Purbrook’s Smith on target as GB win opener

Great Britain's players celebrate Barry Middleton scoring during the Pool A match against Argentina
Great Britain's players celebrate Barry Middleton scoring during the Pool A match against Argentina
Matt Cox scored for Havant. Picture: Keith Woodland

Havant give leaders Exeter a big scare

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Richard Smith was on target as Great Britain men got their hockey campaign off to a flying start with a 4-1 win over Argentina.

Purbrook’s Smith netted from a penalty corner to grab the hosts’ final goal in a performance that justified Britain’s billing as medal contenders.

Even Pedro Ibarra’s late penalty corner could not put a dampener on a game which showed glimpses of GB’s best but was far from the complete performance.

The opener came in the 23rd minute when Matt Daly won a penalty corner.

With regular set-piece specialist Ashley Jackson having a breather on the bench, duties transferred to Smith and when his flick was saved by Juan Manuel Vivaldi, captain Barry Middleton was on hand to smash home the rebound.

Middleton doubled Britain’s advantage in the 41st minute, before Dan Fox grabbed his first international goal to make it 3-0.

With Jackson off the pitch again, former Purbrook Park School pupil Smith then succeeded where he had failed in the first half by beating Vivaldi from a penalty corner.

Argentina scored with a set-piece of their own with 15 minutes to go through Pedro Ibarra, who was later sin-binned as the Argentinians lost their discipline.

But it was not enough to spoil the hosts’ party.

Great Britain are back in action again tomorrow when they take on South Africa, in a match which gets under way at 4pm.