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England men are held to a draw by Spain and the women lost to USA in the 2014 Rabobank World Cup

By Luke Cawdell
England and Holcombe captain Barry Middleton in action against Spain Picture: Ady Kerry /England Hockey

England’s men and women’s World Cup hockey teams will be looking for improvements in their next outings.

Four Kent players featured for England’s men on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Spain in their tournament opener.

Holcombe trio Barry Middleton, Dan Fox and George Pinner were in action for England, along with Chatham’s Ashley Jackson.

England failed to convert a number of early chances in the first half and went into the break just one goal ahead.

Spain - ranked 10th in the world - levelled early in the second half to claim a share of the spoils from the Group A contest.

Holcombe defender Iain Lewers missed out after suffering a dead leg in last weekend’s warm-up game against Australia.

England captain Middleton said: “First half we played some really good hockey and deserved to be in the lead.

“In the second half they changed some things and made it harder for us and we made a few mistakes.

“It felt exciting to play in, which is what we want. We want to win but we want to go about it by playing good and exciting hockey.”

England face India at 3pm on Monday in their second match of the tournament.

Canterbury's Susannah Townsend walks off after defeat to USA Picture: Ady Kerry/England Hockey

On Sunday, England’s women got their tournament underway and suffered a 2-1 defeat against USA.

England conceded two early goals, pulled one back in the second half but couldn’t get back on level terms against the Champions Challenge winners.

Featuring for England were Holcombe pair Laura Unsworth and Maddie Hinch. Canterbury's Susannah Townsend joined the action from the bench.

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