward, Cat Ralph, Sarah Robertson, Linda Clement (c), Ailsa Wyllie, Leigh Fawcett, Nikki Kidd, Susan McGilveray, Nikki Llloyd, Nicki Skrastin, Emily Maguire, Aileen Davis.

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