Hannah Martin's goal not enough as England slump to Germany
By Derek Davis
5th May 2022 | Hockey
England's Women lost 4-1 to Germany in Monchengladbach in their final away fixture of the FIH Pro League.
David Ralph's side had pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory yesterday thanks to a double from Darcy Bourne while there were also goals for Tess Howard on her international comeback and Grace Balsdon.
But it was a different story on Thursday as goals for Charlotte Stapenhorst, Nike Lorenz, Hannah Gablac and Pia Maertens were too much for an England side who only had Hannah Martin's strike to show for their efforts.
The result leaves England in fifth place in the table, eight points behind Germany in fourth but with four games in hand ahead of their home games later this month.
Keen to avenge Wednesday's defeat in what turned out to be a seven-goal thriller, Germany made a fast start in Thursday's midday kick-off at SparkassenPark.
Some lovely build-up play and great stick control from Charlotte Stapenhurst gave her the opportunity to strike and she whistled a shot past Miriam Pritchard barely two minutes into the contest.
With the hosts rotating their leadership group, Lorenz took the armband from Sonja Zimmerman and after converting a penalty stroke yesterday, she was again on the scoresheet after doubling the hosts' lead four minutes later following a goalmouth scramble.
Alex Malzer had England's best opening of the first quarter but her shot was well saved by Julia Sonntag.
The second quarter was a cagey affair with few clear cut chances for either side, although England - having been knocked back by Germany's rapid start - began to play their way back into things, Ellie Rayer narrowly shooting wide.
With the second half underway, England goalkeeper Pritchard was called into action denying Zimmermann after 35 minutes following a string of penalty corners.
Howard came closest to pulling a goal back for the visitors before the end of the third quarter, but her outstretched stick was just unable to deflect Martin's wonderful cross into the backboard.
With ten minutes left on the clock, England were awarded two penalty corners in quick succession and from the second they struck, Martin deflecting the ball home.
However, any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out by two German goals in three minutes.
First, Gablac notched her second in as many games and days when she was the beneficiary of a scuffed penalty corner that found her well positioned to score - a goal that was upheld after a lengthy video referral.
And minutes later Maertens found the net when her mishit effort eluded Pritchard in the England goal to secure the match for Germany.