Smith & Co fight back against Aussies

James Tindall celebrates his leveller
James Tindall celebrates his leveller
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Richard Smith helped Team GB produced a stunning fightback to grab a 3-3 draw with world champions Australia at the Riverbank Arena last night.

The Widley ace and his team-mates remain in a hunt for a semi-final spot after hauling themselves back level from 3-0 behind.

Smith, who first started playing hockey with City of Portsmouth, watched as first Jonty Clarke, then Barry Middleton and finally James Tindall shocked the Aussies late in the second half.

Team GB now only require a draw against Spain tomorrow to guarantee their place in the last four.

But those semi-finals looked a long way off when Russell Ford’s double put the Australians in command after just 11 minutes.

Mark Knowles then added a third, six minutes after the interval, before Smith & Co surged back.

Hero Tindall later paid tribute to the home crowd, who provided the launch pad for the comeback.

‘It was a relief to get that third goal against such a great team in world hockey,’ he said.

‘It shows we are up there and one of the best.

‘In every single game we’ve played [the crowd] have been phenomenal.

‘We have the best supporters anywhere – and always will do. They really gave us the boost we needed to get that third goal and push for the fourth.’

Captain Barry Middleton was equally impressed and hopes the home side repaid their faith.

‘As the game went on we just built confidence within ourselves,’ he said.

‘The crowd definitely helps when they get behind you and you saw it with the guys the whole way to the end.

‘Even at 3-3 we didn’t start playing for a draw, neither did they.

‘This is the way hockey should be played and I hope people enjoyed what they saw.’