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London 2012 Olympics: Two-goal Ashley Jackson remains modest after TeamGB beat Pakistan 4-1 at Riverbank Arena

Ashley Jackson
Ashley Jackson

by Alex Hoad at the Riverbank Arena

Ashley Jackson was typically modest despite his match-winning display in Great Britain’s 4-1 win over Pakistan at the Riverbank Arena on Friday evening.

Jackson (pictured) played a key role in both goals as GB went 2-0 up before the break, and then despatched two superb penalty corner drag-flicks late on to put the seal on the win, before a late Pakistan consolation.

The victory made it seven points from three games and took GB joint-top with Sunday’s opponents Australia – adding more spice to an already mouthwatering fixture.

It was all in stark contrast to the 2-2 draw with South Africa two nights ago which had threatened to spoil the GB party infront of their home crowd.

“It was good fun," admitted Jackson. "In the South Africa game I don’t think we worked hard enough for each other.

“Today we worked harder, we played for each other, there was a lot of selfless effort out there and we scored some easy goals.

“That maybe wasn’t there against South Africa and it made it difficult to beat them.”

The goals were only easy because of Jackson’s contribution, twice jinking in from the right flank, with mesmerising close control and sending sublime reverse-passes to the byline, with the subsequent crosses turned in by James Tindall after three minutes and Jonty Clarke after 29 minutes.

He then made the points safe with expert conversions from penalty corners on 50 minutes and three minutes from time, while Sohail Abbas scored a late penalty corner to deny GB a clean sheet.

Jackson added: “Against South Africa we turned into individuals really whereas today we were out there as a team and doing it for each other, and it showed.”

The 24-year-old former Sutton Valence School pupil also revealed he preferred teeing up the goals to scoring them.

He said: “It was nice to see the corners go in, but I quite liked the assists. The corners are well-practiced but a good assist or a field goal is always something special.”

The West Malling-based star, born in Chatham, refused to consider a semi-final place, with games still to come against Australia and Spain.

He said: “I’m not thinking about the semi-final, I’m thinking about Australia. I think if either team wins that, it pretty much puts them in the semi – I haven’t worked it out yet.

“It’s going to be a real difficult game, but definitely one to watch!”

Jackson is proving popular outside of hockey circles too, with his name trending on social media site twitter during the second-half of the game.

A slightly embarrassed Jackson said: “It’s pretty cool, but it’s more for hockey. It’s going to be great for the game because that doesn’t happen too often.

“If we can take advantage of that as a sport, and show what a popular sport it is. I know this is the Olympics, the biggest event there is, but hopefully we can carry that on.”

Alex Hoad at the Games - Twitter button
Alex Hoad at the Games - Twitter button
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